Presentation Design: Beginner’s Guide (Tips, Tools & Templates)

Presentation Design: Beginner’s Guide (Tips, Tools & Templates)

Written by:
Chloe West

An illustration of a person stepping on blocks to create a presentation.

A good presentation doesn’t just rely on presentation design. There’s your public speaking, the ability to connect with your audience and how well you understand your topic.

However that doesn’t mean that presentation design isn’t important. Everything goes hand-in-hand when creating a presentation that will keep your audience engaged and talking about your topic for days to come.

Ready to design a presentation that knocks the audience’s socks off? We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to help you understand the types of presentations, beginner design tips and more.

Let’s dive in.

 

Table of Contents

What is Presentation Design?

What are the Different Types of Presentations?

12 Presentation Design Tips for Beginners

15 Presentation Templates for Various Use Cases

5 Tools for Professional Presentation Design

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What is Presentation Design?

Presentation design focuses on the overall look and feel of your presentation slides. The colors and fonts used, the way design elements are placed on the slides, any interactivity you’ve incorporated and more.

Good presentation design is key to initially reeling in audience attention, then the way you present yourself is the next step in holding it.

Whether you need to command a room or you simply want to have an eye-catching slide deck in a blog post on your website, presentation design is a major part of that. It helps keep your viewer engaged and focused on what you’re saying, and good presentation design is pleasing to the eye.

You don’t want cluttered slides with too much information or boring, black and white slides with Times New Roman font and nothing but bullet points.

Presentation design involves finding the perfect font and color choices, then putting them together with visuals that emphasize important points from your speech.

This is why presentation design is so important. You won’t have a successful presentation unless your slides are visually appealing, and throughout this blog post, we’re going to show you how to create your own stunning presentation.

 

What are the Different Types of Presentations?

There are a variety of different types of presentations and reasons that you would need one. Let’s cover the most common types so you know what to expect and when you might want to consider putting together your own presentation.

Type #1: Educational Presentations

There are a lot of reasons you might need to create a presentation for school – giving a book report, presenting an idea, sharing a hypothesis and study results, etc.

Additionally, teachers have to give presentations all the time, and are always looking for ways to create more engaging slides that keep students interested.

To help ensure your presentation is stunning, try using an educational presentation template like the one below.

An educational presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Type #2: Investor Pitch Decks

This is an incredibly important type of presentation for startups and small businesses. Trying to get funding for your business idea? You’re going to need to create an investor pitch deck.

At Visme, we’ve actually put together the quintessential pitch deck theme with a variety of different slide ideas to help you craft the ideal, completely professional pitch.

An investor pitch deck template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation theme and make it your own!Edit and Download

Type #3: Webinar Presentations

Webinars are popular online presentations used for lead magnets and generating new sales and sign-ups. These tend to be informational presentations that lead to a sales pitch towards the end.

Here’s a great webinar presentation template you can use to get started with your own.

A webinar presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Type #4: Sales Presentations

A sales presentation or sales pitch deck is a type of presentation you might need to give if you’re pitching a product or service to a potential customer or client.

These often share your company’s unique selling propositions, pricing information, testimonials and the like.

Here’s an interactive sales presentation template you can use to get started.

A sales presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Type #5: Report Presentations

Oftentimes, you’ll be asked to present a report based on sales and marketing performance, website data, revenue or some other data that your team or supervisors want to learn more about.

This can come in many different forms, like a business report document or even an infographic, but many people also love to give simple report presentations.

Utilize a template like the one below to set the stage for your report data.

A report presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Type #6: Keynote Presentations

A keynote presentation is more like a speech that is given in front of a larger audience. Think TED Talks and keynote speakers at conferences and events. While most of the speech is done by the presenter, slides are still helpful for keeping the audience engaged and on track.

A keynote presentation can use a template like the one below, that’s bright and includes only the main points from the presentation.

A keynote presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

12 Presentation Design Tips for Beginners

Are you ready to master presentation design? We’ve got 12 easy-to-follow tips to help you create a slide deck that keeps your audience’s attention and has every audience member handing on to every word.

For other tips to help you create and deliver the best presentation possible, become a certified presenter with our free online course.

Let’s dig in.

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Tip #1: Use No More Than 6 Lines of Text

An effective presentation isn’t filled with copy. You won’t be reading straight off your slides, so you want to include only your main points and must-know information on your slides. Your speech fills in the rest.

Not only does this help make your presentation as a whole much more engaging, but it also improves your presentation design.

Take a look at the example below. The minimal text option looks way better than the slide with paragraphs of copy.

Presentation do's and don'ts for how much text to have on a slide.

Tip #2: Stick to 2-3 Fonts and Colors

Our next tip focuses on your presentation’s typography and color scheme. While it may be exciting to use as many different fonts and colors as possible, design best practices dictate that you should only utilize two or three total.

