Integrate the seven principles of design into your presentation


  1. Ensure high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in your slides.
    Recognize the essence of your message and focus on that. This principle urges you to minimize or eliminate any unnecessary elements or distractions from your slides. Ask yourself: "Does this element support or detract from my core message?" If it doesn't add value, it might be best to leave it out.
  2. Leverage the picture superiority effect for better retention.
    Images evoke emotions and are easier to remember than plain text. Choose images that are directly related to and reinforce your message. For example, if discussing the effects of drought, an image showing it can evoke stronger emotions than words alone.
  3. Use empty space.
    Avoid the temptation to overcrowd your slides. Having empty or negative space around your content gives it room to "breathe", making it easier for the audience to focus on the essential parts. This also gives your design a more refined and professional look.
  4. Employ contrast to direct attention.
    Differences in color, size, or position can help important points stand out. For instance, if you want to emphasize a particular statistic, you might present it in a larger font or a contrasting color to the rest of the text.
  5. Ensure there's a unified theme or pattern throughout your presentation.
    This doesn't mean every slide should look identical, but repeating certain design elements (like colors, fonts, or symbols) can provide a consistent visual rhythm, making the presentation feel cohesive.
  6. Prioritize alignment to maintain visual harmony.
    Every element in your slide, be it text or visuals, should align with something else, ensuring a neat and organized appearance. For example, if you're using images alongside text, ensure the text aligns well with the image boundaries.
  7. Group all the related content.
    Place related items close together so viewers can instantly see and understand their relationship. For example, if you have an image of a product and some text explaining its features, keep them closely grouped.
  8. Combine visuals and words for a compelling narrative. Instead of having separate slides for images and text, strive to integrate them. This can create a more engaging story flow and reinforce your message. An example would be a quote overlaid on a relevant background image.
  9. Opt for visuals over bullet points where possible. Bullet points can quickly become monotonous. Whenever possible, represent your information using diagrams, charts, or other visual formats. For instance, instead of a bullet list of company achievements, consider a timeline infographic.


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