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With the introduction of Microsoft Office 2013, PowerPoint has been significantly improved and tied with lots of useful and time-saving online services. A barely noticeable feature of PowerPoint 2013 is that it automatically adjusts your presentation aspect ratio based on your current display resolution. Above is a side-by-side comparison of an incorrect presentation aspect ratio and a correct one. The new version of PowerPoint also has a new feature where if changing from a larger aspect ratio to a smaller one you can choose whether you want to maximize your content or ensure it will fit inside the space you’re going to allow it to use. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, if you are to create a good presentation you need to pay attention even to the smallest details. PowerPoint 2013 has a new start screen which lets you instantly grab a template from the net, as well as easily search and filter templates with ease. If you’re on an older version of Office or you simply can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s also a good idea to create your own background. Personally I’m not that much of an Apple fan, but I must admit that their keynote presentations are simply amazing. The most basic tip I can give you here is to have equally dynamic transitions and effects throughout the entire presentation and to add more dramatic and epic effects only on more important slides. A good presenter emphasizes on the more important parts of his presentation not only with the right transitions and effects, but also with short pauses and annotations which can allow the audience to fully digest the information.
There are several different effects you can choose from, most of which you can further customize with the help of the animation pane (Animations Tab > Animation Pane). One of the other ways in which you can emphasize on something is to highlight important areas during the presentation. With the highlighter tools (laser pointer, pen and highlighter) you can easily focus the audience’s attention to what they must see. In order to enable this mode, go to the tab Slide Show and check the “Use Presenter View” option. Throw in a joke or two, but do so only if the audience seems to be approving of the way you present and you begin to feel closer to them.
If you follow these tips and treat presentations like very serious events, I assure you that your next presentation will be one that your audience will never forget! Like an elegantly crafted ham sandwich, cheeseburger, or croque monsieur, a good PowerPoint presentation is filled with yummy details that accentuate your talking points and keep your audience perked up and salivating to learn more. This is why it’s so important to consider not only the content of your presentation, but also the way in which it is presented. Lucky for you, there are tons of FREE PRESENTATION TOOLS at your disposal to enhance your slides and turn them from boring to awesome. The Pattern Library is a free project started by graphic designers Tim Holman and Claudio Guglieri. One of the lovely features of Pattern Library is that its seemingly infinite collection of images fit just about every scenario, palate, and topic imaginable. These free patterns can easily be used within your designs to pep them up, or simply as some inspiration if you’re not quite sure what to make your presentation about.
Of course, maybe the kind of topic you’re presenting on, or the audience you’re presenting to, isn’t interested in seeing slides with loopy science-themed graphics (which is a darn shame, because we’re all about making slides fun). Like Pattern Library, Subtle Patterns features open-source, downloadable content from designers all over the world. Even the biggest design n00b in the world can figure out how Type Genius works in approximately 2 seconds, which is one of the reasons it’s such a great design tool for presentation slides, not to mention any other type of design work involving complimentary fonts. If you’re in the mood for something bold and eye-catching, especially if it’s a header, a font such as Bebas Neue might be exactly what you’re looking for. Each complimentary font in the shortlist comes with a nifty text sample on the page so you can see what it looks like in situ.
Lastly, you can go directly to the font page on Adobe Typekit and download it, browse other similar fonts, view what the font looks like in various weights and styles such as bold, italics, and font size.
If you like the concept of Skitch and recognize the importance of utilizing awesome screenshots, you’ll definitely love Place It.
Perhaps calling it a tool isn’t really the right word; it basically contextualizes an image, screenshot, or even video recorded on your device directly onto one of over six hundred free product mockups.
Pretty much any scenario you can possibly imagine is accounted for in Place It’s series of mockups. The great benefit of using Place It mockups to present screenshots or video of your app in action can’t be overestimated. When you need to further illustrate a point in your presentation, sometimes that purpose can be served by including a screenshot. Skitch is a super user-friendly screen capture tool—most of the reviews in the Google Store mention how easy and quick it is to use– that is designed to do just that, but it takes it one level further by allowing for richly customized screen annotations that can be saved a JPG, BMP, TIFF, or PNG files. You never quite know when you need a good texture, and we don’t always have the option to go out and take a snapshot of them ourselves, so that’s where computer generated textures come to the rescue. What makes Texture King so remarkable is that its offers a diverse field of pretty much every texture theme you can think of.
