how to make powerpoint slides

Presentation Design Quick Tip #1 - C is for Contrast

So let's get right into this whole presentation design thing. Remember that you will learn about creating professional looking PowerPoint or Keynote slides by applying four basic design principles…CRAP. This week, we will cover the C, which stands for contrast. Please check out the video or skip down and read more on this topic.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Design Quick Tip #1 - C is for Contrast

Video length 1:32 (Click CC for captions or read transcript below) First...

Special thanks to Powtoon (http://powtoon.com) for their amazing web app to make this video possible.

UPDATE SEPT. 2, 2016:

Special thanks to Robin Williams, the author of the Non-Designers Design Book for inspiring this series of videos. It was her who came up with CRAP, and I'm lucky enough that she is ok with me talking about it with you.

Why contrast is important

Contrast is important because it makes it easier for your audience to see what is important on your slides and what is less important. This helps you, the presenter, to clearly show the audience what you want to emphasise. Contrast can help you prevent the audience from guessing or misinterpreting what they see. You get to remain in control of the experience.

How to use contrast

There are two ways you can use contrast. I've shown you one way in the video by using text. Text is the easiest to work with because it's so simple to adjust the size to create emphasis.

The second way is use objects like pictures or other graphics. If you wanted to compare two similar things, making one bigger will show the audience which one is more significant.

So start applying contrast to your presentation slides and notice how much easier it will be to draw your audience's attention to specific things you want to highlight.

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Next time I'll be talking about how to use the second design concept from CRAP… Repetition.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Thanks.

Carl

 

Transcript:

Hi I'm Carl Kwan.

This is Part 1 in a four part series on presentation design using CRAP. In this video you'll learn about contrast. Contrast, by definition, is an obvious difference between objects.

Contrast in your presentation slides is important because it helps your audience identify what is important on your slides and what is less important. It's a process that happens naturally because the human brain processes larger things as more significant and smaller things as less significant.

When it comes to presentations, the easiest way to apply contrast is in your presentation text.

Let's have a look at an example.

As you can see, the text is the same size with no contrast whatsoever. Your job as the presenter is to help the audience quickly understand what is important to them and not to make them guess. So here is contrast applied to the most important content on the slide. In this case, it's the title followed by the subtitle.

An additional benefit is that this also helps your audience to easily see what's on your slide.

You can also use this technique for any data or numbers you want to point out to your audience.

There you go.

That was Presentation Design Quick Tip #1 - C is for Contrast.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below this video.

Thanks for watching and talk to you again soon.

Bye bye.

Tutorial - How to use a picture as a PowerPoint background [VIDEO]

As promised, here's the tutorial on using a picture as a PowerPoint background. This also works for anyone like me who uses Apple's Keynote. Why should you do this?

Well, if your slides stand out from normal presentation slides, your presentation will stick better in the audience's mind.

In the video below, you'll see the following...

  1. Slides from a real presentation that I fixed and added pictures for the backgrounds.
  2. You'll see the Before, then I’ll show you how to get from the Before to the After.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to view or right-click to download the video: Tutorial - How to use a picture as a PowerPoint background

Video length 3:48 The steps I took can be done in PowerPoint or Keynote. The slides in the example presentation were all made in PowerPoint for Mac. Don't worry, as pretty much everything in the PC version of PowerPoint does the same thing.

So here are the six steps I took:

  1. Alignment is a fast way to make a presentation more professional looking; use a left-align as your default to avoid design faults.
  2. Use pictures that are relevant to your topic; make sure the picture size is the same or bigger than your slide size.
  3. If a picture doesn’t have good colours, change it to black and white.
  4. Make your titles bigger to create contrast and to help the audience see better.
  5. Don't trap text in a bordered text box... Set it free!
  6. Use a black box set at 75% transparency to use as a background for your text.

And here are the before and after slides from the video with what I did to change the slides...

This first one has a core design principal...

Tutorial - How to use a picture as a presentation slide background.014

This second was has most of what I did...

Tutorial - How to use a picture as a presentation slide background.015

This third one shows how adding a black box can work really well...

Tutorial - How to use a picture as a presentation slide background.016

In number four, it's alignment again...

Tutorial - How to use a picture as a presentation slide background.017

In number five, it's putting together what's been taught...

Tutorial - How to use a picture as a presentation slide background.018

And finally, in six it's the black box once again...

Tutorial - How to use a picture as a presentation slide background.019

I believe anyone can do this. It does take a bit of practice, but if you know some basic techniques like the ones I've shown you here, anyone can get great results.

So go out there and give it a shot! If you want feedback on something you've done, leave a comment below with a link to your file or use the Contact page to get in touch with me.

Thanks and talk to you again soon!

Carl