10 Presentation Trends to Watch Out For in 2016

10 Presentation Trends to Watch Out For in 2016

Nayomi Chibana

Written by:
Nayomi Chibana


Each year, we see new trends surfacing in the world of presentation design. From passing fads to design standards that will endure beyond 2016, these trends will continue to shape the way presentations are created and delivered before boardrooms, classrooms or even TED audiences across the globe.

While some of them may exist only for the sake of aesthetics, others have actually been adopted to suit the needs and preferences of modern-day consumers. For example, the use of flat design, many experts say, is more than just the latest craze; it responds to the fact that realist elements are very hard to incorporate into responsive systems designed for screens of all sizes.

To keep you up to date with the latest design techniques, we’ve compiled a list of presentation design techniques that will help you create a presentation that looks fresh and contemporary--just like the content you will hopefully deliver to your audiences.

1 Immersive photography



Stunning, oversized images will continue to dominate presentation design in 2016, especially in line with the trend of cutting down on text and using images instead to drive home a message.

These large, beautiful background images and video not only serve to captivate your audience’s attention, they also set the tone for your presentation and provide an immersive setting that transports viewers to a completely different scene.

2 Scrolling presentations



Remember when you used to create a printed version of your slide deck to hand out to your audience? Well, those days are gone. While this was good practice in the sense that it gave listeners some key takeaways that they could review at their own pace to refresh the information relayed, using this as the only method of delivery is a bit outdated.

Nowadays, it is easier to simply provide audience members access to your slides in the form of a scrolling presentation that looks very much like a web page, as seen in the example above.

Instead of sending emails with large attachments, you can simply send a link to your website. If done right, your website should have a responsive design which allows content to be viewed across a wide range of platforms. Whether on a tablet, a laptop, a PC or a mobile device, your slides can be easily viewed from anywhere.

Another advantage is that in comparison with static PDF files, scrolling presentations allow you to add more interactive and immersive elements, such as videos, surveys, quizzes or forms.

Although some users prefer clicking to scrolling, the consensus generally leans toward long scrolling as a popular usability option that is used by content-heavy sites, such as digital newspapers and blogs.

3 Stock photo alternatives

Eco-nomics, The hidden costs of consumption from Josh Beatty

Overused stock photos are just as bad--if not worse--as bullet points and text-heavy slides. In their stead, other forms of visual representation are being used to communicate ideas in a fresh and appealing way.

Take a look at the presentation above, for example. Here, playful graphics in combination with a small amount of text are used to send a powerful message.

4 Creative illustrations

How Google Works from Eric Schmidt

Another effective alternative to the ubiquitous stock photo are hand-drawn elements and custom illustrations. If done correctly, these unique design elements can really draw attention to your slide deck like nothing else can.

For example, Eric Schmidt, Google’s ex-CEO, used this approach in the slide deck above. As you can see, it gives the presentation a very playful, personable and creative touch.

5 Graphics and storytelling

Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint from HighSpark

As we’ve said many times before, storytelling is one of the most powerful tools a communicator can possess. It not only gets your message across more effectively during your presentation, it also makes it much more memorable so that concepts stick for months, even years after your ideas were first relayed.

If this weren’t enough, storytelling can be even more effective when combined with visuals. Take, for example, the presentation above. If you click through the entire slide deck, you’ll find an invisible thread that ties each of the different slides together, in such a way that you feel you’re being told a story. Every image perfectly complements--instead of repeats--each of the carefully chosen phrases and words.

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6 Flat design

2015 Travel Trends from Creative Lodging Solutions

Whatever is trending in the graphic design world usually makes its way into the most modern-looking slide decks.

The presentation above, for example, incorporates flat design principles to create a clean and minimalist look.

7 Originality

The Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing from Velocity Partners

Another way to attract attention is to create something completely original; something with your own personal touch.

A perfect example of this is Doug Kessler’s presentation on finding meaning in B2B marketing, seen above. Here, we see that the same background image is used throughout, giving viewers the sense that the presenter is sharing intimate thoughts from his own personal journal.

This is also a perfect example of how a clear storyline is combined with attractive visuals in the form of colorful doodles and big, bold text. This not only attracts the reader as they read or hear the presentation, it also makes it much more memorable since it mimics an informal conversation or a riveting story told by an expert narrator.

8 Creative use of typography

Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge. from Velocity Partners

Another way to showcase your creative side is to play with typography to get your message across. In the simple presentation above, for example, the author only uses typography, spacing and symbols to send a very clear message that makes a lasting impression.

9 Effective use of colors

What Would Steve Do? from HubSpot

Not only does typography send a message all on its own; colors do as well.

Take the above presentation. If you look at slides 16 to 31, you’ll find that the use of bright, bold accent colors contrasts perfectly with the darker, subdued background color--which works in unison with the animation effects to create a perfectly weaved storyline that drives a crystal clear message home.

10 Creating content for the context

You Suck At PowerPoint! from Jesse Desjardins

Another trend--which will simply be a continuation of the present--is the creation of presentations designed specifically for their context.

The above slide deck, for example, was designed to be published online rather than to be delivered as a live presentation.


Your Turn

One way to stand out with your slide deck is to try something other than PowerPoint. There are free online tools such as Visme that give users more creative freedom by allowing them to change the look of anything and choose from a vast selection of icons, images, color combinations and fonts.

And if you want to learn all our secrets on how to deliver an unforgettable presentation (as well as how to create visual slides with impact), grab our free e-book below.


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    About the Author

    Nayomi Chibana is a journalist and writer for Visme’s Visual Learning Center. Besides researching trends in visual communication and next-generation storytelling, she’s passionate about data-driven content.

    12 responses to “10 Presentation Trends to Watch Out For in 2016”

    1. Chris says:

      Nice list. Not a fan of the scrolling presentation. There are a couple ideas though I like. #7 originality looks good, but not so sure I will use it in my next office presentation to the customer. 🙂

    2. Aayush Jain says:

      Really Nice Tips for Presentation Trends!

      I agree with the point to implement with the effective use of colors as per the category of the presentation.

    3. Rachel says:

      I have definitely noticed people using more photography in their presentations, and I like it. It’s nice to have strong visuals incorporated in your PowerPoint. Thanks for sharing.

    4. […] RELATED: 10 Presentations Trends to Watch Out For in 2016 […]

    5. Hey! I love this, but just found it. Will there be a new one for this year? Pretty please??

    6. it is very useful stuff with a lot of creative tips and ideas. Is there any recommended software that will help to develop presentation materials?thanks.

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