Design and Graphics
following are tools, solutions, tips, tricks,
secrets, and best practices for professionals
that need to make powerful presentations. Be sure
to share this page with your colleagues so they
can benefit from the information as well.
Influence of Graphics in Presentations
Graphics make it much easier for your audience
to understand and remember your presentation.
Studies have also shown that we need words, concepts,
and ideas attached to an image or else we won't
remember the product or service. Professional,
visually appealing graphics increase your likelihood
of reaching your audience by 43% (3M-sponsored
study at the University of Minnesota School of
Management). Research at the 3M Corporation concluded
that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than
Visuals paint the picture of who
the presenter is, what they stand for, and how
the audience may benefit. Graphics sell because
of their ability to influence quickly and be remembered.
How you use graphics greatly affects how you and
your business are perceived and, ultimately, how
well your product or service will sell:
- Stanford Persuasive Technology
Lab asked 2,440 participants how they evaluated
the credibility of websites they were shown.
Almost half (46.1%) said that the website's
design look was the number one criterion for
discerning the credibility of the presented
- Behavioral Psychologists agree
that most of our decisions are based on intuitive
judgment and emotions. Herbert A. Simon, Nobel
Prize winning scholar at the Carnegie Mellon
Institute in Pittsburgh, studied corporate decision-making
and found that people often ignored formal decision-making
models because of time constraints, incomplete
information, the inability to calculate consequences,
and other variables. Intuitive judgment was
the process for most decisions.
- According to studies performed
at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania,
the University of Minnesota Management Information
Systems Research Center, and 3M:
- People agree more with a position when
presented with visuals.
- People will pay closer attention and
react more positively when visuals are used.
- The quality of a meeting is increased
by the use of visuals.
This does not mean that graphic
communication is better than text. However, the
combination of graphics and words has a communicative
power that neither singularly possesses. J.R.
Levin said it best in A Transfer of Appropriate
Process Perspective of Pictures in Prose:
"Pictures interact with text to produce levels
of comprehension and memory that can exceed what
is produced by text alone."
You have very little
time to convince your audience (readers, evaluators,
future clients) that you are the best-of-the-best.
Graphics communicate volumes about you, your company,
and your product or service in seconds.
For example, which company is better: Company
A or Company B?
When creating presentation graphics
(or any graphic for your company or organization)
consider the following:
- What should this presentation
say about the information you are presenting,
you, or your product/service? (And why does
it matter to your audience?)
- Who is your audience? Would
they understand technical terms or prefer an
- How do you want to say it?
The most important
element when creating a presentation is the benefit
to your audience. Solve their problem. Don't just
list facts. Show them why they should care.
Rules for Making Presentation Graphics
- All graphics should play a specific
role and have a reason for being chosen and
- Stay consistent.
- Show or say it correctly. Don't
try to be original.
- Keep it clean and simple. Too
much visual clutter can be overwhelming and
lose the primary objective of your message.
- Label elements directly to avoid
confusion. This rule is especially true if you
are selling a new product or want to highlight
its benefits and discriminators.
- Use recognizable imagery. Hearing
a familiar voice or seeing a familiar face evokes
trustworthiness in your audience. This is one
reason celebrities are used in advertisements.
- Focus on your audience. Show
your audience in your graphics. Allow your audience
to see themselves learning, applying, and benefiting
from your product/service.
Consistency throughout the presentation is the
main reason to create a template for your project.
You don't want your audience wondering why certain
boxes are colored differently (if there's no reason)
or different arrows are used from graphic to graphics.
These differences will distract from your message.
To create a template for presentations
in PowerPoint, use the following as a guide. Open
a blank document and populate it with this information:
- Title slide template
- Background templates (be sure
to include all versions for different sections
or larger titles)
- Primary color
- Secondary color
- Tertiary color
- Color palette of boxes tinted with your
- When choosing colors, research the meaning
behind the color choice and tie it into
what you want to say during your lecture
or training session. In most Western cultures:
- Red = empowering, bold
- Orange = warmth, happiness
- Yellow = happiness, energy (excellent
- Green = balance, refreshing (usually
makes a good secondary color)
- Blue = relaxing, cool (usually the
safest/most appealing color to use for
business graphic color schemes)
- Violet = comforting
- White = pure, associated with cleanliness
- Black = authoritative, shows discipline
- You may need to stick with your corporate
colors and choose a palette that complements
those colors. Another idea is to use your
audience's colors, if you are doing a sales
presentation to a company because your audience
likes to see themselves reflected in your
- Font and text styles
- Font style (Most proposals are either
Arial or Times New Roman)
- Font size (For graphics, use at least
12 pt. for best visibility when projected
on a screen)
- Font color
- Bullet styles
- Labeling styles
- Box styles (different boxes
for org charts, flow charts, benefits boxes,
- Arrow styles
- Line style (width and color)
- Logos for your company and any
team members or the logo of the company for
which you're presenting
- Samples of graphic icons/photos
used in other graphics (e.g., blue cylinder
equals main database)
- Samples of graphic styles (area
charts, bar charts, etc. used within presentation)
You need your presentation to
be powerful and compelling. Unfortunately, you
have very little time, money, and resources. You
have complex information to share and you need
to make the best impression. You know you need
high-quality graphics. But what do you do? Great
news, you have a choice:
Do-it-yourself compelling graphics guide
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Presentation graphic how-to training
Fast Class seminars (1 hour quick classes)
6. Business graphic library
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Presenters use Billion Dollar Graphics
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graphics training/workshops will show you how
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Solutions for Prenters
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Conceptualization Training and Workshops
Custom Solutions for
(through 24 Hour Company)
Fast Class Seminars