99webinar: The basics of PowerPoint design

Sasha Manusama

PowerPoint is often the forgotten child in the Microsoft suite. These days, many designers turn to PDFs (hello, Photoshop!) or Keynote as their go-to presentation wizard. But savvy designers know better than to neglect the large amount of clients who still depend on PowerPoint to present their important proposals.

So with that in mind, we held a PowerPoint webinar to dig deeper into what the application is all about and how to create truly original presentation designs! The session was hosted by the talented Platinum designer, nevergohungry.

Read through the highlights below, then watch the full webinar at the bottom of the page for even more tips and tricks to make your next PowerPoint design shine!

1. The anatomy of a PowerPoint presentation

When it comes to PowerPoint, there are 4 main slides to consider: cover slides, content slides, bumper slides and closing slides.

Cover slides

Cover slides are important when it comes to presentation. It’s your first chance to engage your audience. This is also where you should introduce the company’s visual identity and values.

The content of a cover slide really depends on what you’re trying to present – if it is an introduction on a company, the company logo is usually enough. But if the content is more advanced, you should consider inserting logo, title and info about the speaker.

Content slides

Content slide is the meatier part of the whole presentation. This is where all the important info rest, so it is crucial to figure out how much information will fit on each slide.

You should also consider variables from client to client – some clients insist on including logo on each slide, while others want their slogan or a disclaimer inserted to the bottom of each slide. Whatever their requirements are, you should take them into consideration when creating a visually-pleasing presentation.

Bumper slides and closing slides

To find out how to utilize bumper and closing slides, jump to 3:40 in the webinar below!

2. Images, fonts and animations

powerpoint1

Images

An image is an important component to building PowerPoint – it can be super-effective in breaking up overwhelming content while simultaneously engaging audience.

This can sometimes mean you’re heavily reliant on the client to provide you with good pictures. But if that’s not the case, don’t fret – reach out to the world wide web. Jump to the webinar at 5:38 to see nevergohungry’s list of free high-quality stock image sites.

Just make sure you double – even triple! – check the image licensing you want to use to ensure you’re not stepping on anybody’s toes. For the low-down on working with stock images, check out our stock image webinars!

Fonts

Deciding on a good font is a critical step in piecing together your presentation. Open dialogue with your client is beneficial – ask important questions about where they will be presenting and the reason why you need this information.

For example, what people see in the presentation from the front of the room will be very different to what’s seen by those sitting at the back of the room, so consider your elements carefully.

Animations

While clients generally avoid animations, they remain a fairly popular element in a PowerPoint presentation.

The overarching message by nevergohungry is to really consider the presentation design – do you really need animations? Clients generally use a PowerPoint presentation for informational purposes and as a marketing tool – so generally they would want their presentation to be as straight-forward as possible and won’t want to clutter the main message.

3. Saving your PowerPoint presentation

cover

Which file types will work best for you? There are four main file types to consider – .PPT, .PPTX, .PDF and .JPG (or any other image file extensions). 

.PPT

This file type is generally outdated, but it is still a viable source file. It doesn’t support custom layouts. Please avoid it in general (unless your clients really beg you to use it!).

.PPTX

This type is not compatible with older Microsoft suite. They generally save into smaller file size compared to .PPT. It is a more reliable source to store data in the presentation. This file type is highly recommended by nevergohungry. 

Files done in PowerPoint 2007 or greater should be saved as .PPTX; doing otherwise will result in unnecessary file sizes (eg. bloated size, difficult to open, etc).

.PDF

This file type is a singular file – easy to browse, even easier to email and you don’t even have to have the PowerPoint program to open it!

.JPG (or any other image file extensions)

One particular benefit of the image file type is having screenshots of your slide designs. With image files, you can save one image file for the entire presentation, or save one image file for each slide design. This is great to present snapshots of your work to your clients.

4. Learn more with our PowerPoint webinar

Want to know how to save your PowerPoint presentation as an image file? Jump to 16:20 in the webinar for nevergohungry’s protip. 

For more handy hints on designing for PowerPoint, including embedding fonts and how to save your PowerPoint file in its native file source, scroll below to watch the webinar (broken in to two parts):

Additional resources

Creative exercises

Related articles

Free high-quality stock image sites*

*Disclaimer: Always check the image licensing first before proceeding!

About 99webinar

At 99designs, we always strive for quality designs. We believe there’s no better way to achieve this than helping our designers thrive, and get access to the best tricks of the trade. So we’ve created a few series of webinars that delve deeper into design categories and products. See more of our webinars!

The author

Sasha Manusama
Sasha Manusama

Sasha is part of the Designer Marketing team, based in Melbourne, Australia. Aside from developing content that helps 99designers to upskill and have fun designing, she also provides support for the Indonesian community. She was born in Indonesia, before moving to Melbourne at the age of 13. When not procrastinating, she likes swimming, writing and cooking.

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