All those different textures go a very long way in giving your presentation slides a distinct and bold personality, which is something completely lacking in so many basic PowerPoint presentations. Beyond the subtle pairing of a texture with a complimentary presentation topic, the implementation of a high quality texture background like the ones available from Texture King means that your presentations will look really, really beautiful.

Using these design tools will take you one step closer to building the perfect slides and engaging your audience as effectively as possible. After reading this article can you see how even something as subtle as font design or the way you present a screenshot can grab someone’s attention? Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation design tips? Thanks for reading and be sure to share this article if you enjoyed it (by using the sharing buttons to the left). About PandaWe're a presentation design firm that creates KILLER presentations for startups, large businesses, and individuals. Adam Noar is founder of Presentation Panda, and has been designing sweet looking slides for over 10 years. Enter your your name and email below to get this free presentation template and also get free updates! Subscribe to my newsletter to stay informed on all of my latest presentation tips, articles, and resources! Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. But when it comes to creating a good presentation, it’s not just the software and the features – it’s about all those small things that pile up and make a really good impression. While this is good in some cases, it’s best to think about where you will be presenting and what kind of a screen will you be provided with. While the difference may not seem that game changing to some, I ensure you you are better off without the annoying unused white space at the side of the screen. I recommend the Ensure Fit option, since it is always best to resize your content manually and make it fill the screen the way you want to. That includes the template you’re going to use and the background for each and every one of your slides. Get creative, use every image editing tool you can think of, try experimenting with different photography techniques and tricks, and if you really want to take things to the next level, get inspired and do some hardcore editing in Photoshop.
The style in which they present and the effects that they use definitely play a big role in their success. When viewing any PowerPoint slideshow, you may have noticed the small menu that appears at the bottom left of the screen. It’s a great feature which allows you to read your notes, see what’s up ahead, keep time and much more.
Logitech has some great options, and Microsoft even has a mouse with controls that are built right in. This is not a tip regarding how many features you use or which version of PowerPoint you use and so on.
Scripted presentations are beyond boring – simply improvise on-the-go and keep the conversation flowing naturally. Find the perfect balance of speed and accuracy and practice presenting to an imaginary audience. A quick joke is a great method of keeping everyone’s attention and enlightening the atmosphere.
Here at Presentation Panda, we’re all about finding clever hacks to pimp out your slides in record time. Navigating the site is simple: you scroll endlessly through rich images custom designed by graphic designers from all over the web, and when you find one you like you hover your mouse over the title of the image in the upper left corner and then click to download. Since Pattern Library is open source and literally any designer can contribute his or her creations to the project, it doubles as a great way to search for talented designers who might be able to help you with other design-related projects you have in the works.
In that case, another great database full of more SUBTLE patterns to use on your slide is the aptly-named Subtle Patterns, which is much less in-your-face than Pattern Library but no less beautiful.
Unlike Pattern Library, instead of bright colors and richly-detailed themes, the ones here skew towards cream, off-white, beige, gray, and occasionally black. First you select a starter font, which is probably the single most challenging part of using this great design site.
Adobe Typekit also provides more information about the font designer, in case you want to see more work by the same creator. If you want to take it one step further and package your screenshot in a fun and engaging way, this is the design tool you’ve always dreamed of. You can keep things simple with still image mockups of screenshots on a Macbook Pro and nothing else, or you can get crazy and place screengrabs from your smartphone directly into mockup scenes that run the gamut of your imagination. Nothing makes a better impact than showing your audience exactly what your product can do in real life, which is why Place It should be an integral part of your presentation design toolbox. While you can always turn to Microsoft Paint to capture a screenshot and to do basic annotation, it’s a clearly limited, primitive program and can make your presentation screenshots look lackluster.
Draw your audience’s attention by highlighting, outlining, and marking up especially important parts of your screenshot.
Most of the content is free to use, but if you want to turn notes into presentations or access notes while you’re offline you’ll have to pay either $25 or $50 to upgrade it for a year. With a huge database of meticulously organized textures, Texture King will make sure your presentations will never be devoid of rich, evocative textures again.
