13 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Create Engaging Presentations

13 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Create Engaging Presentations

Written by:
Chloe West

Sep 17, 2020
powerpoint presentation - header

Have to create a PowerPoint presentation and dread it? Your presentations don’t always have to be dry, boring and limited. With these PowerPoint presentation tips, you’ll be able to put together a dynamic and engaging presentation.

Let’s start from the very beginning, before you even open up your presentation tool.

  1. Start by writing out your talking points.
  2. Get creative with your slide design.
  3. Keep your design consistent throughout.
  4. Make your presentation interactive.
  5. Add animation.
  6. Put together seamless transitions.
  7. Use text creatively.
  8. Align objects with the grid.
  9. Create non-linear presentations.
  10. Place shapes strategically.
  11. Crop images into shapes.
  12. Utilize the presenter notes.
  13. Use a dynamic presentation software.


1. Start by writing out your talking points.

The first thing you need to do, before even considering your presentation design, is write out your talking points and outline your speech.

Pay attention to popular and engaging presentation structures so you know the framework you want to follow throughout your talk. This will also make it easier to create an outline that focuses on each of your talking points.

Once you’ve put together an outline that represents your topic and touches on each important element you need to cover, you can start searching for a PowerPoint presentation template that will fit your topic.

Or, you can start browsing through Visme’s presentation templates below.

Presentation Templates

Create a stunning presentation online quickly and easily by getting started with one of Visme’s premade presentation templates. Share content with your audience visually. Find a free presentation template that you can easily customize for your own business.

2. Get creative with your PowerPoint presentation slide design.

When it comes to putting your content onto your PowerPoint presentation slides, you want to be sure your slides are clean, easy to read and engaging.

This means you should try out a variety of different creative themes. And while we have a post with over 100 creative presentation ideas you should check out, here are a few ways to really make your slideshow stand out.


Use more design elements than photos.

powerpoint presentation - template with design elements
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

While a photo collage or stock image background tend to be PowerPoint presentation go-to’s, we’re trying to empower you to do something different!

Take a page out of this template’s book by taking advantage of different design elements. Here, we see a solid colored background, shapes, icons and text decorating the slides of this presentation.

And sure, we do still see a photo added to emphasize the point on one of the slides, but it’s used as a design element rather than the foundation of the slide.


Use a bold color scheme.

powerpoint presentation - template with bold colors
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Your color palette matters, and using a more bold and bright color scheme is a great way to grab audience attention and make yourself seem more serious about your topic. 

A more powerful color scheme makes an impression on your viewers, helping them to further see you as an authority on the information you’re sharing.

This presentation template uses a bold blue and orange color scheme to stand out. To get an idea for a color palette for your next presentation, take a look at these 50 combinations.


3. Keep your design consistent throughout.

We just shared a couple of different presentation templates available with our platform in the last point. What do you notice?

Here’s another example for you to take a look at.

powerpoint presentation - template with cohesive design
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

All of the slides have a similar look and feel, creating a cohesive presentation deck that looks intentional and professionally designed.

Imagine if you were sitting in a presentation that looked something like this.

powerpoint presentation - cluttered design example

This looks messy and cluttered. It’s an amateur-looking design, and your audience will be confused about how these slides make any sense together.

Because keeping your design consistent is an essential part of creating an engaging presentation, we’ve also created a few different presentation themes with hundreds of slides that all follow the same design theme.

Here’s an example of our Modern presentation theme below with over 900 different slides so that you can find a variety of slides perfect for your next slide deck.

powerpoint presentation - modern theme
Customize this presentation theme and make it your own!Edit and Download

4. Make your presentation interactive.

One way to create a really dynamic presentation that will keep your audience engaged and create a memorable experience is to make your presentation interactive.

While we’ve covered 17 ways to create an interactive presentation before, let’s go over how you can do this using a tool like Visme.

