Why bad slides kill good ideas - and how to avoid it

January 1, 2024

When it comes to presenting ideas, whether to potential investors, clients, or team members, the design of your slides can make or break your presentation. "Bad slides kill good ideas" isn't just a catchy phrase; it's a reality many have faced. Here's our bitesized thoughts on why good slide design matters.

TL;DR

  • It's not just about the visual design, but everything from story, copy, and structure of your slides. Good slide design is more about your slides fulfilling their function, which can be very different depending on your purpose.

  • Bad slides obscure great ideas: Cluttered layouts, unclear messaging, and outdated visuals make it much harder to get your ideas across.

  • Good design is clear design: Simplify complex ideas, prioritize clear messaging, and craft a compelling narrative to keep your audience engaged.

  • Avoid common pitfalls: Keep slides simple, use high-quality visuals, maintain consistency, and practice good typography.

  • Conclusion: Effective slide design is essential for ensuring your ideas shine through and leave a lasting impact on your audience.

First impression matters

Imagine you're sitting in a room full of potential investors. You've got an innovative idea that could revolutionize the market, but your slides look meh (= not so inspiring). It's hard to get excited about a new idea, product, or service when the design doesn't capture your audience's attention. The first impression your slides create can significantly influence how your audience perceives your idea.

Good slide design matters because it's the first thing your audience sees. If your slides are visually appealing, they can spark interest and curiosity. On the other hand, poorly designed slides can distract from your message and make your audience lose focus.

Your slides reflect how much you care

Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, was recently on a podcast and he said something brilliant:



This quote highlights a critical point: good design reflects your commitment to quality. It reflects how much you care about your product. When your slides are well-designed, it signals to your audience that you care about every aspect of your presentation. This attention to detail suggests that you have the same level of care and dedication towards the product or idea you're presenting. It's a subtle yet powerful way to build credibility and trust with your audience.

Function > How it looks

Good presentation design is about your slides fulfilling their purpose. An investor deck? Excite them with your idea and make your message and investment potential super clear. A sales deck? Paint a picture of a new world and show them how you can help them succeed. This is obviously simplified to an extreme, but the point is: your presentation can be flashy and well-designed (visually) but if the focus is not on the message and story - you will most likely fail to transfer your ideas to your target audience.

Many presentation agencies you see out there are solely focused on the visual aspect. Same goes with the many design marketplaces or design subscription services we see today. It's all visual focus, and zero function.

Simplifying complex ideas

Bad slides make complex ideas even more complex. In contrast, a good slide—encompassing good design, effective copy, and relevant visuals—can simplify complex ideas and make them understandable to anyone, even a five-year-old. That’s the power of good design and all that it involves. It transforms complex concepts into clear, digestible information.

The power of clarity

A bad slide is an unclear slide. What is your main message? What are you trying to say? Bad slides often involve a ton of information with no clear hierarchy. The key message gets lost. If you combine good copy with good design, you will see magic. Clear slides help your audience grasp the main points quickly, ensuring that your core message stands out and is remembered.

No story

A bad presentation has no story, no flow, no soul. It might look good and be flashy in terms of design, but it has no substance for the reader. That is why the idea dies quickly. It might excite at first glance, but it will quickly fade away due to lack of a compelling narrative. Good slides tell a story. They take the audience on a journey, making the information engaging and memorable.

Why slide design is important

  1. Clarity: Good design helps convey your message clearly and concisely. It guides your audience through your presentation, making it easier for them to understand and remember your key points.

  2. Engagement: Visually appealing slides can keep your audience engaged. By using elements like images, charts, and infographics, you can make complex information more digestible and interesting.

  3. Professionalism: Well-designed slides reflect professionalism. They show that you take your work seriously and have invested time and effort into delivering a polished presentation.

  4. Consistency: A consistent design throughout your slides helps create a cohesive narrative. It ensures that your presentation flows smoothly and maintains the audience's focus.

The anatomy of bad slides

Bad slides refer to a combination of poor design choices, such as:

  • Outdated or dull visuals: Using low-quality images or uninspired graphics can make your presentation seem boring and unprofessional.

  • Excessive text: Slides overloaded with text can overwhelm your audience. They should complement your spoken words, not replace them.

