In this tutorial, I'm going to share twenty quick PowerPoint presentation tips that'll help you improve your PowerPoint presentations. You'll see a combination of features you might not know about and get PowerPoint tips on changing your slide design to make your content shine.
How to Make a Good PowerPoint Presentation (Watch & Learn)
This screencast is a speed round of my very favorite PowerPoint tricks. I'll walk you through ten of my favorite features or design steps to create a better presentation.
Keep reading for an illustrated version of these good PPT tips (and more) that you can use to improve your PowerPoint presentations.
20 Tips: How to Make Good PowerPoint Presentation Designs Fast
A few tried and true tips can help you expedite your PowerPoint presentation design. Check out 20 of my favorite PowerPoint tips to do just that.
1. Use a Custom PPT Theme Design
Above all, I consistently use custom PowerPoint themes. Microsoft has built-in themes that you can use for free, sure. But the premium themes that are on Envato Elements are a major step-up from PowerPoint's built-in themes.
When you subscribe to Envato Elements, you'll have access to unlimited downloads of all the PowerPoint themes. Right now, Envato Elements has almost 4,000 PowerPoint themes and that number is always growing.
The reason that these themes are so useful is because they contain ideas. They're more than just a set of colors and font choices. Instead, they come loaded with ideas for slide designs. You can drop your own content in the placeholders to skip the hard work of recreating each presentation from scratch.
2. Use the Built-in Slide Layouts
Inside of PowerPoint themes, you'll find layouts, which are custom slide designs. Most themes will include a selection of content layouts that you can use as a starting point for your own slide designs.
Layouts are like a starting point for your PowerPoint presentation slides. They contain combinations of placeholders for text boxes, images, and more. Instead of clicking and drawing individual objects onto the slide, use one of these layouts to start your slide off.
3. Align Text Consistently
When you're working with text on your slide, it helps to ensure that it aligns consistently. Keeping your text aligned in the same orientation really makes a slide look clean.
In the example below, I've basically got three text boxes: a headline, a paragraph, and a list of bulleted points. Notice that all of this text is aligned left consistently.
Aligning text was an "aha" moment that I learned when I started studying slide design. It's one of those steps that makes a slide look much neater and professional, so keep it in mind when designing.
4. Make Your Exports User-Friendly
No matter how great your PowerPoint presentation slides look, you need to think about how your user will use the presentation file.
Any of these are likely scenarios if you're regularly sending presentations to other users:
- The viewer may not have PowerPoint installed on their computer.
- The recipient may be using a totally different version of PowerPoint that renders the presentation differently.
- Maybe you don't want the user to be able to make any edits or see your notes in the presentation file.
In this case, my favorite tip is to export the presentation as a PDF. To do that, go to File > Export > Create PDF, and then save your presentation as a PDF. This is sure to help most of your users see the presentation just the way you intended.
5. Try a Different Color Scheme
Many PowerPoint themes have more than one color scheme that you can apply to your presentation. On the Design tab, click on the drop-down next to Themes to try out a different color scheme.
Typically, these will restyle your entire presentation. Premium themes that you might get from Envato Elements, for example, may have multiple versions inside the original presentation zip file.
6. Edit Slide Masters for Consistency
The slide master controls the design for your PowerPoint slide. Instead of making the same change to each and every slide, you can apply a change to a slide master, and it'll affect all of the PowerPoint presentation slides that use the same master.
It's ideal to apply a logo to the slide master itself, for example. This will keep the logo the same size and in the same position on each and every slide.
To do that, go to View > Slide Master. On the right side, you're likely to see a variety of slide masters that control designs for multiple slides. Drop the elements that you want to remain consistent onto one of the slide masters.
7. Use the Alignment Feature
PowerPoint presentation slides look better when the objects on them are in line with one another. There's a certain visual rhythm that occurs when objects line up in the center or along certain boundary lines.
When you start dragging objects on your slide, you'll see guiding lines that pop up. These are very intuitive, and you'll likely notice that they help you line up your objects. You might seem them pop up when you've got a box that's equidistant between two other objects on the slide, for example.
This is one of the best tricks for improving the look of your PowerPoint slide. Spend some time making sure that your key elements line up cohesively.
8. Use Stock Assets
Earlier, I mentioned using Envato Elements to grab PowerPoint themes. But there's more that comes with an Envato Elements subscription for presentations.
That includes a wide variety of stock photos, graphics, and custom designed fonts that you can use in your presentation. Instead of reusing the same stock photo or clip art, Envato Elements has everything you need to supplement a presentation.
Again, Envato Elements is the perfect subscription if you build presentations. It's a one-stop shop that you can use to fill content.
9. Reduce Your Content
There's nothing that makes an audience tune out faster than being overloaded with slide content. Sometimes we try to make so many points that the audience misses all of them due to information overload.
Less is truly more. When you eliminate the weaker points of your presentation, the audience's attention will follow your key points accordingly.
It seems like cheating, but one of the best steps that you can take for your slide is to simply reduce the number of items that are on it. Convert some of your typed points to things you'll speak verbally. Remember: a PowerPoint slide deck is an aid, not the presentation itself.
10. Rethink Your Slide Order
Sometimes, I find that my presentations are out of order. I might spend too much time explaining my decision before I get to the conclusion.
In these cases, I like to use Slide Sorter View to re-sequence the slides in my presentation. To access this view, go to View > Slide Sorter on PowerPoint's ribbon.
From Slide Sorter view, you've got a top-down view of all the slides in your presentation deck. It sometimes becomes obvious that the slides can be reordered into a better sequence from this view.
11. Use PowerPoint Animations
One of my favorite PowerPoint presentation tips is to complement your major points with a bit of animation. Using animation can bring a key point onto your slide with style!
