A unified look: creating a presentation in corporate design

You know the feeling? You’re sitting in a meeting and the presentation is good as far as its content goes, but it’s somehow not very convincing. There is usually a very trivial reason for this: the individual elements of the presentation don’t match, each slide looks different, and some slides have obviously been recycled from other presentations. In short: the presentation doesn’t have a unified look.

But isn’t it a bit superficial to judge a book by its cover? Whatever you might think, it has been shown that we do exactly this – and have been doing it for several thousand years. The human brain intuitively relies on form and ‘packaging’ in order to navigate more easily through the information jungle. Imagine you find a perfectly good product in a tatty package on the supermarket shelf. Would you buy it?

The same applies to presentations. A presentation with a unified look comes across as being professional and credible. I order to achieve such a presentation, you need to consider four important points:

1. Arranging the elements

Make sure that each slide is based on the same layout grid: i.e. title and content are always in the same place, as are footer, sources and comments such as ‘confidential’ or ‘backup’. Otherwise, when you change from one slide to the next, the various elements appear to jump around. This is very easy to achieve in practice – the consistent use of layouts and placeholders can work wonders.


2. Fonts and colours

Make sure you always use the company font and don’t apply too many different font styles (bold, italic, underlined). Highlighting is OK, as long as this is part of the corporate design.

design colors

By the way: Some PowerPoint add-ons have powerful Corporate Design Check functions which automatically check and correct formatting that does not match your corporate design.

3. Imagery

Images can convey your messages very effectively, but should also reflect your company’s identity. Your corporate design manual or brand guidelines will tell you how to use images, including which type to choose (e.g. clear and minimal, or lively and colourful) and how to use them (e.g. broad perspective or detail).
Your company may have a central image database that you can use. Otherwise you can find images in the established picture archives on the Internet. Make sure you obtain the appropriate license and that you observe the points above.

4. Slide transitions and animations

The age of dramatic slide transitions and rotating elements flying into view is over. Consistent, understated slide transitions make a good general impression and don’t distract from the content. Animations are most suitable for explaining complex ideas or situations step by step, but should never be used as mere gimmicks.
By the way, there is a very helpful tool for all this: QuickSlide for PowerPoint automatically creates consistent presentations that comply with your corporate design.


Presentation news

Receive presentation tips once per quarter? Subscribe here.