How to Make Slides for Your Presentation (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 24, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Presentation at school or work is an essential skill to develop, thanks to the need for collaboration and sharing ideas. Slides are one of the best visualization tools for your presentation because of their simplicity and versatility. Understanding how to make slides for your presentation can aid your academic and professional life. In this article, we discuss how to make effective slides for your presentation, outline the essential parts of a presentation, and provide tips to make your slides impressive and engaging.

How to make slides for your presentation

Here's an overview of how to make slides for your presentation using some popular software:

1. Making slides using PowerPoint

Here's an overview for making slides with PowerPoint:

Creating a slide with a template

To create a slide with a template on PowerPoint, follow these steps:

  1. First, launch the application on your desktop and click the File tab on the left side of your screen. Then, click New.

  2. When you click New, the application displays a list of available template and theme options. You can select one of the available templates or download more elaborate free templates.

  3. Once you select the template you want, PowerPoint displays it, and you can fill in the slides as you like. You can also add and delete slides if the default number of slides is too few or too many.

  4. You can also add templates to an existing slide with data by clicking the Design tab at the top of your screen and selecting a design.

Creating a new slide

If you plan to create your slides from scratch, here are the steps:

  1. After launching the PowerPoint application on your desktop, click the File tab on the left side of your screen. Next, click the blank presentation option.

  2. Usually, PowerPoint automatically loads a title page. You can left-click the text boxes and include any text you want.

  3. To add a new slide, click the New Slide button on the Home tab at the top of your screen. You can click on the small arrow on the New Slide button to view different layout options and select one.

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2. Making slides using Canva

Here's the process for making slides using Canva:

Making slides using a template

Here's an overview of steps you can follow to select a template on Canva:

  1. First, launch the Canva application on your desktop or log into your account on the website and go to the home page.

  2. Next, locate the search bar and enter what kind of a template you want, for example, class presentation, business presentation, or marketing presentation.

  3. When Canva displays the search results, scroll through and pick the one that suits your needs. You can preview each template before selecting it by placing your cursor over it without clicking.

  4. After selecting your preferred template, you can click on Add a new page and drag slides from the template to your desktop.

  5. Alternatively, you can select the Apply pages option and upload all the slides from the template at once.

Creating a new slide

You can also create a new slide on Canva by following these steps:

  • After going to the home page on the website or application, click on the blank presentation template.

  • Once Canva opens the blank slide, you can click on the sidebar and search for a template of your choice.

  • You can use the filter option to narrow your search by filtering colour, languages, and price.

  • To view all your slides at once, you can click the Page Manager icon, a small box with a number in it at the bottom-right corner of the page.

  • From the Page Manager interface, you can delete, copy, move, and add slides.

  • You can also use the "Change All" option to convert the template colour to your brand colour.

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Essential parts of a slide presentation

Here are the essential parts of a slide presentation:

Title slide

The title slide is the first slide of your presentation. As its name implies, it contains the title of your presentation, which is the topic you're discussing. You can also include your name and the name of any co-presenters. If it's a public presentation, you may also add your email or personal website so people can contact you later. It's better to include minimal details on your title page to give it a neat appearance. Lastly, ensure the presentation title has the largest font and is at the centre of the page.

Introduction slide

The introduction slide is to introduce your presentation. The content of this slide varies according to the presentation. For example, if it's a research presentation, you can include the research questions or methodology. A business presentation can contain the executive summary, while a marketing presentation may contain campaign goals. You can also begin your presentation with some images or icons that pass a message. The purpose of this slide is to prepare your audience for the body of your presentation.

Body

You can have as many slides as you need for your presentation, though it's advisable to keep your presentations brief. This section of your presentation is to discuss the topic in detail. Your slides serve as support for your presentation, so avoid putting all your content on your slides. Instead, you can use images, icons, and graphs to make your message more clear and memorable.

Conclusion

The concluding slide closes the presentation. You can use this slide to summarize your major points and remind the audience. Alternatively, you can use the concluding slide as a call to action for the audience. For example, you can ask if anyone has any questions or give them a simple task to perform. Ensure your concluding paragraph is brief and captures the essence of your presentation.

Related: How to End a Presentation

Credits or acknowledgement

This slide is optional and may be unnecessary for certain kinds of presentations. You can use this slide to add references if it's an academic paper. If it's a marketing or business presentation, you can use it to list members of the project team or include legal information. You can also include the presenters' names on this page if you didn't include them on the title page.

Tips to make your slides impressive

Here are some additional tips you can follow to make your slides impressive during your presentation:

Use layout designs

Layout tools are an effective tool for structuring your slides and controlling the attention of your audience. You can use your layout design to highlight information and show the relationship between two items. You can select a preset layout or design your layout from scratch. When designing your layout, remember that simplicity is better, as you want your audience to understand you easily.

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Be minimal with sentences

Slide presentations support your oral presentation, not replace it. To make a good slide, avoid using too many texts. Instead, use more icons to pass a simple message or illustrate your points. A great way to minimize text is by avoiding sentences. Instead, use phrases or words that pass a simple message and encourage your audience to listen to you for context.

Consider using the 6x6 rule

On brevity, the 6x6 rule is an effective strategy for ensuring brevity in your slides. To make your slides more attractive and legible, it's essential there's enough space between your texts and images. The 6x6 rule states that the maximum amount of bullet points you can have on a slide is six, with a maximum of six words per point. Following this rule can help your slides look more professional and organized, and makes it easier for your audience to read.

Use simple colours

While it's important to make your presentation attractive, simplicity is essential. Use simple light and dark colours to highlight relevant parts of your presentation and consistent colour scheme. Remember that very bright colours can be difficult to read and distract your audience. You can also choose colours to represent your employer's brand if it's a work presentation.

Use sans-serif fonts

While serif fonts are better for print, sans-serif fonts, like Helvetica, Verdana, and Tahoma, are easier to read on a screen. You can also opt for more elaborate font styles if your presentation requires it. Try to use just one or two font styles throughout your presentation for an organized and uniform look.

Use a legible font size

To aid your audience's understanding, it's essential the content of your slides is visible. You can do this by using a legible font size. A safe approach is to ensure your font size is a minimum of 30pts. This size ensures your text is visible and helps you maximize slide space.

Use images

Images are a great way to reduce the amount of text you use. You can use images or use stock icons. Ensure you format the pictures appropriately, so your presentation looks organized. Also, if it's a business presentation, ensure that your slides adhere to data privacy laws.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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