Whether presenting to colleagues at work or giving the keynote at a major conference, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides and other slide presentations have become an absolutely essential way to share information.
They’re easy to use, offer a great way to combine images, video, and text, and require almost no training.
So, why are so many presentations so BORING?
All the elements are there for creating effective, eye-catching, and engaging presentations, but so often we’re forced to sit through slide after slide of overcrowded, hard-to-read text and fuzzy (or non-existent) images.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
You don’t need to be an expert at public speaking or worry about giving a Ted Talk level presentation.
You can make your presentations dazzle with just a few easy tips.
How to Make a Presentation Interesting
In order to be great, you need to combine story telling, authenticity, and visual supports.
Basically, it’s all about what you say, how you say it, and giving your audience cool slides to look at while you say it.
Tell a story
Often times when we think about how to make a presentation interesting, we focus on the visuals. We add animations and transitions, hoping that will keep our audience engaged.
Cool slide designs can help, there’s no doubt about that, but if most of your attention and time is spent on that portion of the presentation you are missing out on a key element that is crucial for making presentations interesting – the story.
The best presentations draw in their viewers with a relatable narrative, but the narrative also helps the presentation to gain memorability as well.
You should be spending a large portion of your preparation time on crafting your content – the actual information you will be sharing and how you will be sharing it. It deosn’t matter how cool your slide designs are if they aren’t supporting compelling content.
You don’t have to weave an epic tale for your presentation, but if you are looking to make your presentation interesting you need to incorporate some story telling aspects, like personal connection and impact. As you sit down to write, consider these questions:
- What am I sharing?
- Why is it important?
- What can my audience do with the information once they have it?
These questions help you get to the most important part of any communication – the purpose.
Most presentations try to accomplish one or two of these purposes:
- To inform
- To persuade
- To inspire
- To entertain
Whether you want your presentation to inspire or to inform and persuade, you can build your story to achieve the goal!
You’ll need an outline so that your purpose is kept at the centre of your presentation and so that you follow a familiar structure. You need to make sure that you have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Presentations that are interesting from beginning to end take the audience on a journey. If you just recite facts and highlight data your audience won’t be engaged enough to do anything with the information, but if you go on too many tangents with personal anecdotes you will lose them to confusion about what they are meant to be learning.
To create an interesting presentation, before getting to the cool slides, be sure you structure your content in a way that makes it easy to tell the story and provide your audience with a journey that is relevant and memorable.
Be authentic and engaging
A key point that often gets forgotten when preparing presentations? YOU are the presentation.
If you are putting on a show, creating a persona that you believe your audience would be more interested in or confident about, the audience will pick up on it almost immediately. The whole experience will be awkward for everyone.
Instead, lean in to the parts of your personality that best serve the presentation’s purpose. Tell personal stories, speak in the same manner you normally do, and be open.
Your energy is contagious. If you want to make your presentation more interesting, you’ve got to bring the right energy.
High energy presenters get more engagement from their audiences, while coming in with low energy is a surefire way to destroy any hope of engagement, regardless of how good a story you have crafted with your presentation’s content.
Memorize your content rather than relying on reading your slides, and be sure to use different speeds and volumes throughout the presentation in order to make it more interesting, draw attention to specific points, and present authentically.
Prepare cool presentation slides
A recent study found that poorly constructed PowerPoint decks can lead to “distraction, boredom, and impeded learning,” while a well-crafted one enhances audience engagement and information retention.
Plus, let’s not forget that PowerPoint is a visual medium. People didn’t come to your presentation to read text off a slide. They came to listen to you present important information. And, the best way to present information is with visuals.
In fact, our research on the Value of Visuals shows that people actually absorb information faster and remember it better and for longer when it’s presented visually vs. text.
And a visual presentation doesn’t just help your audience, it will help you too!
So, not only will your audience enjoy your presentation and get more out of it, you’ll feel like a better presenter!
It’s a win-win!
How to Make Your Slides Look Cool
While your content is crucial to the strength of your presentation, your slide deck has the power to add to or take away from the overall effectiveness. Learning how to make a presentation more interesting requires skillful collaboration between the strength of your content and knowing how to make your slides look cool.
Less is more
Learning how to make a presentation more interesting has a lot to do with learning what not to include on your slides. Less is more when it comes to slide content.