  • Poor copywriting: Jargon-heavy or unclear language can confuse your audience. Clear, concise, and engaging copy is essential.

  • Inconsistent design: Inconsistencies in fonts, colors, and layouts can distract your audience and make your presentation look uncoordinated.

  • Lack of visual hierarchy: Without a clear visual hierarchy, your slides can appear cluttered, making it hard for your audience to focus on the key points.

Avoiding common pitfalls

To ensure your slides don't kill your great ideas, here are a few tips:

  • Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your slides with too much text or overly complex graphics. Aim for simplicity and clarity.

  • Use high-quality images: Low-resolution or irrelevant images can distract and detract from your message. Use high-quality visuals that support your points.

  • Consistent design elements: Stick to a consistent color scheme, font style, and layout. Consistency helps reinforce your brand and keeps your presentation cohesive.

  • Practice good typography: Use readable fonts and appropriate font sizes. Avoid using too many different fonts, as this can make your slides look unprofessional.

Conclusion

In the world of presentations, design isn't just about making things look pretty; it's about enhancing communication and ensuring your ideas are effectively conveyed. Bad slides can overshadow even the most brilliant ideas, while good design can elevate your message and leave a lasting impression.

So, next time you're preparing a presentation, remember: good slide design matters. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about showing you care, engaging your audience, and ultimately, giving your great ideas the platform they deserve.

If you need help with bringing your dead slides to life, get in touch with us for a review of your presentations.

Why bad slides kill good ideas - and how to avoid it

January 1, 2024

When it comes to presenting ideas, whether to potential investors, clients, or team members, the design of your slides can make or break your presentation. "Bad slides kill good ideas" isn't just a catchy phrase; it's a reality many have faced. Here's our bitesized thoughts on why good slide design matters.

TL;DR

  • It's not just about the visual design, but everything from story, copy, and structure of your slides. Good slide design is more about your slides fulfilling their function, which can be very different depending on your purpose.

  • Bad slides obscure great ideas: Cluttered layouts, unclear messaging, and outdated visuals make it much harder to get your ideas across.

  • Good design is clear design: Simplify complex ideas, prioritize clear messaging, and craft a compelling narrative to keep your audience engaged.

  • Avoid common pitfalls: Keep slides simple, use high-quality visuals, maintain consistency, and practice good typography.

  • Conclusion: Effective slide design is essential for ensuring your ideas shine through and leave a lasting impact on your audience.

First impression matters

Imagine you're sitting in a room full of potential investors. You've got an innovative idea that could revolutionize the market, but your slides look meh (= not so inspiring). It's hard to get excited about a new idea, product, or service when the design doesn't capture your audience's attention. The first impression your slides create can significantly influence how your audience perceives your idea.

Good slide design matters because it's the first thing your audience sees. If your slides are visually appealing, they can spark interest and curiosity. On the other hand, poorly designed slides can distract from your message and make your audience lose focus.

Your slides reflect how much you care

Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, was recently on a podcast and he said something brilliant:



This quote highlights a critical point: good design reflects your commitment to quality. It reflects how much you care about your product. When your slides are well-designed, it signals to your audience that you care about every aspect of your presentation. This attention to detail suggests that you have the same level of care and dedication towards the product or idea you're presenting. It's a subtle yet powerful way to build credibility and trust with your audience.

Function > How it looks

Good presentation design is about your slides fulfilling their purpose. An investor deck? Excite them with your idea and make your message and investment potential super clear. A sales deck? Paint a picture of a new world and show them how you can help them succeed. This is obviously simplified to an extreme, but the point is: your presentation can be flashy and well-designed (visually) but if the focus is not on the message and story - you will most likely fail to transfer your ideas to your target audience.

Many presentation agencies you see out there are solely focused on the visual aspect. Same goes with the many design marketplaces or design subscription services we see today. It's all visual focus, and zero function.

Simplifying complex ideas

Bad slides make complex ideas even more complex. In contrast, a good slide—encompassing good design, effective copy, and relevant visuals—can simplify complex ideas and make them understandable to anyone, even a five-year-old. That’s the power of good design and all that it involves. It transforms complex concepts into clear, digestible information.

The power of clarity

A bad slide is an unclear slide. What is your main message? What are you trying to say? Bad slides often involve a ton of information with no clear hierarchy. The key message gets lost. If you combine good copy with good design, you will see magic. Clear slides help your audience grasp the main points quickly, ensuring that your core message stands out and is remembered.

No story

A bad presentation has no story, no flow, no soul. It might look good and be flashy in terms of design, but it has no substance for the reader. That is why the idea dies quickly. It might excite at first glance, but it will quickly fade away due to lack of a compelling narrative. Good slides tell a story. They take the audience on a journey, making the information engaging and memorable.

Why slide design is important

  1. Clarity: Good design helps convey your message clearly and concisely. It guides your audience through your presentation, making it easier for them to understand and remember your key points.

  2. Engagement: Visually appealing slides can keep your audience engaged. By using elements like images, charts, and infographics, you can make complex information more digestible and interesting.

  3. Professionalism: Well-designed slides reflect professionalism. They show that you take your work seriously and have invested time and effort into delivering a polished presentation.

  4. Consistency: A consistent design throughout your slides helps create a cohesive narrative. It ensures that your presentation flows smoothly and maintains the audience's focus.

The anatomy of bad slides

Bad slides refer to a combination of poor design choices, such as:

  • Outdated or dull visuals: Using low-quality images or uninspired graphics can make your presentation seem boring and unprofessional.

  • Excessive text: Slides overloaded with text can overwhelm your audience. They should complement your spoken words, not replace them.

  • Poor copywriting: Jargon-heavy or unclear language can confuse your audience. Clear, concise, and engaging copy is essential.

  • Inconsistent design: Inconsistencies in fonts, colors, and layouts can distract your audience and make your presentation look uncoordinated.

  • Lack of visual hierarchy: Without a clear visual hierarchy, your slides can appear cluttered, making it hard for your audience to focus on the key points.

Avoiding common pitfalls

To ensure your slides don't kill your great ideas, here are a few tips:

  • Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your slides with too much text or overly complex graphics. Aim for simplicity and clarity.

  • Use high-quality images: Low-resolution or irrelevant images can distract and detract from your message. Use high-quality visuals that support your points.

  • Consistent design elements: Stick to a consistent color scheme, font style, and layout. Consistency helps reinforce your brand and keeps your presentation cohesive.

  • Practice good typography: Use readable fonts and appropriate font sizes. Avoid using too many different fonts, as this can make your slides look unprofessional.

Conclusion

In the world of presentations, design isn't just about making things look pretty; it's about enhancing communication and ensuring your ideas are effectively conveyed. Bad slides can overshadow even the most brilliant ideas, while good design can elevate your message and leave a lasting impression.

So, next time you're preparing a presentation, remember: good slide design matters. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about showing you care, engaging your audience, and ultimately, giving your great ideas the platform they deserve.

If you need help with bringing your dead slides to life, get in touch with us for a review of your presentations.

Why bad slides kill good ideas - and how to avoid it

January 1, 2024

When it comes to presenting ideas, whether to potential investors, clients, or team members, the design of your slides can make or break your presentation. "Bad slides kill good ideas" isn't just a catchy phrase; it's a reality many have faced. Here's our bitesized thoughts on why good slide design matters.

TL;DR

  • It's not just about the visual design, but everything from story, copy, and structure of your slides. Good slide design is more about your slides fulfilling their function, which can be very different depending on your purpose.

  • Bad slides obscure great ideas: Cluttered layouts, unclear messaging, and outdated visuals make it much harder to get your ideas across.

  • Good design is clear design: Simplify complex ideas, prioritize clear messaging, and craft a compelling narrative to keep your audience engaged.

  • Avoid common pitfalls: Keep slides simple, use high-quality visuals, maintain consistency, and practice good typography.

  • Conclusion: Effective slide design is essential for ensuring your ideas shine through and leave a lasting impact on your audience.

First impression matters

Imagine you're sitting in a room full of potential investors. You've got an innovative idea that could revolutionize the market, but your slides look meh (= not so inspiring). It's hard to get excited about a new idea, product, or service when the design doesn't capture your audience's attention. The first impression your slides create can significantly influence how your audience perceives your idea.

Good slide design matters because it's the first thing your audience sees. If your slides are visually appealing, they can spark interest and curiosity. On the other hand, poorly designed slides can distract from your message and make your audience lose focus.