If you are delivering a presentation on contemporary architectural design trends, your choice of a distressed concrete texture theme will be a subtle nod to the increasingly popular use of industrial materials.

While content itself is king, it’s the addition of richly textured backgrounds that will shoot your presentations over the top and grab your audience’s attention.
How do you think you can utilize apps such as Skitch or Place It to make an out-of-the-box impact on your next presentation?
Your direct mail will make it in to the house and not in the trash can! Your direct mail needs to be unique to stand out. Filling up the entire screen allows your viewers to truly immerse into the content you are presenting.
If there is even the slightest bit of “computer geekness” inside of you, then you surely know that a good UI needs a lot of visual elements to make for a more pleasurable experience.
When animating the separate elements on a slide, you may have noticed that aside from the entrance and exit animations, there are also a few labeled “emphasis”. It contains various various different options from which you can choose to further develop your presentation. It’s just a tip to remind you that no matter how well you do things on PowerPoint, the key to true success is to be a successful presenter.
Even if it was about an interesting topic, chances are that you probably felt bored within a couple minutes. Whether it’s coming up with gorgeous backgrounds for your slides, selecting complimentary font styles, or innovating with screenshots and other images, it’s little things like this that will take your presentation from good to great. The grayscale chromatics are complimented to perfection by more subdued details, such as swirls, chevrons and other geometric patterns, and the patterns sometimes feature tongue-in-cheek names such as Honey I’m Subtle. And really, it’s only difficult because of the dizzying array of 53 font choices at your disposal. Adjacent to the text sample is a screenshot of a real life website utilizing the starter font you originally select and the complimentary font suggested by Type Genius, so you can see what your font looks like in the wild (kind of like how watching pandas in the wild is a more authentic experience than seeing them stuck in a zoo). The next time you’re setting up a presentation and looking for the perfect font design, look no further. There are mockups scenes of a guy drinking bourbon, a woman sitting on a bench in a park, and even a woman sitting in her living room reading a book with her lapdog by her side. Showing a video featuring hand gestures and engaging user videos will convey a greater sense of realism and add that extra bit of jazz to your presentation. A deep treasure trove of add-on features such as pop-up shapes, arrows, and quick sketches facilitates your presentation with fewer words, which is always a plus. Still, it’s an invaluable tool for adding simple-to-read screenshots on your presentations, so it’s an investment worth making.
Besides offering incredibly beautiful themes, any design site that has a category named after music best associated with plaid shirts, long greasy hair, and Kurt Cobain is pretty awesome.
If your presentation is about the real estate foreclosure market in California then a chipped plaster theme might give off a subtle undertone of disrepair and neglect, which is pretty much true for a lot of empty bank-owned homes.
Get in touch with the people that will provide you with the presentation screen and ask them about the aspect ratio. Well, it’s kind of the same deal with presentations, and if you use visual elements and animations to help explain your speech and your ideas, then the audience is more likely to understand the true meaning behind what you’re saying.
The projector shows the audience only the presentation, while you maintain full control of everything on the monitor that only you can see.
A well-thought out presentation design will make a ton of difference in captivating your audience and ensure that you don’t hear snoring during your presentation. That’s why you’ll love these five presentation design tools: they’re free, easy to use, and will make your next presentation look fantastic.
That said, you can still find less conventional design details in the Subtle Patterns library, such as wild flowers. Type Genius finds the perfect match for one font type, and gives you a live example of the two fonts working together. It curates a shortlist of perfectly complimentary typesets and fonts that will look great alongside your starter font, saving you from the headache of having to figure it all out yourself. In other words, there’s probably a scene that’s perfect for whatever topic your presentation might be about. It is worth pointing out that if you’d like a higher resolution image, you can pay per image or buy a subscription, but neither of these cost very much, and in any case the default image resolution settings are already more than acceptable.
The solution to boring, plain vanilla screenshots is Skitch, an app designed by Evernote and available across just about every platform, including Microsoft, Apple, and Android.
And because of Skitch’s intuitive design, it is ideal for manipulating images from your smartphone or tablet. What all of the Subtle Patterns designs have in common is a focus on muted tones and colors, allowing your presentation’s content to really pop forward. This site lets you peek over the shoulder of other designers to see which fonts look great together.

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