PowerPoint is widely known as the go-to presentation software, but there are so many alternatives that can lead you to a better solution and a better end result.

In Visme’s presentation maker, you can easily add links to any object in your presentation that lead to web pages, other slides within your presentation or create popup or hover effects with other objects on your slide.

powerpoint presentation - add links in visme's dashboard

Simply click on the element that you want to add a link to, head to the Actions menu, then select which type of interactive link you want to add.

You’re also able to create interactive maps and data visualizations that allow you or your viewers to hover over each element in your visual to see more information.

Here’s an example of an interactive map that you can easily create to showcase more information in a more digestible format.

Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Visme also allows you to embed external content like videos, polls, forms, surveys, quizzes and more. Plus, there are several third-party integrations you can use to embed and connect even more interactive content.


5. Add animation.

Another way to help your slides stand out is by adding in animated elements. Try to incorporate enter and exit effects for various objects on your slides to grab your audience’s attention as new slides fly onto the screen.

Here’s a great example of how this could look.

powerpoint presentation - venn diagram slide example
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Or, if you put together your PowerPoint presentation with a different tool – like Visme, wink wink – you can gain access to even more animated elements.

Visme provides users with fully customizable animated illustrations, icons, shapes and more that can have their size, colors and animation speed updated to fit your needs.

powerpoint presentation - elements available in visme

These illustrations can be perfect for adding even more depth to your presentation slides, especially when it comes to your title slides and section headers to help break up your presentation.

Here’s a great example of how this could look.

powerpoint presentation - animated template
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

6. Put together seamless transitions.

Instead of having one slide disappear for another to appear in full, why not try out some creative transitions?

It’s important for us to note that if you find a transition you like, you should stick with it throughout your presentation. This goes back to our point about cohesive design. You want everything to flow well.

This means that you don’t want to throw a ton of different slide designs, animation types and transitions into the mix, or you’ll end up with a cluttered and hard-to-follow presentation deck.

Visme’s unique transitions offer not just slide transitions, but a way to seamlessly transition all of your elements onto the screen as well.

Take a look at this presentation below to see how this looks. Click through the slides to see them transition.

Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

To get this effect, simply choose one of the following transitions that also show the slide elements following suit after the background appears.

powerpoint presentation - transition options in visme

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7. Use text creatively.

There are hundreds of fonts to choose from, so how do you know the best ones to use and how to make them stand out on your slides?

First, you can check out our guide to font pairing to understand some basics for choosing the right fonts for your slides.

For example, make sure you’re using 3 fonts max, and that each has a specific role in your presentation, as you see below.

powerpoint presentation - font pairing guide

Once you’ve chosen your preferred fonts, whether you look through our selections of top fonts, modern fonts, pretty fonts or elsewhere, start considering how you can use them creatively in your presentation design.

Pro Tip: It’s important to remember that in a presentation, you won’t have many words on the screen. So you want to make sure the text that you do include focuses on your main point of each slide and grabs attention.

Let’s cover a few ways that you can use text creatively and really make your slides stand out to your viewers.


Surround your text with shapes.

powerpoint presentation - template with text and shapes
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

If you really want to make certain words pop off the slide, add a shape behind them like you see in this presentation about dinosaurs above.

While this is more of an informational presentation, this tactic can also be used for business-related presentations as well. 

Simply search through Visme’s library of shapes for something that matches your theme and set it behind your content.


Place your text on the white space of a photo.

powerpoint presentation - template with white space for text
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Try positioning your photos strategically and utilizing pictures with more white space than you normally would. This helps you find the perfect spot to place your text so that it’s easy for your audience to read while still being visual.

In the above presentation template example, these minimalistic nature photos are the perfect backdrop for the text, providing tons of white space while still offering texture and visual elements.


Use color overlays.

powerpoint presentation - template with color overlays
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Another great way to really make your words pop is by adding a translucent color overlay on top of your background photo.