Your slides reflect how much you care

Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, was recently on a podcast and he said something brilliant:



This quote highlights a critical point: good design reflects your commitment to quality. It reflects how much you care about your product. When your slides are well-designed, it signals to your audience that you care about every aspect of your presentation. This attention to detail suggests that you have the same level of care and dedication towards the product or idea you're presenting. It's a subtle yet powerful way to build credibility and trust with your audience.

Function > How it looks

Good presentation design is about your slides fulfilling their purpose. An investor deck? Excite them with your idea and make your message and investment potential super clear. A sales deck? Paint a picture of a new world and show them how you can help them succeed. This is obviously simplified to an extreme, but the point is: your presentation can be flashy and well-designed (visually) but if the focus is not on the message and story - you will most likely fail to transfer your ideas to your target audience.

Many presentation agencies you see out there are solely focused on the visual aspect. Same goes with the many design marketplaces or design subscription services we see today. It's all visual focus, and zero function.

Simplifying complex ideas

Bad slides make complex ideas even more complex. In contrast, a good slide—encompassing good design, effective copy, and relevant visuals—can simplify complex ideas and make them understandable to anyone, even a five-year-old. That’s the power of good design and all that it involves. It transforms complex concepts into clear, digestible information.

The power of clarity

A bad slide is an unclear slide. What is your main message? What are you trying to say? Bad slides often involve a ton of information with no clear hierarchy. The key message gets lost. If you combine good copy with good design, you will see magic. Clear slides help your audience grasp the main points quickly, ensuring that your core message stands out and is remembered.

No story

A bad presentation has no story, no flow, no soul. It might look good and be flashy in terms of design, but it has no substance for the reader. That is why the idea dies quickly. It might excite at first glance, but it will quickly fade away due to lack of a compelling narrative. Good slides tell a story. They take the audience on a journey, making the information engaging and memorable.

Why slide design is important

  1. Clarity: Good design helps convey your message clearly and concisely. It guides your audience through your presentation, making it easier for them to understand and remember your key points.

  2. Engagement: Visually appealing slides can keep your audience engaged. By using elements like images, charts, and infographics, you can make complex information more digestible and interesting.

  3. Professionalism: Well-designed slides reflect professionalism. They show that you take your work seriously and have invested time and effort into delivering a polished presentation.

  4. Consistency: A consistent design throughout your slides helps create a cohesive narrative. It ensures that your presentation flows smoothly and maintains the audience's focus.

The anatomy of bad slides

Bad slides refer to a combination of poor design choices, such as:

  • Outdated or dull visuals: Using low-quality images or uninspired graphics can make your presentation seem boring and unprofessional.

  • Excessive text: Slides overloaded with text can overwhelm your audience. They should complement your spoken words, not replace them.

  • Poor copywriting: Jargon-heavy or unclear language can confuse your audience. Clear, concise, and engaging copy is essential.

  • Inconsistent design: Inconsistencies in fonts, colors, and layouts can distract your audience and make your presentation look uncoordinated.

  • Lack of visual hierarchy: Without a clear visual hierarchy, your slides can appear cluttered, making it hard for your audience to focus on the key points.

Avoiding common pitfalls

To ensure your slides don't kill your great ideas, here are a few tips:

  • Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your slides with too much text or overly complex graphics. Aim for simplicity and clarity.

  • Use high-quality images: Low-resolution or irrelevant images can distract and detract from your message. Use high-quality visuals that support your points.

  • Consistent design elements: Stick to a consistent color scheme, font style, and layout. Consistency helps reinforce your brand and keeps your presentation cohesive.

  • Practice good typography: Use readable fonts and appropriate font sizes. Avoid using too many different fonts, as this can make your slides look unprofessional.

Conclusion

In the world of presentations, design isn't just about making things look pretty; it's about enhancing communication and ensuring your ideas are effectively conveyed. Bad slides can overshadow even the most brilliant ideas, while good design can elevate your message and leave a lasting impression.

So, next time you're preparing a presentation, remember: good slide design matters. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about showing you care, engaging your audience, and ultimately, giving your great ideas the platform they deserve.

If you need help with bringing your dead slides to life, get in touch with us for a review of your presentations.