Your slides should not be stuffed with content, especially text heavy content. Incorporating speaking points rather than fully developed ideas helps your audience follow your message without getting distracted by trying to read the slide.
It doesn’t matter how cool your slide design is if you crowd in too much content.
Use cool slide designs
You don’t have to start from scratch with every presentation! Chances are, you are not a graphic designer so why not use the templates that have been created by professionals?
Using these presentation templates can help you make cool Powerpoint slides, cool Google slides, or slides for other platforms as well without spending too much time trying to create a professional look.
You can easily find templates online for Google Slides and for Powerpoint. Each of these platforms offer themes within their software as well.
These templates and themes have all been created by professional designers, so while you will need to make minor adjustments you should refrain from making significant changes to the cool slide designs you are using.
Using consistent branding is an easy way to build familiarity and trust with your audience. If you have an established brand in place be sure to use it when building your slides.
The colors and fonts used in your design should always adhere to your brand standards without deviation.
If you don’t have a brand guide to work from, select a specific color palette, using color theory to ensure the message of your presentation is not counteracted by your color choices.
Stick with just a few colors, and go the same route with fonts. Only choose a few to use, and try to avoid overly scripty options as they are difficult to read on screen.
Use quality images
Adding images to your cool slides that are blurry, pixelated, or otherwise low in quality is an easy way to let your audience “check out” of your presentation.
If you don’t have access to high quality branded photos, use sites like Unsplash and Shutterstock to access high quality images for your presentations.
Adding screenshots can make your presentation more interesting than stock photos. Screenshots add a level of personalization that can’t be achieved with the use of generic photos.
You can capture fantastic screenshots and even add highlights and notations with Snagit. Download your free trial here.
A great way to reduce the amount of text content on your slides is with the use of infographics.
Infographics are a great tool for making presentations interesting because they can successfully convey a lot of data in a visually interesting way.
You don’t have to lock yourself in to the idea of charts as the primary visual for your infographics anymore.
You can display many an idea through a good infographic, like steps in a process or historical values, and they are an excellent addition to your cool presentation slides.
Add cool transitions to your slides
Adding transitions to your slides is a great way to make a presentation interesting. There is a fine balance to strike though between using enough and using too many.
Limiting transitions to one per slide is a good place to start. These additions make your presentation more interactive and appealing.
Use GIFs & memes
If you want to make a presentation more interesting, a GIF or two added to highlight some key points is a great way to go.
GIFs are a great middle ground option between static images and videos. They can be used very effectively to drive home a specific point or to highlight a specific piece of data.
GIFs are a great way to make your presentation more interesting and more memorable. Visuals always help with memorability and GIFs usually include a touch of humor and personality – both qualities that help information stick.
While you are creating your cool slide designs, you may find the perfect place for a meme. These can be an effective tool, especially if the subject matter you are covering is light hearted, but use them with caution.
They have the potential to go too far with the humor and that can detract from the focus of your presentation.
We live in a video world. A lot of the workforce is now comprised of Millennial and Gen Z workers.
Something important to note about these two generations is that they have spent a lot of time consuming video content – it is a very comfortable medium for them and can be a really effective tool for keeping them engaged.
Embedding videos directly into your slides can play a role in creating an interesting presentation.
However, using too many videos (more than 3 in a standard presentation) can take away the impact your own content has, and using videos that are too long (longer than 2 minutes) can detract from your authority as the speaker – so choose wisely.
Create a Video to Share Your Cool Slides After Your Presentation
You’ve now spent a lot of time and energy creating your presentation. You’ve done all you can to make it interesting and perfectly appealing for your audience. It would be a shame to only use it once!
You can make your presentation a reusable asset simply by turning it into a video. You have already taken the steps to make it visually appealing so it is naturally suitable to video format.
You don’t need to add any new content, just a simple voiceover. You can use Snagit to screen record the presentation slides and Camtasia to add a voice over recording of you presenting the content!
Doing this means that you can send your presentation to anyone who couldn’t attend in real time. You can also send it as followup material to those who did attend so that they can continue to access it as they need to.
FAQs about Successful Presentations with Cool Slides
To make a powerpoint presentation interesting you can consider the following:Tell a story
Be authentic and engaging
Create cool presentation slides
Google Slides and Microsoft Powerpoint both have built in capacity to add transitions on your cool slide designs.
You can find themes to make your presentation more interesting in the design settings on both Microsoft Powerpoint and Google Slides.