Create slides that enrich your presentation rather than cause distractions. As a rule of thumb, audience members should garner the message of each slide in about three seconds.
Use minimum text so readers can easily skim. Simplify the visual appearance of your slide set by choosing only one typeface and the same color palette throughout. Make slides cohesive by using the same style for all photographs and illustrations.
Arrange the elements on each slide by following these design principles:
- Hierarchy. Properly size and arrange elements so people can quickly determine their importance.
- Contrast. Modify the size, shape, color and proximity of certain elements on the slide to make certain areas stand out.
- White space. Use open space to isolate elements and sharpen the focus.
- Flow. Lead people to process your slide’s message more quickly by directing their eyes to specific areas on the slide containing the important points.
— Adapted from “Do Your Slides Pass the Glance Test?” Nancy Duarte, HBR Blog Network, http://blogs.hbr.org.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskley