5 Tips for designing a great presentation by @DarielaCruz

by Dariela Cruz | Featured Contributor

The most used software for presentations, Powerpoint, does not help us when designing nice presentations for our businesses. It comes with simple and not-so-good-looking templates that many people use over and over again and the presentations start to look all the same. I will give you 5 tips to make your next presentation glorious even if you decide to continue using Powerpoint and you don’t have to hire a designer!

1. Don’t be afraid of space.

This means that you don’t have to fill up the whole slide with text, graphics and photos. Sometimes presentations look too busy and at the end it gets distracting. Try to use more space and less text in your slides.

A slide that is too full and distracting:

Wood types


The same information but letting it breathe:

wood types slide

2. Use good photography and illustrations.

There is plenty of good photography out there to use via stock images or even free. Some good resources for affordable stock photography are Shutterstock.com Istockphoto.com and for free ones: Flickr Creative Commons and Stock.xchng. Try not to overuse it in all your slides and try to keep the same type of images through your presentation, you don’t want to have a cutesy style in some images and then a grungy effect in others. A good presentation keeps the same style from beginning to end.

A great free photo used for this presentation’s cover:

Big heart locket


A poor graphic used for the same presentation:

icon of a guy holding a heart

3. Go beyond Powerpoint.

There are other options available for presentations, try them out, they might make a big sparkle in your next presentation!  Here are some other presentation softwares: Keynote (For Apple users), Prezi (more dynamic presentations), SlideRocket (Modern presentations with tracking analytics).

presentation softwares

4. Be respectful of color.

What I mean is that you have to use the color wisely, don’t overwhelm with too much color and don’t use just black and white (unless of course you are making a point with it). There is a great resource for color palettes called Colourlovers.com. Choose a palette from there and stick to it, try to use to no more than 4 colors overall in your presentation. For your text always use darker colors on light backgrounds and light colors over dark backgrounds, if the picture you are using as background has different colors use a color stripe or shape on top of it to help you have an even background.

 Dark Color slide

Color slide

 5. Use adequate fonts.

There are plenty of fonts to choose from and use in a presentation. Use from 2 to 3 types only. One for headlines and another for main text. Avoid cursive and distracting fonts that are hard to read. Be consistent to your brand. If your company sells computers and has a techy font, avoid using a script font for your presentations.

Fonts that distract

 Use a consistent font(1)

All graphics made by Dari Design Studio


Design Guru / Dariela Cruz, co-founder and Art Director of Dari Design Studio

DarielaProfileDariDesignDariela is an established graphic designer and blogger based in San Diego, California. She worked as a Junior Designer, Senior Designer and Art Director in the corporate world in Venezuela, Mexico City and Los Angeles for 15 years. After that she co-founded Folklore Eye -A paper arts company- with her sister Dariana in 2006 and then rebranded to Dari Design Studio in 2010 which now provides more ample services for the graphic design industry.

Since 2007 Dariela keeps a personal bilingual (Spanish-English) blog: Mami Talks, where she captures the family life, culture, and inspirations with an original and unique touch.

Connect with Dariela:

Twitter: @daridesign  / @darielacruz

Facebook: DariDesign and MamiTalks

Design Blog: Dari Design Studio Blog

Lifestyle Blog: Mami Talks

Linkedin: Dariela Cruz


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