Harmful Tips for Your Slides

What is the best thing not to do in a presentation? How to correct the most common mistakes? Tamara Kobozeva, curator of educational projects and product manager at BEsmart, will explain.

Text Overload

Use a lot of text. In small print and in two columns.
A presentation is a tool that helps navigate the attention of the audience and enhance the effect of the speech. The effectiveness of the tool depends on the purpose.

Slides can contain a lot of text if we are going to send them to the audience to read. In that case, everyone can quietly and attentively read the slides whenever it is convenient.
In public speaking presentations, unnecessary text overloads a slide and creates extra stress for the viewers. It also distracts from the speaker's speech because it's hard to read and listen at the same time.

So feel free to get rid of it, or split up large portions of text into different slides. Here's what to do if you can't avoid a lot of text in your presentation:

Typeface Overload

Choose three or even four fonts.
Typography, font combinations, colors are the whole science. Understanding them on your own and finding the perfect match is difficult. If you are not sure about the design decision or effect you want to achieve with an unusual combination of elements on the slide - it's safer to stick to the minimalistic solutions.
One typeface per presentation. For accents, it's better to use font styles (bold, italic). If you want to take two or three typefaces, we advise you to focus on existing font pairs (there are a lot of them!).
Toma Kobozeva, curator of educational projects and product manager of BEsmart.
Toma Kobozeva
Curator of educational projects and product manager of BEsmart
Font pairing is visually matching fonts (usually two) that help structure the information on the slide and solve its task. To select cool font pair, see here: https://www.fontpair.co/all.

To find unique combinations of your own pairs, use this website: https://fontjoy.com/.
It offers variations based on machine learning techniques and allows you to adjust the contrast of fonts using the slider at the top.

Color Overload

Each slide with a new background. The brighter the better.
For one presentation it is better to take no more than 3-4 colors, matching shades can be found on special resources:

https://mybrandnewlogo.com/color-palette-generator – to select ready-made palettes.
https://coolors.co/ – palette generator with the possibility of creating your own.
It is important to make it visually easy and enjoyable for viewers to study the presentation. A unified style will help us a lot!
Toma Kobozeva, curator of educational projects and product manager of BEsmart.
Toma Kobozeva
Curator of educational projects and product manager of BEsmart

Stock Images

Add pictures just to be there, it doesn't matter what quality they are or how you scale them. The main thing is to occupy the space.
Pictures clearly demonstrate parts of a speech, create atmosphere and grab the audience's attention. We are used to them being mandatory in presentations. But this is actually not the case: choice of pictures should be deliberate!

For example, stock photos with office staff are often used to fill space and illustrate the 'seriousness' of the company.
But they don't really do the job: such photos are unnatural, don't evoke sympathy, don't make you more serious in the eyes of your viewers and certainly don't show the real process. It's better to use one real photo than five stock photos
Toma Kobozeva, curator of educational projects and product manager of BEsmart.
Toma Kobozeva
Curator of educational projects and product manager of BEsmart

Important Principles When Choosing Pictures for Your Slides:

1. If the picture is in poor quality — think about whether it is so unique and necessary to use here and now! The audience won't lose anything by not seeing it. But a pixelated screen will definitely have a negative impact on the impression of the slide.

2. Only proportional scaling! Unless the goal is to create a comical effect, horizontally or vertically stretching out the photo with your boss is unlikely to help your presentation! Your visual will lose in level.

One more useful tip here on how to replace the final slide: How to replace the slide "Thank you for your attention!" in presentation.

Do you want to be perfectly prepared for an important speech?

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