Why bad slides kill good ideas - and how to avoid it

January 1, 2024

When it comes to presenting ideas, whether to potential investors, clients, or team members, the design of your slides can make or break your presentation. "Bad slides kill good ideas" isn't just a catchy phrase; it's a reality many have faced. Here's our bitesized thoughts on why good slide design matters.

TL;DR

  • It's not just about the visual design, but everything from story, copy, and structure of your slides. Good slide design is more about your slides fulfilling their function, which can be very different depending on your purpose.

  • Bad slides obscure great ideas: Cluttered layouts, unclear messaging, and outdated visuals make it much harder to get your ideas across.

  • Good design is clear design: Simplify complex ideas, prioritize clear messaging, and craft a compelling narrative to keep your audience engaged.

  • Avoid common pitfalls: Keep slides simple, use high-quality visuals, maintain consistency, and practice good typography.

  • Conclusion: Effective slide design is essential for ensuring your ideas shine through and leave a lasting impact on your audience.

First impression matters

Imagine you're sitting in a room full of potential investors. You've got an innovative idea that could revolutionize the market, but your slides look meh (= not so inspiring). It's hard to get excited about a new idea, product, or service when the design doesn't capture your audience's attention. The first impression your slides create can significantly influence how your audience perceives your idea.

Good slide design matters because it's the first thing your audience sees. If your slides are visually appealing, they can spark interest and curiosity. On the other hand, poorly designed slides can distract from your message and make your audience lose focus.

Your slides reflect how much you care

Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, was recently on a podcast and he said something brilliant:



This quote highlights a critical point: good design reflects your commitment to quality. It reflects how much you care about your product. When your slides are well-designed, it signals to your audience that you care about every aspect of your presentation. This attention to detail suggests that you have the same level of care and dedication towards the product or idea you're presenting. It's a subtle yet powerful way to build credibility and trust with your audience.

Function > How it looks

Good presentation design is about your slides fulfilling their purpose. An investor deck? Excite them with your idea and make your message and investment potential super clear. A sales deck? Paint a picture of a new world and show them how you can help them succeed. This is obviously simplified to an extreme, but the point is: your presentation can be flashy and well-designed (visually) but if the focus is not on the message and story - you will most likely fail to transfer your ideas to your target audience.

Many presentation agencies you see out there are solely focused on the visual aspect. Same goes with the many design marketplaces or design subscription services we see today. It's all visual focus, and zero function.

Simplifying complex ideas

Bad slides make complex ideas even more complex. In contrast, a good slide—encompassing good design, effective copy, and relevant visuals—can simplify complex ideas and make them understandable to anyone, even a five-year-old. That’s the power of good design and all that it involves. It transforms complex concepts into clear, digestible information.

The power of clarity

A bad slide is an unclear slide. What is your main message? What are you trying to say? Bad slides often involve a ton of information with no clear hierarchy. The key message gets lost. If you combine good copy with good design, you will see magic. Clear slides help your audience grasp the main points quickly, ensuring that your core message stands out and is remembered.

No story

A bad presentation has no story, no flow, no soul. It might look good and be flashy in terms of design, but it has no substance for the reader. That is why the idea dies quickly. It might excite at first glance, but it will quickly fade away due to lack of a compelling narrative. Good slides tell a story. They take the audience on a journey, making the information engaging and memorable.

Why slide design is important

  1. Clarity: Good design helps convey your message clearly and concisely. It guides your audience through your presentation, making it easier for them to understand and remember your key points.

  2. Engagement: Visually appealing slides can keep your audience engaged. By using elements like images, charts, and infographics, you can make complex information more digestible and interesting.

  3. Professionalism: Well-designed slides reflect professionalism. They show that you take your work seriously and have invested time and effort into delivering a polished presentation.

  4. Consistency: A consistent design throughout your slides helps create a cohesive narrative. It ensures that your presentation flows smoothly and maintains the audience's focus.

The anatomy of bad slides

Bad slides refer to a combination of poor design choices, such as:

  • Outdated or dull visuals: Using low-quality images or uninspired graphics can make your presentation seem boring and unprofessional.

  • Excessive text: Slides overloaded with text can overwhelm your audience. They should complement your spoken words, not replace them.

