Power Point provides an engaging method of sharing information. However, there are some aspects of design that go much deeper than an image on a slide. As a Power Point designer, professional or otherwise, it pays to understand the effects of perception on a presentation.
Perception is an understanding that is developed through cognition of sensory input. In layman’s terms, this simply means that people make assumptions based on visual or auditory stimuli. These assumptions can be right on target, or they can be way off the mark – which is often the case. When perception is applied to Power Point presentation design, it results in an interesting concept – you as the presenter/designer are judged by the overall design and function of the presentation.
When an audience views a presentation, they begin forming opinions about the material, and the manner in which it is presented. There will be some that find the entire process boring and tedious, while others will remain engaged throughout the show. Both the good and bad opinions will result in the audience creating their own perception of you as a person – based solely on the design of your presentation. Some of the most common perceptions relating to Power Point design include:
Bland slides are the result of laziness or lack of imagination
Template focused slides are created by those who are unable or unwilling to take risks
Text filled slides show a lack of knowledge or memorization skills
A poorly executed presentation represents a lack of care for audience members
Each of these perceptions on their own can be disheartening. However, in the business world, they can be devastating – especially if your presentation is the first point of contact for a potential client or customer.
Design for the Best Perceptions
While it is impossible to impress every person you are presenting to, it is possible to use your skills as a Power Point designer to create a positive overall impression. Take the time to create slides that provide a true representation of yourself. A clean, polished presentation will reflect your skills, and show that you take pride in providing relevant, engaging content that is designed for the audience at hand. While you may not be able to impress everyone, creating your presentation as an extension of yourself will ensure that you create the perceptions you want others to see in your work.