Design reflecting delivery

Posted in Engagement on 13 May 2015 By Victoria Creswell, Presentations Manager

Did you know that sight is our most dominant sense?

A good visual impression is vital.

In business, a presentation should always ‘look’ as expert as the presenter sounds. This will maximise the delivery of the information being given.

Recent research shows that an audience presented with visuals during a presentation recalled 65% of the information, three days after the event.

When the same information was given verbally – just 10% of information was recalled.

So, here are some great tips for maximising your design and delivery when presenting:

1. Echoing speech

A good presenter naturally changes the pitch, volume and rhythm of their voice. Design can echo this speech pattern in the presentation. One example is the use of CAPITAL LETTERS, which in copy is seen as SHOUTING. A bold font or one in italics can also lend emphasis, without having to SHOUT.

2. Emphasis

The use of hierarchy emphasises key information – large font in bold at the top of the slide is going to have greater ‘volume’ than content that is typed in a smaller font underneath.

3. Text

Text should be kept to a minimum. No-one wants to look at a slide full of words. An audience can read more quickly than the presenter can present.

4. Pace

Designers often refer to ‘white space’. This is the absence of text and graphics on a page - or on a slide. White space provides visual breathing space for the eye and allows information to be broken down into succinct sections. This brings a sense of pace, and enables a speaker to present information in bite size chunks, which audiences are far more likely to remember.

5. Flow

The flow of a deck should be considered as a whole. If a number of slides are presented with the same colour background and then one is introduced with a different colour background, this will immediately draw attention and emphasise the content of the slide. Think about which parts of a presentation are most important and how you can bring them out. 

6. Pause

Dividers can act as a pause in a presentation. This allows the audience to reflect on what has been said in one section before the speaker starts on the next. It should also lead to better retention of information.

7. Clever tech

The advantage of giving a presentation on screen is that the transition from one slide to another, or animation within a slide, can play its part in following pace. Too much animation however can be distracting and slow the delivery of the presentation down.

8. Length

It is worth considering your audience and the length of time you have with them. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to stay within 25 slides. Any longer and the audience may start to get anxious about the time they need to invest in you. You can always give additional information as an Appendix. 

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