• Account Services, Blog

  • By Jean-Paul Robertson

    PowerPoint Hacks: Tips For Creating a Knockout Deck

    March 10, 2016 | About a 4 min read

    Account Services, Blog

    PowerPoint Hacks: Tips For Creating a Knockout Deck

    By Jean-Paul Robertson
    March 10, 2016
    About a 4 MIN read


    Big presentation? Time to pull out your PowerPoint skills. But how do you build a deck that swings like an MVP and effectively communicates your message like a first base coach?

    Don’t sweat – here are some tips and considerations to help you hit a home run with your next PowerPoint deck.

    Fill Your Roster With Good Graphics

    If you have the resources available, use a good graphic design program such as Adobe Photoshop. Otherwise, use professional stock photography.

    Here are excellent, free sites to visit for high-quality photos:

    Or there are paid options as well:

    Utilizing a colored or textured background on your slides?
    You can add images with a transparent background so everything looks seamless. Use images formatted as a PNG or GIF for this purpose.

    Be Mindful Of Your Fonts

    Free, creative fonts that you’ve downloaded from the web can be great, until the computer that you’re presenting on doesn’t have them! So how can you make sure that your fonts look as awesome during the PowerPoint deck as they do on your computer?


    Tip #1: If you don’t need to make edits day of, save the PowerPoint deck as a .pdf file type. This will make sure that all of your fonts look the same on whatever computer you’re on, regardless of if the computer has the fonts in their library.

    Tip #2: Need to possibly make changes up until the moment of the presentation? Keep to the fonts that Microsoft has installed on all of their Office suites. A list of these fonts can be found here. By doing so, you’ll make sure that the font doesn’t go to the default font (Arial) and mess up the look of all of your hard work.

    Harness the Power of Slide Master


    Have an element like a logo or text box that you include on multiple slides? Keep it looking consistent through your PowerPoint deck by using slide master!

    Find more information on creating and editing a slide master here.

    Utilize PowerPoint Themes


    PowerPoint themes help to create a unified, designed look across your slides. From colors to the layout of copy, backgrounds, fonts, and effects, themes are an easy way to bring cohesion to your deck.

    It’s good to consider your company or client’s brand colors, look and feel when choosing a theme. Microsoft comes with some stock themes, but you can also download free themes from Microsoft here.

    Can’t find a theme you like, or want a custom one? You can also have a graphic designer craft one for you and/or your business.

    Make Smart Moves With Transitions

    You can keep it interesting by adding transitions between slides.

    Keep it simple. Transitions can make that boring move from one slide to the next more appealing, but too many different types of transitions can easily become a distraction.

    Our recommendation? Choose 1-3 transitions for your deck.

    Get Animated

    How your information appears on the screen can help with how it is digested by your audience.

    Have you ever watched a presentation where the copy was appearing incrementally on a slide? Or an image or text moved from one part of the screen to the next? Those were done using animations.

    Just like transitions, be mindful not to overdo it! Animations can add impact to key ideas or to help better communicate information, but if everything is animated then nothing stands out.

    Consider The Big Screen


    Keep the focus on your image in photo-centric slides by adding an empty black background.

    You may be using a 16×9 presentation, but your projector only does 4:3 ratio, giving your presentation a letterbox feel. If you place your images on a black background, the letterbox goes away, and your images are the complete focus.

    Make An Impact Right Off The Bat

    There you have it! If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll have less to worry about when it comes time to present. And if you need any help with additional design work, we have a crew of graphic designers ready to step up to the plate!

    Jean-Paul Robertson

    Whether pulling together presentations, PDFs, or multimedia productions, our Graphic Designer is Master of the Mac, doling out graphic designs like nobody's business. From high-tech to Star Trek, Jean-Paul's technical wizardry is second-to-none. He’s the guy who can get your technical difficulty to practically disappear just by walking into the room. Maybe he’s a Mac-gician?

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