Your fonts and colors should have jobs, as well.

Choose one font for your headers and another for your body copy. You might work in a third accent font as well.

Your color choices should be similar. Use one or two main colors throughout, then throw in an accent color for good measure. Make sure your colors work well together and help convey the right message.

Not sure why this is so important? Let’s show you an example of what we mean.

The slide on the left has too much going on. With all of those fonts and colors, it looks cluttered, and it’s hard to pay attention to the actual concept the slide is trying to convey.

But on the right, we see a nice mixture of three fonts and three colors, pulling the entire slide design together.

Presentation do's and don'ts for using fonts and colors.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to Visual Hierarchy

One big thing to remember when adding text to your next presentation is visual hierarchy. Essentially, this means that the order someone reads something on your slide should be obvious, based on font size, color or weight.

Take a look at this example below. On the right, it’s easy to read and makes sense. On the left, the visual hierarchy is all out of whack, leaving the reader confused.

Presentation do's and don'ts for visual hierarchy.

Tip #4: Take Advantage of Powerful Visuals

An engaging presentation takes advantage of visual elements. Think stock photos, icons, illustrations, videos, even charts and graphs. All of those can level up your Visme or PowerPoint presentation design.

You want to make sure that your visuals perfectly represent the words on your slides as well. Or, if you have no words on the slide, make sure they perfectly represent the words that you’re saying in your speech.

Visuals should always add to your presentation, rather than take away. But you also want to make sure that each of your slides has some kind of visual representation so you’re not sharing boring words on a slide, like in the example below.

The left slide is dull and boring. Sure, we can read what it says, but do we want to? On the other hand, the slide on the right is engaging, incorporating a high-quality image that visualizes the words on the slide.

Presentation do's and don'ts for using visuals.

Tip #5: Stay Away From Bullet Points

When learning how to create your first presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint way back in elementary school, one of the typical PowerPoint design tips was to use bullet points for each slide’s main points.

Don’t do that.

Any good presentation design tutorial these days will tell you that you should stay away from bullet points as best you can. They’re boring and outdated and there are better ways to showcase your content.

Take a look at the examples below. The left slide is already putting you to sleep. As we can see on the right, the bullet points aren’t necessary. 

It’s more engaging and conversational when the list is laid out in paragraph form, and it doesn’t look like the traditional PowerPoint template that we’ve all come to dread.

Presentation do's and don'ts for using bullet points.

Tip #6: Insert a Single Animation Style

Our next tip for creating a memorable presentation is to only use one single animation style throughout the entire slideshow. 

With a presentation tool like Visme, you can easily access custom animation capabilities that make your design elements seem like they’re floating on the slide. However, you don’t want to throw too many different animation styles into a single slide or presentation.

This can overwhelm your viewer and take attention away from your value proposition and the story you’re trying to tell.

Instead, find one animation style that works and stick with it throughout your presentation.

Tip #7: Highlight Key Points

Using shapes, bright fonts, characters pointing to your copy and similar elements is a great way to highlight your key information on each side. 

Not only does this help keep attention on the page, but it makes your design even easier. Take a look at the example below.

Adding the pink rectangle around the page content helps to highlight the point you’re trying to make and allow your audience to more easily understand your message.

Presentation do's and don'ts for pointing out key information.

Tip #8: Incorporate Data Visualization

Another important presentation design tip is to incorporate data visualization when showcasing numbers and statistics in your slides.

This can be anything from a bar graph or pie chart visualizing different data in a chart or graph all the way to a percentage radial or a pictogram visualizing basic numbers.

Take a look at this example below. Look at how much more engaging the slide with the data widget is. Using design elements like these make both complex and simple numbers and statistics easier to understand and remember.

Presentation do's and don'ts for using data visualization.

Tip #9: Keep Your Slide Design Consistent

Our next tip involves your slide design. This goes back to your fonts and colors as well as other design elements like icon styles, lines, shapes and more.

Each slide throughout your presentation should have a similar look and feel. You want to keep the design cohesive so that it’s obvious to your audience that your slides go together and you’re still talking about the same topic.

Take a look at the example below. On the right, we see a stunning, cohesive presentation design; on the left, we see a smorgasbord of colors, fonts and design elements that make no sense whatsoever.

You want your presentation to look like the example on the right.

Presentation do's and don'ts for consistent design.

Tip #10: Break Up Sections

Another pro tip is to break up the different sections of your presentation with section header slides. These can be anything from a blank slide with only a background photo, include a quote, share your new section’s title and more.

Take a look at the variety of section break slides we offer alongside our Modern presentation theme below.

Section break slides available in Visme.

Tip #11: Stick to a Single Transition Style

Your transition is how one slide exits off the screen and the next slide appears. While tools like Visme and PowerPoint offer a variety of transition options, it’s important to remember that simple is best.