  • Poor copywriting: Jargon-heavy or unclear language can confuse your audience. Clear, concise, and engaging copy is essential.

  • Inconsistent design: Inconsistencies in fonts, colors, and layouts can distract your audience and make your presentation look uncoordinated.

  • Lack of visual hierarchy: Without a clear visual hierarchy, your slides can appear cluttered, making it hard for your audience to focus on the key points.

Avoiding common pitfalls

To ensure your slides don't kill your great ideas, here are a few tips:

  • Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your slides with too much text or overly complex graphics. Aim for simplicity and clarity.

  • Use high-quality images: Low-resolution or irrelevant images can distract and detract from your message. Use high-quality visuals that support your points.

  • Consistent design elements: Stick to a consistent color scheme, font style, and layout. Consistency helps reinforce your brand and keeps your presentation cohesive.

  • Practice good typography: Use readable fonts and appropriate font sizes. Avoid using too many different fonts, as this can make your slides look unprofessional.

Conclusion

In the world of presentations, design isn't just about making things look pretty; it's about enhancing communication and ensuring your ideas are effectively conveyed. Bad slides can overshadow even the most brilliant ideas, while good design can elevate your message and leave a lasting impression.

So, next time you're preparing a presentation, remember: good slide design matters. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about showing you care, engaging your audience, and ultimately, giving your great ideas the platform they deserve.

If you need help with bringing your dead slides to life, get in touch with us for a review of your presentations.

Why bad slides kill good ideas - and how to avoid it

January 1, 2024

When it comes to presenting ideas, whether to potential investors, clients, or team members, the design of your slides can make or break your presentation. "Bad slides kill good ideas" isn't just a catchy phrase; it's a reality many have faced. Here's our bitesized thoughts on why good slide design matters.

TL;DR

  • It's not just about the visual design, but everything from story, copy, and structure of your slides. Good slide design is more about your slides fulfilling their function, which can be very different depending on your purpose.

  • Bad slides obscure great ideas: Cluttered layouts, unclear messaging, and outdated visuals make it much harder to get your ideas across.

  • Good design is clear design: Simplify complex ideas, prioritize clear messaging, and craft a compelling narrative to keep your audience engaged.

  • Avoid common pitfalls: Keep slides simple, use high-quality visuals, maintain consistency, and practice good typography.

  • Conclusion: Effective slide design is essential for ensuring your ideas shine through and leave a lasting impact on your audience.

First impression matters

Imagine you're sitting in a room full of potential investors. You've got an innovative idea that could revolutionize the market, but your slides look meh (= not so inspiring). It's hard to get excited about a new idea, product, or service when the design doesn't capture your audience's attention. The first impression your slides create can significantly influence how your audience perceives your idea.

Good slide design matters because it's the first thing your audience sees. If your slides are visually appealing, they can spark interest and curiosity. On the other hand, poorly designed slides can distract from your message and make your audience lose focus.

Your slides reflect how much you care

Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, was recently on a podcast and he said something brilliant:



This quote highlights a critical point: good design reflects your commitment to quality. It reflects how much you care about your product. When your slides are well-designed, it signals to your audience that you care about every aspect of your presentation. This attention to detail suggests that you have the same level of care and dedication towards the product or idea you're presenting. It's a subtle yet powerful way to build credibility and trust with your audience.

Function > How it looks

Good presentation design is about your slides fulfilling their purpose. An investor deck? Excite them with your idea and make your message and investment potential super clear. A sales deck? Paint a picture of a new world and show them how you can help them succeed. This is obviously simplified to an extreme, but the point is: your presentation can be flashy and well-designed (visually) but if the focus is not on the message and story - you will most likely fail to transfer your ideas to your target audience.

Many presentation agencies you see out there are solely focused on the visual aspect. Same goes with the many design marketplaces or design subscription services we see today. It's all visual focus, and zero function.

Simplifying complex ideas

Bad slides make complex ideas even more complex. In contrast, a good slide—encompassing good design, effective copy, and relevant visuals—can simplify complex ideas and make them understandable to anyone, even a five-year-old. That’s the power of good design and all that it involves. It transforms complex concepts into clear, digestible information.

