5 Video Tutorials To Help You Create Beautiful Presentations

Sunday Avery

Written by:
Sunday Avery


Your mission: to design a beautiful presentation. The challenge: where do you even start? If you’re searching for some tactics to help elevate your design and enhance your presentation as a whole, you’ve hit the jackpot. Here is a collection of 5 video design tutorials with step-by-step instructions that will help you achieve your mission.


1 Make Data Visualization Memorable

Start with this video to see what exactly goes into a memorable visualization. The information compiled here was inspired by a 2013 report called “What Makes a Visualization Memorable?” that detailed the findings of the largest visualization study to date. For the historic study, MIT and Harvard researchers utilized more than 2,000 single-panel visualizations as well as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to collect memorability scores from study participants.

In summary, here are the core takeaway lessons from the video:

1. Visualizations with a high visual density are more memorable than visualizations that are minimalistic.

The Lesson: Embellish your charts. Add layers, icons, and increase the overall complexity of your design. Yes, you might get some flak from the visualization community for including “chart junk,” but don’t sweat the criticism; your visual will be remembered long after everyone has forgotten the critical words.


2. Abstract visuals are less memorable than visuals including graphics or images of easily recognizable items.

The Lesson: Achieve high visual density by including pictorial visuals. Instead of designing your visualization with unidentifiable shapes, use graphics, images, or icons that feature identifiable items.


3. Unique visualization styles are more memorable than common visualization formats.

The Lesson: Ditch the common bar charts, graphs, and bullet points. Get creative. Use unexpected design techniques to visualize your data.


4. Visuals that include 7 or more colors are more memorable than visuals with 6 or fewer colors.

The Lesson: Be bold with your color scheme. Use lots of colors every time you visualize data.


2 Transfer Designs From Photoshop

Let’s say you have created some great data visualizations in Photoshop, and want to place these enhanced graphics within your PowerPoint presentation. Don’t panic! This is a common request, as PowerPoint doesn’t have many of the same design capabilities as Photoshop. Watch and learn!

Here’s a full list of the different steps for your reference:

  1. Use layers to keep your files organized.
  2. Start by opening Photoshop and designing a slide.
  3. Place each element in a different layer.
  4. Decide what you can recreate in PowerPoint and what you cannot create.
  5. Save a JPG of your entire design, or a PNG to save space.
  6. Recreate the items that you can feasibly recreate in PowerPoint from the original slide.
  7. Make sure the custom fonts you may use are installed on every computer you might present on, so that they match the original font you used in Photoshop.
  8. Drop in the custom images that can’t be designed within PowerPoint, and resize accordingly.
  9. Go to “Reorder Objects” to drag your entire Photoshop slide image to the front, and then get rid of it.
  10. Reorder again to make sure the background is in the correct place.


3 Replace Colors in Photoshop

Sometimes all it takes to transform a presentation from blah to yee-haw is a color change. With this tutorial, you can change the color of an object in a photo so the image fits the look and feel of your other slides, or to ensure your presentation slides fit within your brand style guide. There are two ways to accomplish this bit of design magic, both of which are explained here.

Need a recap? Here are both of the techniques in detail:

Technique #1: Replace Color

  1. Select Image in the menu bar.
  2. Move down to the adjustments section.
  3. In adjustments, find replace color and click on it.
  4. Use the eyedropper tool inside the replace color dialogue box to select the color you want to replace.
  5. Use +eyedropper to add shadows or highlights to your color selection, and use –eyedropper if you need to subtract from the selection.
  6. Use the sharpness slider to refine your color selection.
  7. Use the hue slider to change your selected color.
  8. Adjust saturation and lightness as needed.
  9. Click OK.


Technique #2: Color Replacement Tool (for Smaller Areas of Color)

  1. Choose color replacement tool from toolbar.
  2. Select brush size and softness.
  3. Select your mode. Color will be the one used most often.
  4. Choose Sampling mode. We will use Once; this samples the color you originally click on.
  5. Choose Limits. Use discontiguous.
  6. Choose tolerance. Tolerance decides how close or far from the sampled color the tool will affect.
  7. Select your new color as your foreground swatch.
  8. Place the cursor over the color you’d like to replace.
  9. Click and hold the mouse button as you move the cursor across the color you’d like to replace.
  10. Place the cursor over any other shades of the color that didn’t get replaced with your first pass and paint over them.


4 Integrate Type Into Photos

Creatively integrating type into your slide images is more than just about slapping some font over an image and centering it. It’s about using some creativity to make the text part of the scene itself, and scoring some huge design points in the process. Here’s how to do it:

Here are a few fast steps for accomplishing the effect from the video:

  1. Open a new file in Photoshop in a standard (4:3) or widescreen size (16:9).
  2. Select a photo with a defined foreground and background.
  3. Click File then Place Embedded.
  4. Position the image on the canvas.
  5. Select your typeface and the color of the text.
  6. Make a copy of these type layers (see the video for detailed steps).
  7. Hide your live copies.
  8. Place the type in the scene where you want it.
  9. Position the type so that the bottom of the type is behind the foreground element.
  10. Select a blurring filter for the background.
  11. Select both layers and convert to smart object, then Rastarize the layer.
  12. Erase the bottom of the text accordingly, with the Hardness set to 0 along with a 35 pixel size.
  13. Get as close to the lines as possible, but don’t make it a hard line.
  14. Use shading to add some shadow and further define the text, if relevant to your scene (see the video for detailed steps).


5 Use Color Overlays With Photos

Overlays can transform a photo by giving it texture, richer color, and added visual coherence to the rest of the presentation. The tutorial video below provides instructions on how to use color overlays with photos on PowerPoint slides. This technique can be executed completely within PowerPoint; Photoshop is not necessary for this tutorial.

Here is the short version of the steps to refer to as you try out this technique:

  1. Select a color scheme and leave those colors to the side of your design for later reference.
  2. Add the photograph you want to use on the slide.
  3. Make the photo full-bleed by stretching it out accordingly.
  4. Get rid of the existing color (if desired) by selecting the photograph, then using the color saturation options in the Recolor section.
  5. Go to Shapes, go to Rectangle, and select the first rectangle in order to create a shape across the entire slide.
  6. Go to Color Fill and adjust the shape using your color scheme.
  7. Adjust the transparency of the shape to your liking.
  8. Be sure any text or other objects placed on top of the overlay has enough contrast to stand out and be easily seen.


Conclusion: Now that you’ve checked out these tutorials, it’s up to you to use these tools wisely as you design your next presentation. Maybe don’t try all of these techniques on a single slide? Either way, we believe in you.


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    About the Author

    Sunday Avery is the Content Manager at Ethos3, a presentation design company based in Nashville, TN. . They specialize in creating story-driven messaging for company presentations around the world, and then making them look really, really good.

    2 responses to “5 Video Tutorials To Help You Create Beautiful Presentations”

    1. What other application can you recommend? Photoshop costs too much.

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