You want to represent your brand in a way that will keep your audience’s attention, whether it be your coworkers, employees, manager, customers, etc. Custom PowerPoint designs can provide more flexibility than using standard templates. More specifically, creating a custom background gives you a great deal of freedom to express your brand and influence your audience. However, good background design is a complex science, and it is important to at least have a cursory knowledge of how good design works before you begin.
Know Your Audience
Before you start anything, you need to know about who will see your presentation. The overall tone and voice of your presentation is dependent upon your audience. Is it an internal or external audience? Your audience might consist of coworkers, customers, shareholders, or even other companies, and knowing what tone will engage those parties while still staying true to your brand is crucial to a successful design.
Convey the Right Tone
Once you know your audience and the tone they need, you will need to figure out how to use your slide background to create that tone. The right layout of colors and visual subject matter can do a great deal to influence your audience toward a certain call to action. The wrong combination of elements, on the other hand, can hurt your presentation and misrepresent your ideas. The elements should all be balanced to create the right impression of your brand and visually support your point. When evaluating a background, ask yourself and others: “Does this convey the right feeling?” If so, then it should get the job done. If not, then you need to do some revision. It is incredibly important here to get the opinions of others as well.
As part of choosing the right colors, graphics, and visual elements, you need to figure out how they will be laid out. A well-balanced image does not necessarily need to be symmetrical. In fact, having an even layout of elements on the image looks static and boring. Instead, you should have a mix of different object sizes and colors set at varying locations to achieve a balance. To accomplish this, it helps to view the image as a kind of seesaw. Multiple smaller objects grouped far from the center, for example, can counter the “weight” of a larger object on the other side. Of course, there is a lot more to achieving visual balance than just this, and professional design know-how can help a great deal in achieving the right effect.
When you are giving a presentation, you want to direct people’s attention for the greatest effect. The background of a slide can either focus your audience or distract them. Generally, people’s eyes will tend to wander toward spots with the highest contrast, which can be caused by differences in object size, color, or shade. Objects can also point the eye toward certain elements. Generally speaking, the color scheme should look professional, but it should not be so bold that it draws attention to itself. Objects should generally be out of the way of text in your presentation, but they can help to point people’s eyes toward it.
There is a real science to creating a good design, especially one that will work in a presentation. Using the right graphic elements and layout can add a strong professional appeal to your PowerPoint presentation, so knowing the process involved in custom design is a valuable skill.