The Importance of Presentation Design

We have all seen presentations that are just to cluttered and overwhelming visually. Whether they are jam packed with words on a slide or filled with terrible word art that looks confused and outdated busy slides can easily distract from the overall presentation.

That is why a good presentation design is a vital tool for every great presenter. In fact, according to one study only 10-20% of information was retained over time when represented through written word, but that number increases to 65% when the information was presented visually.

The data is there, great presentation designs are vital to a great presenter, but if you are not convinced take a look at some other reasons a great presentation design is important.

Visuals stick in long term memory.
When information is paired with a visual it is much more likely to stick with a person for the long term. That visual becomes an information index card which the brain can reference later on to recall the information. A great presentation design can serve as that visual index card for all the information you are trying to deliver, don’t underestimate the power of the visual.

Visuals are processed quicker.
Did you know your brain can see visuals that last for just 13 milliseconds? That is an insanely short period of time, yet your mind can still retain that visual. Along with this incredibly short amount of time needed to retain an image, 90% of information transmitted to your brain is visual. The reality is you are hardwired to see information much more than you are to hear it. As a presenter that means you have the unique ability to deliver information quickly using compelling imagery that cannot be achieved with the written or spoken word.

Visuals evoke emotion.
A compelling visual is a powerful tool when it comes to evoking emotion. That is why whenever you see someone fundraising for an organization they are usually standing next to a compelling image that pulls on your heart strings. The visuals in your presentation have the power to evoke emotion and as a presenter you must leverage your design to help take your audience on an emotional journey.

Visuals engage the audience
If all the above data is not enough there is one last reason presentation design is important and that is that, visuals engage the audience. The reality is we live in a digital and visual age. With the uptick in smartphone purchase and usage our minds are constantly taking in visual stimulation. Whether that is good or bad does not matter what matters is that your audience is used to taking in visual information. Why then would we choose to rely solely on our speaking skills and poor design concepts to communicate our message. As a presenter you must play in to the strength of a visual generation and leverage your design to engage your audience.

Presentation design is a vital part of every presentation; however, it is often overlooked and under resourced. Don’t make the mistake of settling for a boring template. Instead leverage your design and create a standout presentation that will bring your audience back time and time again.

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