With that being said, you only want to utilize one transition style throughout. Find a favorite or at least one you like for this presentation. If you have a few favorites, switch between them for each presentation you give.

Tip #12: Use a Presentation Template

Want a presentation design tip that will never go out of style? Start with a template rather than trying to create your own slide deck from scratch!

With a presentation software like Visme, you can start with a stunning presentation template that has been professionally designed by our team of graphic designers.

Browse our presentation template library 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.

15 Presentation Templates for Various Use Cases

Ready to put some of these presentation design tips into action? At Visme, we have hundreds of presentation templates to help you get started. Take a look at these 15 presentation templates for various use cases below.

Template #1: Brand Guidelines Presentation Template

A brand guidelines presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

If you have brand guidelines created for your business, one great way to share them with your team and stakeholders is to put together a custom presentation showing off your style guide.

This presentation template makes it easy to display your font combinations and color palette for your brand. And if you’re just starting out or looking to rebrand, you can even design a logo in Visme.

Template #2: Pitch Deck Presentation Template

An investor pitch deck template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation theme and make it your own!Edit and Download

New businesses who are looking to secure funding for their startup need a clean and eye-catching pitch deck design for pitching investors.

Using a theme like the one above gives you access to a variety of different startup stories for you to choose from when creating your presentation and highlighting the most important aspects of your business.

Made in partnership with FounderSuite, this pitch deck presentation template is perfect for your next investor pitch.

Template #3: Competitor Analysis Interactive Presentation Template

A competitor analysis presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

If you’re going to have a successful business, you need to have a firm understanding of who your competition is and what they bring to the table. This will be essential in marketing, for your sales team and just as a general understanding for your company.

This competitor analysis presentation template comes with built-in interactive features to help you get a good understanding of who your competitors are and what potential threats they pose.

Template #4: Business Plan Presentation Template

A business plan presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Another essential business presentation is your business plan. This template offers the exact presentation structure you need to build out your business plan. All you need to do is replace the placeholder text with your own!

Template #5: Marketing Plan Presentation Template

A marketing plan presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

And any good marketing team needs a thorough marketing plan. This presentation template is similar to our business plan presentation template in that we’ve laid out the entire presentation outline for you. All you need to do is input your own strategy.

Template #6: Webinar Presentation Template

A webinar template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

One great form of lead generation is hosting a webinar. This webinar template allows you to insert all of the information and sales pitch you want to share with your webinar attendees, all in a stunning, cohesive design.

Simply insert your own info, then brand the design so it matches your company’s fonts, colors and other style guide elements.

Template #7: SWOT Analysis Presentation Template

A SWOT analysis presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Have you ever conducted a SWOT analysis for your business? It covers the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that your company faces.

Putting together a SWOT analysis is a great idea when starting a business or adjusting your marketing plan, and this template dedicated to laying out each section is the perfect place to start.

Template #8: Keynote Presentation Template

A keynote presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Are you going to be a keynote speaker at an upcoming event? You should only be focusing on creating stellar content that will wow your audience, rather than how to create your design. Use a template like this to make sure your design is eye-catching no matter what.

Template #9: Employee Handbook Interactive Presentation Template

An employee handbook presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

If your business is bringing on new employees, you’ll likely need to put together an employee handbook to make sure everyone understands your company’s mission and the overall guidelines for working with your business.

An interactive presentation template like this one is a great starting point for creating and distributing your own employee handbook.

Not only can you insert helpful information within this presentation, but you can also link back to resources on your intranet or website and simply share the digital version of this presentation via a private or password protected link.

Template #10: Training Manual Presentation Template

A training manual presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

In a similar vein, it can also be helpful to create a training manual for the different roles and departments that your company hires for.

Training manuals like this help new employees start off on the right foot, understanding exactly what’s expected of them in their role and day-to-day tasks. Customize this template with your own training information to share with new team members.

Template #11: Case Study Presentation Template

A case study presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Another great use case for your next presentation is to share a case study. Showcase how your customers are using your tool and highlight success stories that could drive potential customers to sign up for your product or service.

Template #12: Informational Presentation Template

An informational presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Regardless of who your audience is, presentations are the perfect format for sharing information. Create an informational presentation to embed in a blog post or share on SlideShare. Present important information to your team. Create presentations to share useful information at conferences and events.

There are so many different reasons you might need to create an informational presentation, and this template is the perfect fit.

Template #13: Creative Brief Interactive Presentation Template

A creative brief presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

When working with a freelancer, contractor or designer, sometimes you’ll need to present a creative brief so everyone working on the project knows exactly what the outcome is supposed to be.

Using an interactive presentation template like the one above is a great idea for conveying the information in an engaging way that will be easy to remember.

