9 things to do before designing a presentation

Before you open PowerPoint and start designing your presentation, you need to do a couple of things to make your presentation work out. In this article, I will share with you 9 things to do before designing your PowerPoint presentation.

1. Give yourself some time to think about the topic.

If you start directly by creating the slides, it will be harder to come up with something that you like. If you spend too much time working on your presentation without giving any thought to what you want to include first, you may create something that doesn’t satisfy you or even end up deleting all of it!

2. Start creating your presentation with a sheet of paper and a pencil.

As Garr Reynolds says, sketching and analog planning are the best ways to create something. There is no better tool to improve your creative thinking than a pencil. As John Cleese said, “I don’t know where our ideas come from, but for sure they don’t come from our laptops!”. So, start by drawing a storyboard on a sheet of paper. Draw one rectangle for every slide, and start writing down your ideas for each one. Another great idea is to use sticky notes and put them on the wall, with each sticky note representing one slide of your presentation.

3. Do thorough research.

To create a high-quality PowerPoint presentation, you want to make sure that you know exactly what information you want to include in your presentation. In addition, all of the information in your presentation should be relevant to the topic. To do your research, you can use your previous presentations on the same or a similar topic. You can also use Google to find any relevant data you need for your presentation.

4. Define your target audience.

The more you know about your target audience, the higher your chances of creating a presentation that speaks directly to them. In addition, by knowing exactly who you’re talking to, you can build a better rapport with your audience and achieve the goal you set for your presentation, whether that is to make them understand your point of view on a particular topic or sell them a product. What’s more, knowing your target audience will allow you to personalize your presentation to what they will resonate with the most – which means so much more than just throwing in your company’s logo on the corner of each slide!

5. Define the goal of your presentation.

What do you want to achieve with it? The goal of your presentation will determine the way you structure the content. Being aware of your goal is critical to your presentation’s success. Constantly checking in with your goal will help you filter through all the information and delete anything irrelevant.

6. Include only relevant information.

You want to ensure that your presentation puts your point across and aligns with your goal. You may find a lot of information on the topic of your presentation and relate it in many different ways. But to make your presentation successful, focus only on what is relevant and what brings you closer to achieving your goal.

7. Make a clear thesis statement for your presentation.

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the global market, he used a short slogan to promote it “Apple reinvents the phone.” This powerful statement gave people a clear understanding of what they could expect from the iPhone. This was the topic of Steve Jobs’ presentation. He made sure to repeat it a few times during his presentation. As a result, this short statement was then used all over the news, blog posts, and articles. So, think about the idea you want to put in your audience’s minds and create a clear and concise message to sum it up in a few words.

8. Define the logistics of your presentation.

Will the presenter deliver the presentation in person, or will it be sent via email for the recipients to read on their own on their computer screens? If the presentation is going to be given in person, how big will the room be? Defining this is fundamental as it will determine the form of the texts displayed on the slides. A presentation given in person should have little text, ideally in the form of single words or short phrases. Some of the best presentations contain no text at all, only photographs and images. Presentations that need to be sent for individual reading or print call for a different approach. The texts have to be longer and packed with content. If the presenter is not there, the texts will have to tell the whole story. This will also determine the text size on the slides, among other things. A large hall and an auditorium of several hundred require the font size to be at least 28 points for the standard 16:9 PowerPoint format. In a small room, the 14-point font will be enough.

9. Start writing the text for each slide.

Keep in mind to make your sentences short. Ensure that the text you include in your presentation is clear, concise, and gets your message across.

After you’ve completed all of these steps, you will finally be ready to create a high-quality, professional presentation. By defining who you’re talking to, what is the goal of your presentation, and what information you want to include in your presentation in advance, it will now be much easier to start writing its content. So, instead of jumping straight into it, take some time to prepare! It will save you time and frustration, making the process much more efficient.

And if want to learn more about how to start creating great presentations here’s a couple of my freebies:






Piotr Garlej