Check out ten of the best PowerPoint tips for how to use animation from Sven Lenaerts below:
12. Invite Collaborators
Building a presentation often benefits from a second set of eyes. That's why it helps so much to invite a collaborator to work with you side-by-side in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Pushing your presentation up to OneDrive and inviting collaborators is easy. Thanks to the cloud-based approach, multiple users can edit a slide deck in real time. Learn how to do that in the tutorial below:
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Collaborate as a Team on PowerPoint (PPT) PresentationsAndrew Childress
13. Add Supporting Video Clips
Building impactful presentations is all about adding other perspectives and angles to the content. One of my favorite ways to do that is to add a video clip. Maybe that's a production that you built on your own or found on sites like YouTube.
Either way, learn how to add and auto play a video clip in the quick tip below:
14. Use Infographic Templates
More presentations than ever will feature visuals that tell stories with data. But, it's easy for an audience become overwhelmed with data.
That's where infographics come into play. Learn to use them in PowerPoint in the tutorial below:
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make Infographics in PowerPoint Using Infographic Templates for PowerPointAndrew Childress
15. Use Impactful Closing Techniques
I've sat through many presentations in my life. I can only remember a few that really stick out, thanks to techniques that highlighted key points. You need PowerPoint tips and tricks that help leave your audience with an impact.
To do just that, make sure you use some of the techniques highlighted in the article below:
To do that, just drag and drop the thumbnails into the order you want. When you return to Normal view, the PowerPoint presentation slides will be in the resequenced order you set here.
16. Make Use of Charts and Graphs
Illustrate your data with the use of charts and graphs. Not only will you be able to make your presentation more visually appealing, but you'll also help your audience remember the information better.
Many PowerPoint templates already include chart and graph elements that you can easily use and customize to make your data and stats more interesting and easier to understand.
17. Alternate Between Solid Color and White Slides
Alternating between solid color and slides with a white background can produce an interesting visual effect and engage your audience. You can use the solid-colored slides to signify a new section in your presentation.
Not to mention, solid colored slides are the perfect way to re-enforce your brand colors and build your brand recognition.
18. Present Information With Maps
If you’re trying to make a case for a global expansion or need to report on how other branches are performing, consider using a map to help your audience visualize the data. There's no shortage of quality PowerPoint templates with maps built in so be sure to take advantage of them.
19. Keep the Design Best Practices in Mind
The design of your presentation matters just as much as the content of your presentation. That’s why you need to devote an equal amount of time to making sure the design of your presentation is on point as you do to the actual content. Familiarize yourself with best design practices and keep them in mind as you go about customizing your template.
20. Practice Makes Perfect
Lastly, don’t forget to practice your presentation and go through your slide deck a few times to make sure you know it like the back of your hand when the big day arrives. Doing so will help you feel more confident and it'll reduce any anxiety and nervousness you might feel as the presentation day approaches.
If you want even more great PowerPoint presentation tips and tricks, be sure to check out the following post:
Discover Great Premium PowerPoint Templates With Google Slides (For 2019)
Creating a great presentation starts with a great template. And a great PowerPoint slide design will use the best presentation practices such as using high-quality photos and graphics to help tell the story, keeping text to a minimum, and sticking to one idea per slide.
Designing a great template doesn’t mean you've got to start from scratch, though. Take a look at some of the best PowerPoint templates we've got on Envato Elements.
The Neo PowerPoint template features a modern and bold design and includes five color variations to get you started. Along with this, you'll also get 10 master slides and 30 individual slides for all your presentation needs.
The Vexana template is a great choice for brands that need a touch of elegance. This template works with PowerPoint and Google Slides and comes with a grand total of 150 slides. It also has five color variations and includes infographic elements and photo placeholders.
The Sprint PowerPoint template features a professional and modern design. The template is easy to customize. You'll find 20 masters in the standard 4:3 size, allowing you to choose the best layout for your information.
For any presentation that deals with the topic of travel, check out the Travelicious template. This template is compatible with both PowerPoint and Google Slides and includes three premade color variations as well as 30 unique slides.
As you can see from the examples above, there's no shortage of beautiful and professional PowerPoint slide designs on Envato Elements. What’s more, Envato Elements allows you to download as many PowerPoint templates as you want as well as thousands of other design assets such as fonts, photos, and icons; all for one low monthly price.
Want to see even more great PowerPoint template examples? Be sure to check out our related roundup:
Need Help? Grab Our Making Great Presentations eBook (Free)
We've got the perfect complement to this tutorial. You can find more information in our eBook on making great presentations. Download this PDF eBook now for FREE with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.
It'll help you master the presentation process, from: initial creative ideas, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.
Recap & Keep Learning
These quick PowerPoint Presentation tips are some of my favorite ways to rapidly improve a presentation. Keeping them in mind while you build a presentation can help you build a deck you'll be confident about presenting.
Check out these tutorials to keep learning more about PowerPoint. These tutorials will give you more ideas for fixing up your PowerPoint presentation slides efficiently:
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make Animated PowerPoint Presentations With TemplatesAndrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make Creative PowerPoint Presentations (With Unique Ideas)Andrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Add Text to PowerPoint & Make Amazing Text EffectsAndrew Childress
What do you want to know about PowerPoint? Which PowerPoint tips helped you improve your presentation the most? Let me know in the comments below.
Use These PPT Presentation Tips on Your Next Presentation
Now that you've studied some of our best PowerPoint tips, it's time to put them to use. Download one of our top-notch PowerPoint themes from Envato Elements to get started.
Editorial Note: This post was last published in February of 2019. Our staff updates this post regularly—adding new, exciting PowerPoint tips and templates (with special assistance from Brenda Barron).