5 Presentation Software Tips for Effective Visual Creation

March 9, 2020 Rayana Barnes

You have chosen to present a project for an idea you’re selling, and it’s a good one. But you don’t want another painful slide show - we have all been through them wanting to escape.

Presentation software is a solution that helps put together and lay out such ideas. It encompasses elements including slides, transitions, and formatting. It’s a great tool that allows creativity, especially for outputting a story or message.

But for the uncreative or inexperienced, putting together presentations can have its repercussions. If the wrong visuals are used, it can come off as unprofessional, confusing, or messy. If it’s too boring, your message won’t be remembered at all. Presentations should reflect the time, passion, and sweat the presenter put into organizing their idea.

If you have a money-saving proposal, educational course, or performance analytics, a visual presentation is a great way to convey such information. A successful presentation can leave a great impression on executives and decision-makers. And that memory imprint can possibly lead to future opportunities.

Audiences typically look for professionalism, clarity, consistency, and a bit of excitement in a presentation. In the worst cases, not having those can result in lost business deals, partnerships breaking off, or that chance of a promotion being wiped off the table.

Thankfully, putting together a decent - or fantastic - presentation can be easily done.

How can you make a good looking presentation?

Mixing in other media like animations or videos is a sure way to make your audience present and engaged. Otherwise, audience members would rather check their phones, gloss over their inboxes, or see what’s going on outside. People intake and respond best to visuals, so a healthy mix of images, text, animation, and sound can make it interesting.

Solutions like Microsoft PowerPoint typically come to mind while talking about visual presentation creators, but it is not the only tool that can be used. Other solutions made for photos, branding, and communication also help.

Read further to see how you can bring life to your presentation and get your message across.

Using the Best Presentation Software Tools

Putting a robust presentation together calls for solutions that are specific to infographics, templates, communications, branding, and images. Each one has varying degrees of built-in tools, so it is important to see which solutions suit a business’ unique needs.

Understanding the features of each tool and how they can be implemented is the best preparation for future presentations.

For example:

  • Graphic or marketing companies can benefit from imaging solutions for customized branding
  • Solutions with a broad range of sharing options are great for companies with a sizable social media presence
  • Regional sales-focused businesses would gain from infographic creators to create sales maps

If your solution lacks where your company focuses on, it ends up being a big money and time waster for everyone. There’s no use in purchasing a tool that is deficient in graphing features if your company communicates with statistics.

Designing Creative Presentation Templates

Uniformity, consistency, and structure are key to creating an effective layout, from color palettes to fonts. But having too many or too little design elements can create a disaster. Presentations should have stable formatting and be easy on the eyes while creating a visual impact.

And because nobody likes to look at a mess.

If your company has a style guide or specific method of branding, it is important to stick to it for any document or project. Companies spend large amounts of money on branding for a reason. Enterprises want to be recognized and remembered down to every email, signature, or slide.

Branding in Enterprises

Businesses want to be remembered in a good way, of course. Using older versions of branding along with the newest style is an all-around bad look. And it’s important to distinguish branding differences between departments and communication channels, down to the font color.

Smaller companies can more likely get away with slips in visuals, but for larger enterprises making those mistakes can cost huge dollars. And in most cases it can cause bad PR, affecting company-wide sales.

Imagine if AT&T Mobile used their old bell logo in a tweet, then released a press release as Cingular Wireless. Having uniformity across all communications makes a brand recognizable instead of confusing.

However, a healthy mixing of company branding and original design in an individual presentation will allow room for uniqueness while aligning with company values.

1. Use Images in Presentations

Images are an essential part of any visual project. By creating visual interest for audience members, they can stay engaged and keep the presenter in mind in both the present and in the future, especially with business decisions.

Images that are related to the topic should be used - so stay away from the puppy pictures on the quarter analysis. Instead images should be appealing, but not distracting, and illustrates the topic. Images that draw emotion are also a great option, if of course, they are still in context.

Obtaining an image tool that allows editing or creation is also ideal if you cannot find the right one from a library. By using a photo editor like Pixlr or GIMP, a customized image can be created to better serve a presentation’s purpose and fit its message.

Say the right words by choosing the right image

Getting the perfect image to make an impact on your audience requires the right tools - and often purchasing the right image. You might need additional tools in addition to visual presentation software:

  • Stock image galleries
  • Image editors
  • Infographic creators
  • Template libraries
  • Digital asset managers
  • Illustrators
  • Meme creators (for the truly modern office)

2. Add in Interactive Presentation Tools

Still images aren’t the only way to add visuals to a presentation. Thanks to modern technology and peoples’ love for exciting images, it is possible to add in some video, music, and animation.

