The use the slide is basically as a presentation tool, not the presentation itself. Therefore, you need to differentiate between the role of the slides as a tool and your role as a presenter.
As a tool, a slide is needed to explain something that would be quite difficult if you have to be explained with words. It is like the popular idiom that says an image can represent a thousand words. Slide also helps provide a summary of what has been presented, so it is understood by the audience more easily. In addition, through the slides, you can give an illustration of a trend, comparison, and the emphasis that are rather difficult if you have to use words.
There are some basic principles that must be met when making slides. If this is done, then the slide will carry out its function as a tool, not as a nuisance that distracts the audience’s attention from the presentation itself. Here are those principles:
The simple and right slide is the best. With a slide like this, you have much flexibility to give explanations. The more complicated a slide, the audience will need more extra time just to understand the slide. Your difficulty to explain the slide could also be such a presentation confounding.
2. Need or not?
For each sheet of slides that will be created, ask yourself whether the slide is necessary? Is the slide and the other one can be merged? Does this slide can be replaced with a short explanation to the audience? Consider these questions to make the slides that are truly effective and efficient.
3. The background and font readability
With a diverse background of the slides that you can use and thousands of fonts that are available, there are times when you are tempted to experiment with various options. It will be okay if a combination of background and font used is readable by the audience. It is suggested for you to use a dark blue background with yellow font with good contrast reasons and not quickly tiring eyes. You can also use a light-colored background with dark text.
For font selection, it is recommended to only use two fonts in a slide, and even in your overall presentation. The more fonts you use, the more tired the audience sees them.
Besides, too many fonts can make the audience confused about the consistency of your presentation and the relationship between one slide with the next slide. A good font for presentation is the one that does not use a lot of decoration on the end of the letter, such as: Arial, Verdana, Trebuchet. Decorative fonts can be used as a slide title or supporting texts which are not the body text.
4. Maximum seven lines of text
If you explain some of the items in the format of bullet points, make sure there are not more than seven in a slide show. A large amount will make the font smaller, so it is difficult to read.
5. Pictures, graphs, and diagrams
In the presentation, you will rely on your own presentation skills, assisted by the presentation slides as a companion. The great power of slide is it can explain something with pictures. Indeed, a proper image can represent a thousand words if it should be explained. Therefore, take advantage and use pictures, graphs and diagrams.
The images you use in the slides should be relevant to the content. By using the images, do not distract your audiences’ attention when they are confused to relate the images that appear with the content of your presentation.
Using graphic itself also needs attention. There are different kinds of graphs starting from the bars, pie charts, line, and their combination. The selection of the correct graph will give a huge impact on your listeners to understand the content of your presentation.
Bar graph is the most common and most suitable graph to explain the growth within a certain time, while pie charts are suitable to explain the comparison of the proportion. The line graph illustrates the trend for comparison of multiple items at once.
Meanwhile, the diagram is very helpful when you explain the steps of work processes and their relationship. You can use this to facilitate the audience to understand the difficult part of the presentation.
6. Use quite color combination
Another advantage of slide is that you can use different color options. Use several colors that have quite contrast, and are consistent in your slides. Do not use different colors on every slide because it is very annoying and makes you look unprofessional.