Can the slide design of your PowerPoint presentation mislead your audience?
Yes, it can.
And nothing can be more frustrating for the audience than being misled by the presenter.
Take a look at the following slide:
The slide looks eerily empty because of its poor design.
There is a lot of negative space below the 4 bullet points, which might mislead the audience into believing that there may be more points to come.
The large vacant space on the right looks like your reserved some space for a picture, but forgot to add one in the end.
Overall the slide looks out of balance and empty.
Is there a fix to this?
Yes. Let us try to improve the slide design in a step by step way.
Step 1: Clarify the number of points to be expected on the slide
Rewrite the slide title to indicate the number of points as shown below:
Now, the audience knows that there are only 4 points to be covered.
Even the bullet points are numbered from 1 to 4, reinforcing the slide title.
Step 2: Rebalance the slide design
By adding more space between the lines, increasing the font size and moving the text to the centre of the slide, we avoid the uncomfortable negative space on the slide. Take a look at this example:
A better alternative would be to make the bullet points stand out better with an improved design like this:
Now, the slide looks far more balanced and complete.
Rebalance your picture based slides:
The principle of balance applies to PowerPoint slides with pictures as well. Take a look at the following slide:
There is an uncomfortable negative space on the right side of the slide, which might mislead the audience.
A simple solution is to increase the size of the pictures and move them to the center of the slide as shown below:
Now, the slide looks more balanced and professional.
Rebalance your diagram slides:
Take a look at this PowerPoint slide with a timeline graphic:
The diagram occupies just the top half of the slide, leaving the bottom half empty, thereby misleading the audience. Now, take a look at the difference it makes, when you move the diagram to the center of the slide:
The slide looks far more balanced and professional looking.
These are just a few simple tweaks based on the slide design principle called ‘Balance’.
However, the result of these simple tweaks is really significant.
So, why don’t you to analyze your current slides and check them for balance. You might be surprised with what you see.
Want to learn more techniques to improve the look and feel of your slides?