Incorporating a photo into your presentation slide helps create more depth and visualize the words you’re saying, but you still want to be able to have your text be legible throughout the slide deck.


8. Align objects with the grid.

When using a tool like Visme to create your presentation, you can turn on a grid that allows you to ensure your design elements are properly aligned and perfectly symmetrical.

To access the grid in Visme’s editor, click the hamburger menu, then go to View Options, then toggle the Show grid option to turn it on.

powerpoint presentation - grid options in visme

You can set the size you want your grid to be to strategically align elements around your slide as well as set how opaque the grid lines are.


9. Create non-linear presentations.

You don’t have to go from slide to slide in your PowerPoint presentation. In fact, there are endless options for how you could navigate between slides when presenting.

Whether you let the audience decide the direction of your presentation by offering them different options to choose from, you create a navigation bar for your presentation or you allow yourself to determine the flow as you go by adding a progress bar, you have tons of options.

Here’s a great example of what your presentation could look like with a navigation menu within your slides.

powerpoint presentation - navigational template
Add your own customizable menu to this template!Edit and Download

10. Place shapes strategically.

Don’t underestimate the power of shapes in your presentation design. Or any design, really. 

Using various geometric shapes or even shapes you may not have heard of before to draw attention to various elements on the screen is a great design practice.

Our Creative presentation theme – with over 300 different slide layouts – is a great example of using shapes strategically to add design elements and emphasize various parts of your content.

powerpoint presentation - creative theme
Customize this presentation theme and make it your own!Edit and Download

Visme has a library full of different types of shapes that can be used in diagrams, as backgrounds to icons, to frame text and so much more.

Put together a set of guidelines for which shapes you plan to use in your presentation and stick to no more than two or three different shapes throughout. While you can resize them based on your needs, you don’t want to clutter your slides.


11. Crop images into shapes.

Back with the shapes! Another creative way to bring shapes into your designs is to crop photos into different geometric shapes.

The presentation template below is the perfect example for how you can visually incorporate these cropped images into your slide design.

powerpoint presentation - template with geometric shapes
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

It’s easy to do this with a tool like Visme. Simply drag and drop your choice of photo from the photo library in the left sidebar onto your slide, click it, choose Frames in the navigation bar and choose the one that fits your design.

Take a look at a few of the frames available in our software.

powerpoint presentation - image frames available in visme


12. Utilize presenter notes.

Want to really give a good presentation? It’s important not to read off the slide and actually speak directly to your audience throughout your PowerPoint presentation.

One great way to keep yourself on task and ensure you don’t skip over any important information is to take advantage of presenter notes available to you when up on stage or in front of your audience presenting.

Visme has dynamic and comprehensive presenter notes built in that help ease the pressure of presenting.

Take a look below at what you can expect to see on your screen when presenting – all while your audience only sees the slide you’re showcasing.

powerpoint presentation - use presenter notes

Ready to create your own presentation in minutes?

  • Add your own text, images and more
  • Customize colors, fonts and everything else
  • Choose from hundreds of slide designs and templates
  • Add interactive buttons and animations

Sign up. It's free.

You get access to the time of your presentation, the current slide, the slide you can expect next to help with the flow of your slideshow and the notes you’ve prepared for your talking points.


13. Use a dynamic presentation software.

The last way to create an amazing and engaging PowerPoint presentation is to use a dynamic presentation software that isn’t PowerPoint.

I know what you’re thinking – how can you deliver a PowerPoint by using a different software?

With a tool like Visme, you’re able to both import existing PowerPoints to edit and spice them up and export editable PowerPoints to present offline and make any last minute changes.

Learn more about turning your Vismes into PowerPoint presentations in this quick tutorial video.


Start improving your PowerPoint presentations with Visme.

Ready to start creating PowerPoint presentations with Visme? Sign up for a business account today and improve your brand and the presentations you share with your audience. Start creating engaging and interactive presentations that your viewers will love.

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    About the Author

    Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

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