3 Tips to Spring Clean Your Slides

It’s officially spring! And in honor of spring cleaning, it’s time to dust off those old PowerPoint slides and create a fresh, consistent, and digestible deck that helps your audience easily follow the story of your presentation.

Here are some quick tips you can use to give your presentations a fresh new look:

Create a Reference Deck

When your reference deck is nearly the same as your presentation deck, it means you’ve likely jam-packed your slides with too many details. This is sure to overwhelm your audience with so much content that they leave with more confusion than clarity.

  • Tip: Instead, create two versions of your deck – one high-level guide for your presentation, and one reference guide with all the nitty-gritty details that your audience can refer to on their own.
  • Bonus Tip: Need to keep everything in one deck? Create an appendix that includes more detailed information at the end. This will keep what you present to your audience clean and concise.

Apply the Guide of 5

Slides that have too many bullet points can distract from your main message. Audiences better digest information if it’s short and to the point. Remember, your audience should focus on you, not your slides.

  • Tip: To keep your audience engaged, apply the Guide of 5. Limit each of your slides to 5 bullet points, with 5 words or less per bullet.
  • Bonus Tip: Each slide should focus on one core message, so make sure your bullet points contribute to the key takeaway.

Use Color Purposefully

Using colors purposefully is a quick way to cut down on visual clutter. Staying consistent throughout your deck helps to tie your story together and highlight important information. 

  • Tip: If possible, stick to just 3 to 4 color fonts in a full slide deck to keep things consistent. This will make your content cleaner and help your audience follow your story.
  • Bonus Tip: Different colors can also be used to quickly indicate what is most important to an audience. Consider what the color might signify (i.e., green = good, red = bad) and use them consistently within the approved colors in a template.

Applying these techniques will spruce up your slides so that your PowerPoints don’t just look cleaner – they also better support your message. Ah, what a refreshing way to start the spring!

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