Presenting Presentation Essentials
Year-end meetings, planning sessions, product roll-outs – this is the time of year when companies are preparing and sharing lots of information with internal and external audiences alike. And all utilize executive presentations to help tell their story while looking to excite and engage their audience.
Of those surveyed, 70% of employed Americans believe giving captivating presentations is a crucial ability to be successful in work(1). And, surprisingly, almost 66% of presenters actually designed their own presentations without outsourced help, or any design background, taking more than 8 hours to complete a presentation. They said their presentations were visually focused, predominantly using stock photos(2). Only a small percentage of the speakers were using original graphics, illustrations or even their brand colors in their presentations – presentation essentials! For many, the design of the slide deck is an afterthought as as nearly 26% of speakers struggled to find unique visual assets that stood out(2). These practices lead to wasted time, inconsistent look, tone and feel, and degradation of the brand overall. Even worse, they don’t engage an audience in your story.
At Ballyhoo we’re using creative advances in graphic design to help executives make a big impact with their presentations. We’ve partnered with companies to develop compelling visual stories that convey the key messages while creating a memorable experience for the audience. And we know there are various presentation essentials that need to be built into your presentation in just the right amounts to make it pop!
Color can influence an audience’s emotions, psychology and the reception of your message. Color selection is one of the presentation essentials that can dramatically change the effect a visual story has on the audience. Your color palette should reflect the emotion the speaker wants to invoke and the topic or message you want the audience to recall. A key note … consistency with brand colors helps to build recognition with the audience.
Customized typography helps your message jump off the slide. Creative fonts, effects and sizing can liven up content and convey emotion to the audience to make an impactful impression. Big, bold fonts help call attention to key points. Artistic effects help to underline important messages. Hand-drawn designs are a timeless classic that help add authenticity to your ideas. Typography selection is as individual as your brand personality and should reflect it accordingly.
We’re all familiar with a slide-deck filled with charts and graphs that make your eyes glaze over. Using infographics – a combination of typography, visual design, color and icons – can take your message to a new level. Infographics help break up data into digestible content that engages the audience. Visualizing data and number-heavy content with a twist is the best way to appeal to an audience who is used to all the videos, animation and GIFs that populate their screens daily.
Visual icons are a great way to add interest to a presentation. Icons can be created to represent your corporate concept and brand, helping to reinforce the message. Rather than just a bullet point, an icon can help give your message some personality. Easily identifiable symbols help your message transcend language barriers as well. And bonus – iconography is processed faster than other types of content and can improve recall!
Using creative photography can be extremely effective, especially when you move away from impersonal stock photos. Authentic imagery with skewed perspectives or humor help the audience retain the message or a specific slide well after the presentation ends. Impactful images of real life or real people grab the audience’s attention and affect their emotions, leading to greater retention and recall.
Another option for photography is the cinemagraph. These are images that contain parts which move, allowing you to bring focus to the most important part of your message. Cinemagraphs bridge storytelling and compelling visuals while capitalizing on how captivating video can be. They can be a great defense against wandering attention when used at the right time in a presentation.
Along with a move away from stock photography is a resurgence of custom graphics and illustration. Custom graphics are presentation essentials that help you tell exactly the story you want without having to compromise your message. Your brand individuality and personality can shine when there is no risk of your artwork showing up in another company’s presentation.You brand truly stands on its’ own.
While it may seem counter to our previous advice, minimalistic design gives your presentation a huge advantage over the sensory overload of information to which we’re accustomed. Visuals that keep information concise and on-message while eliminating distractions will garner the highest engagement and retention. The key to this minimalist style is striking the right balance between use of color, typography, iconography and photography.
Our team at Ballyhoo has extensive experience with executive presentation essentials. Our favorite projects are the ones where we can unleash our creativity with our clients. We’d love to talk with you about how your presentation are working for you. Presentations are as essential to your company as good design is to us!