Video is an extremely popular medium because it encompasses both audio and visual. For businesses, they are great for clearly communicating messages involving important information. In presentations, videos can be directly embedded in its slides.

Live video conferences can also be done while connecting presentations. When companies have exciting news like making record profits, standard video recording and delayed deployment just isn't enough.

While using social media feeds, feedback can also be given in real-time as the information is being presented live.

If video isn’t an option, animations and GIFs are a great way to add movement as long as they are still relevant to the overall message.

Some love it, some hate it, but audience participation is a sure way to keep people awake during a presentation. Options for participation include adding in question slides, a live social media feed, FAQ time at the end, or quizzes using a tool like ProProfs.

Make an interactive map to engage and entice.

Piktochart lets users make an interactive map with a large range of icons, colors, and sharing options to choose from.

Do you have an idea for making a company video? See our tips on how to create one!

3. Collaborate before Presenting

Though it can be done solo, it’s always better to bring in other team members for creating any project, including presentations. By having others involved, it is possible to avoid mistakes, hand out tasks, gain different perspectives, and get stamps of approval from executive decision-makers.

Just like any other group effort, efficiency and communication are key to putting together the perfect project. Without them, dumpster fires, unwanted costs, and stress are inevitable.

Responsibility can fall on one person causing missed or tangled information. Data can be repeated or misplaced. Failed group efforts send the message, “we are terrible at working together and don’t care for organization.” And no stakeholder or possible business partner wants to invest in disorganized companies.

For communication and collaboration, there are all sorts of tools available. Some presentation software comes with built-in features including commenting, messages, and forums. Solutions that allow easy sharing and communication are going to be your best bet for team collaboration.

Here are some features to look for when looking for collaboration solutions:

  • Live Editing
  • File Sharing
  • User Permissions Management
  • Chatting or Messaging
  • In-document Commenting
  • Previewing and Saving

See collaboration and communication in action with this tool.

With a feature like Venngage’s “Comment Mode”, multiple users can use comments to add feedback and keep an open channel of communication.

4. Graph Presentation Ideas and Tools

Graphs and diagrams have been a long-time popular choice in visualizing big dataHaving walls of letters and numbers isn’t digested easily, so incorporating them into a graph helps viewers understand it in a simplistic way. And an idea can’t be sold if the viewer doesn’t exactly know what it is.

There are numerous types of charts and graphs out there, so it is important to pick the right one to properly communicate the right information. Adding in the wrong type of graph can cause confusion or distrust.

Do you want it to inform the audience? Maybe compare or correlate certain data points? or show a timeline? Each one serves to present certain types of data in their own unique way.

Data showing trends over a certain amount of time are great to show on line graphs. Bar pyramid graphs have been almost exclusively used for showing population growth and decline. For navigating multiple scenario possibilities, flow charts have been heavily used. There are countless possibilities in showing information with many options in visual representation tools.

Choosing or creating a graph that matches the formatting of the rest of the presentation is also important for uniformity. Some presentation software has their own built-in graph creator like Piktochart, but there are also standalone solutions for it.

How you can choose and create the perfect graph

Easel.ly has an infographic creator equipped with several customization features to present your data the way you want it.

Want to see how different intelligence and analytics technologies perform? Check out our report here!

5. Get Peer Feedback on Presentations

You can’t do your best if you are your only critic. Getting feedback from your audience is crucial to improving future presentations.

Sending feedback isn’t always someone’s favorite thing. (How many of us have completed the survey at the end of a fast-food receipt?) You can’t make everyone give it to you, but setting up as many accessible avenues as possible can help grow your chances of getting it.

An option for one of these avenues is exporting presentations and sending them out in various formats including PDF. This is a great choice for readers that don’t have presentation software downloaded.

Here are some quick tips making feedback more accessible

  • Allow team members to comment before presenting (as mentioned in Collaboration section)
  • Send a survey or poll via email
  • Use a survey tech to collect & analyze answers
  • Create a link to the presentation on a public site
  • Upload the presentation on social media or company website
  • Send copies of presentation afterward instead of during to avoid distraction

Use Visual Presentation Software Like a Pro

If prepared and applied correctly, using the right tools and practices will make your next presentation successful. And with that success doors will open for opportunity to both enterprise and personal growth. Partnerships and mergers can be made, new products can be launched, and so much more.

Besides sending a message or telling a story, the goal of giving a presentation is to gain the perception of professionalism, intelligence, and innovation for the entire company. And perception has weight.

Do you have other visual projects?

See how these tools can help you or leave a review!

About the Author

Rayana Barnes

Rayana is a Community Content Specialist where she is responsible for creating effective and on-brand content. Originally from Las Vegas, NV she now enjoys the landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

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