Template #14: Guy Kawasaki Presentation Template

A Guy Kawasaki presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Guy Kawasaki coined the 10-20-30 rule when it comes to presentations. 10 slides, 20 minute presentation, with fonts no smaller than 30pt.

If that’s what you’re looking for, this presentation template is exactly what you need.

Template #15: Ignite Presentation Template

An Ignite presentation template available in Visme.
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Ignite is a special type of presentation. Speakers give a 5-minute presentation on their topic alongside 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.

This means you can’t have too much text on any given slide, as you need to keep the tempo of the presentation.

If you’re planning to give an Ignite presentation, this template offers up the perfect starting point for ensuring you’re not using too much text.

 

5 Tools for Professional Presentation Design

Tool #1: Visme

The Visme logo.

Visme is the perfect tool for creating any type of presentation. We offer hundreds of presentation templates with thousands of slide designs to choose from.

Add interactive elements into your slides, present or share online, or download as an editable PowerPoint for offline editing.

Learn even more about creating a presentation in Visme by watching this quick video tutorial.

Tool #2: PowerPoint

The PowerPoint logo.

Everyone has heard of Microsoft PowerPoint, right? It’s been the go-to for presentation creation since grade school. And while it can still be a tried and true tool, most people are looking for a quality PowerPoint alternative these days.

For basic, offline presentations created on PCs, PowerPoint might be the tool for you. But if you’re a Mac user or you want a tool that has more design elements and templates to offer, Visme is a great choice compared to PowerPoint.

Tool #3: Google Slides

The Google Slides logo.

Google Slides is another great tool that everyone with internet access can use to create a basic slide deck. With starter templates, Google Slides is great for a rush project on a free-to-use tool with easy sharing.

However, Visme’s templates are professionally designed with placeholder content so that you can easily plug in your own content and go. Learn more about Google Slides vs. Visme.

Tool #4: Prezi

The Prezi logo.

Prezi is a presentation tool well known for creating non-linear presentations. These are an engaging type of presentation and are great for keeping audience attention when they don’t know where you’ll be going next.

Visme is a great Prezi alternative though, in that our tool’s interactive capabilities help you create your own nonlinear, interactive presentation. Add a menu to your cover slide that allows you to click between slides, and voila!

Tool #5: Slidebean

The Slidebean logo.

The last presentation tool on our list is Slidebean. Slidebean is an AI-powered presentation tool that uses an algorithm to help find the best design for the information you’ve placed on your slide. This is helpful for non-designers but can also seem restrictive.

With Visme, you have access to professionally designed presentation templates and slides, making it easy to plug in your content, customize your fonts and colors, and share.

 

Create Your Own Stunning Presentation Design

Ready to get started designing your own presentation? Give Visme’s presentation software a try and create the best presentation design you’ve ever made. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Have a few more questions about presentation design? No problem – we’ve got you covered.

Q1. How do you design a good presentation?

To design a great presentation, it’s a good idea to outline your presentation first and understand how many slides you need and what type of template you should look for. 

Write out your content, then boot your Visme dashboard up and start browsing our presentation template library. Find the best template for your content, then plug in your information before customizing the design.

With Visme, you have access to high-quality stock photos, vector icons, exclusive illustrations and graphics, shapes and lines, and so much more to decorate your slides.

Q2. How do you structure a presentation?

Your presentation structure depends a lot on the type of story you’re trying to tell. There are a handful of different presentation structures you can choose from, all of which you can learn about in this post.

Q3. What are the main principles of presentation design?

The main principles of presentation design are: 

  • Don’t go overboard with fonts and colors
  • Be consistent
  • Use visual hierarchy
  • Stick to a single animation and transition style

Q4. How much does a presentation design cost?

Presentation design doesn’t have to cost you anything but a little bit of time! By starting with a Visme template and plugging in your own content, you can create a presentation in minutes, rather than hours.

Q5. How do you find a presentation template for your next project?

Understand the type of presentation you need to create. As you can see from the templates we included within this post, there are many different types of templates.

If you’re creating a webinar, you’ll want a webinar template. If you’re giving an Ignite presentation, you need a suitable template for that.

It all comes down to understanding what type of template you need, and simply searching for it in the search bar of our template library.

Q6. What is the best presentation software for Mac?

There are many different presentation software that work for Mac. First, Keynote comes to mind as it’s Apple’s version of Microsoft PowerPoint.

However, we’d recommend an online presentation software – Visme, of course. 🙂

Q7. What is the difference between a presentation and a slideshow?

A slideshow tends to focus more on images, oftentimes with music playing in the background. A presentation will usually have words and a speaker accompanying it.

Q8. What are the steps in creating a PowerPoint presentation?

Creating a PowerPoint presentation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to boot up PowerPoint. Instead, your first step can be opening a Visme template. Then, you’ll insert your content and customize your design before exporting your presentation as an editable PowerPoint to present offline and share with co-workers.

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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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