There’s millions of PPT presentations done every day, and very little attention seems to be paid to the backgrounds. But every so often there’s one or two presentations that have really cool PowerPoint backgrounds, and we audience members take notice, hoping that we can someday do that. So, what makes them so cool?
As presentation audience members and presenters, admit it; we very often give very little thought to what the backgrounds of our slides look like. Sometimes we don’t even bother to make backgrounds, we just slap some words on the slides, get it done, and move on. But then we see cool PowerPoint backgrounds in someone else’s presentation and think, “Why didn’t I do that?”
The reason we didn’t think of that is because we don’t pay attention to the details. Even though many of us would like to think we’re detail-oriented, we probably aren’t. How can you tell? Look at your emails. Are there common mistakes in them? Yup. I’m guilty as charged. So, the trick to making our PowerPoint slide backgrounds cool and professional is to, well, pay more attention to them.
As humans we have a tendency to, when we’re very practiced at something, to start cutting corners and getting sloppy. We’re even prone to thinking, “Oh, what’s the big deal? Nobody really cares anyway.” We’re all guilty of it, whether it’s in our work lives or our personal ones. But, once we’ve admitted it, we can get to dealing with it. We can do that starting with our PowerPoint slide backgrounds. And building professional PowerPoint backgrounds begins with organization and planning.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re not organized, and planning ahead is definitely not one of your strong points. Who has time? But, the secret is, that if you can get the organization and planning ball rolling, it gains momentum fast and becomes habit quickly. When we’re talking about making professional PowerPoint backgrounds, we need to start by thinking about our topic. What do we want to tell our audience? Why do they need to know about it? Why should they care about it? How does this topic influence them? What kind of impact will it have on their jobs, or lives? Keep that in the forefront of your mind as you continue.
Next, organize your information. Remember to keep the text on your slides to a minimum—main ideas only. That will make your audience members rely on you, not your slides, to give them the information that they need. How do they know they need it? You’ve already told them why they need it and what will happen to them if they don’t get it. And if they’re relying on you instead of your slides, you have an attentive and engaged audience: every presenter’s dream.
Once you’ve got your information gathered, start thinking about artwork. The best app out there to help you do this is the Emaze app. It’s entirely online, entirely free, and entirely full of cool possibilities. Whether you start with a template or from scratch, the emaze presentation software is just the thing to get you started. Ask yourself what kind of mood you want to set. What colors influence that mood? If you use multiple colors behind your main ideas, are your cool PowerPoint backgrounds too busy? Don’t overstimulate your audience members; remember, you want most of their attention on you and what you’re teaching them, and your cool PowerPoint backgrounds to be almost an afterthought.