The power of clarity

A bad slide is an unclear slide. What is your main message? What are you trying to say? Bad slides often involve a ton of information with no clear hierarchy. The key message gets lost. If you combine good copy with good design, you will see magic. Clear slides help your audience grasp the main points quickly, ensuring that your core message stands out and is remembered.

No story

A bad presentation has no story, no flow, no soul. It might look good and be flashy in terms of design, but it has no substance for the reader. That is why the idea dies quickly. It might excite at first glance, but it will quickly fade away due to lack of a compelling narrative. Good slides tell a story. They take the audience on a journey, making the information engaging and memorable.

Why slide design is important

  1. Clarity: Good design helps convey your message clearly and concisely. It guides your audience through your presentation, making it easier for them to understand and remember your key points.

  2. Engagement: Visually appealing slides can keep your audience engaged. By using elements like images, charts, and infographics, you can make complex information more digestible and interesting.

  3. Professionalism: Well-designed slides reflect professionalism. They show that you take your work seriously and have invested time and effort into delivering a polished presentation.

  4. Consistency: A consistent design throughout your slides helps create a cohesive narrative. It ensures that your presentation flows smoothly and maintains the audience's focus.

The anatomy of bad slides

Bad slides refer to a combination of poor design choices, such as:

  • Outdated or dull visuals: Using low-quality images or uninspired graphics can make your presentation seem boring and unprofessional.

  • Excessive text: Slides overloaded with text can overwhelm your audience. They should complement your spoken words, not replace them.

  • Poor copywriting: Jargon-heavy or unclear language can confuse your audience. Clear, concise, and engaging copy is essential.

  • Inconsistent design: Inconsistencies in fonts, colors, and layouts can distract your audience and make your presentation look uncoordinated.

  • Lack of visual hierarchy: Without a clear visual hierarchy, your slides can appear cluttered, making it hard for your audience to focus on the key points.

Avoiding common pitfalls

To ensure your slides don't kill your great ideas, here are a few tips:

  • Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your slides with too much text or overly complex graphics. Aim for simplicity and clarity.

  • Use high-quality images: Low-resolution or irrelevant images can distract and detract from your message. Use high-quality visuals that support your points.

  • Consistent design elements: Stick to a consistent color scheme, font style, and layout. Consistency helps reinforce your brand and keeps your presentation cohesive.

  • Practice good typography: Use readable fonts and appropriate font sizes. Avoid using too many different fonts, as this can make your slides look unprofessional.

Conclusion

In the world of presentations, design isn't just about making things look pretty; it's about enhancing communication and ensuring your ideas are effectively conveyed. Bad slides can overshadow even the most brilliant ideas, while good design can elevate your message and leave a lasting impression.

So, next time you're preparing a presentation, remember: good slide design matters. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about showing you care, engaging your audience, and ultimately, giving your great ideas the platform they deserve.

If you need help with bringing your dead slides to life, get in touch with us for a review of your presentations.

Why bad slides kill good ideas - and how to avoid it

January 1, 2024

When it comes to presenting ideas, whether to potential investors, clients, or team members, the design of your slides can make or break your presentation. "Bad slides kill good ideas" isn't just a catchy phrase; it's a reality many have faced. Here's our bitesized thoughts on why good slide design matters.

TL;DR

  • It's not just about the visual design, but everything from story, copy, and structure of your slides. Good slide design is more about your slides fulfilling their function, which can be very different depending on your purpose.

  • Bad slides obscure great ideas: Cluttered layouts, unclear messaging, and outdated visuals make it much harder to get your ideas across.

  • Good design is clear design: Simplify complex ideas, prioritize clear messaging, and craft a compelling narrative to keep your audience engaged.

  • Avoid common pitfalls: Keep slides simple, use high-quality visuals, maintain consistency, and practice good typography.

  • Conclusion: Effective slide design is essential for ensuring your ideas shine through and leave a lasting impact on your audience.

First impression matters

Imagine you're sitting in a room full of potential investors. You've got an innovative idea that could revolutionize the market, but your slides look meh (= not so inspiring). It's hard to get excited about a new idea, product, or service when the design doesn't capture your audience's attention. The first impression your slides create can significantly influence how your audience perceives your idea.

Good slide design matters because it's the first thing your audience sees. If your slides are visually appealing, they can spark interest and curiosity. On the other hand, poorly designed slides can distract from your message and make your audience lose focus.

Your slides reflect how much you care

Patrick Collison, the co-founder of Stripe, was recently on a podcast and he said something brilliant:



This quote highlights a critical point: good design reflects your commitment to quality. It reflects how much you care about your product. When your slides are well-designed, it signals to your audience that you care about every aspect of your presentation. This attention to detail suggests that you have the same level of care and dedication towards the product or idea you're presenting. It's a subtle yet powerful way to build credibility and trust with your audience.

Function > How it looks

Good presentation design is about your slides fulfilling their purpose. An investor deck? Excite them with your idea and make your message and investment potential super clear. A sales deck? Paint a picture of a new world and show them how you can help them succeed. This is obviously simplified to an extreme, but the point is: your presentation can be flashy and well-designed (visually) but if the focus is not on the message and story - you will most likely fail to transfer your ideas to your target audience.

Many presentation agencies you see out there are solely focused on the visual aspect. Same goes with the many design marketplaces or design subscription services we see today. It's all visual focus, and zero function.

Simplifying complex ideas

Bad slides make complex ideas even more complex. In contrast, a good slide—encompassing good design, effective copy, and relevant visuals—can simplify complex ideas and make them understandable to anyone, even a five-year-old. That’s the power of good design and all that it involves. It transforms complex concepts into clear, digestible information.

The power of clarity

A bad slide is an unclear slide. What is your main message? What are you trying to say? Bad slides often involve a ton of information with no clear hierarchy. The key message gets lost. If you combine good copy with good design, you will see magic. Clear slides help your audience grasp the main points quickly, ensuring that your core message stands out and is remembered.

No story

A bad presentation has no story, no flow, no soul. It might look good and be flashy in terms of design, but it has no substance for the reader. That is why the idea dies quickly. It might excite at first glance, but it will quickly fade away due to lack of a compelling narrative. Good slides tell a story. They take the audience on a journey, making the information engaging and memorable.

Why slide design is important

  1. Clarity: Good design helps convey your message clearly and concisely. It guides your audience through your presentation, making it easier for them to understand and remember your key points.

  2. Engagement: Visually appealing slides can keep your audience engaged. By using elements like images, charts, and infographics, you can make complex information more digestible and interesting.

  3. Professionalism: Well-designed slides reflect professionalism. They show that you take your work seriously and have invested time and effort into delivering a polished presentation.

  4. Consistency: A consistent design throughout your slides helps create a cohesive narrative. It ensures that your presentation flows smoothly and maintains the audience's focus.

The anatomy of bad slides

Bad slides refer to a combination of poor design choices, such as:

  • Outdated or dull visuals: Using low-quality images or uninspired graphics can make your presentation seem boring and unprofessional.

  • Excessive text: Slides overloaded with text can overwhelm your audience. They should complement your spoken words, not replace them.

  • Poor copywriting: Jargon-heavy or unclear language can confuse your audience. Clear, concise, and engaging copy is essential.

  • Inconsistent design: Inconsistencies in fonts, colors, and layouts can distract your audience and make your presentation look uncoordinated.

  • Lack of visual hierarchy: Without a clear visual hierarchy, your slides can appear cluttered, making it hard for your audience to focus on the key points.

Avoiding common pitfalls

To ensure your slides don't kill your great ideas, here are a few tips:

  • Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your slides with too much text or overly complex graphics. Aim for simplicity and clarity.

  • Use high-quality images: Low-resolution or irrelevant images can distract and detract from your message. Use high-quality visuals that support your points.

  • Consistent design elements: Stick to a consistent color scheme, font style, and layout. Consistency helps reinforce your brand and keeps your presentation cohesive.

  • Practice good typography: Use readable fonts and appropriate font sizes. Avoid using too many different fonts, as this can make your slides look unprofessional.

Conclusion

In the world of presentations, design isn't just about making things look pretty; it's about enhancing communication and ensuring your ideas are effectively conveyed. Bad slides can overshadow even the most brilliant ideas, while good design can elevate your message and leave a lasting impression.

So, next time you're preparing a presentation, remember: good slide design matters. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about showing you care, engaging your audience, and ultimately, giving your great ideas the platform they deserve.

If you need help with bringing your dead slides to life, get in touch with us for a review of your presentations.