presentation design trends

The Death of Boring Presentations

If you expect your business to thrive, the last thing you want to neglect is your sales tools. Presentations are a marketing staple that can often be overlooked, and traditionally haven’t received the same creative care as other marketing materials. But presentation design trends are changing! Chances are, your go-to sales pitch decks could use a little polishing. Before draining your entire budget on training and other expenses, make sure you’re investing in your most important resource: brand-aligned presentations that look as powerful as your latest ad campaign.

Dynamic Gallery Layouts

Just as in our 2018 web design trends ninjaward, presentations are becoming more flexible. Say goodbye to rigid, one-note layouts. Instead, designers are embracing more adaptive structures with a recurring theme and shape. The result is a bold, elevated aesthetic that grabs the attention of even the sleepiest crowd.

3D Models in PowerPoint

When Microsoft announced 3D models in PowerPoint in 2017 we were curious how 3D could be used to craft better presentations. While a Windows only feature today, the ability to morph 3D files on the fly was significantly more useful than even we hoped. Viable for data, mapping, architecture, product design and beyond, we recommend utilizing this new feature to truly stand out among the competition.

Semi-flat Design

Who says that slides have to be one-dimensional? Combining 2D design with subtle shadows and multi-colored elements is one of the most popular presentation design trends. Simulating dimensionality gives the impression of depth and adds visual interest. There’s no better way to pull your viewer in and make an emotional connection.

Simplifying Content

Nothing bogs down a presentation faster than information overload. The most effective presentations forgo lengthy paragraphs, relying on one-liners and compelling graphics instead. Create an emotional pull and your message will have a greater impact.

Presentation Slide Libraries

Every organization that doesn’t have a presentation slide library is unknowingly creating brand chaos. Designing brand new slides from scratch burns out sales, while driving marketing insane. If you don’t have one, it’s time to add a presentation slide library to your arsenal. A well-crafted slide library has a layout for every need, makes data visualization a breeze, and enforces brand consistency. In 2018, this is an essential tool.

Relaxed Content & Delivery

One of the top presentation design trends is more about our changing attitude towards presentations. Inspired by the mainstream success of TED Talks, speakers are showing a little personality and audiences approve! A laid-back, conversational speaking style makes for a more casual and interactive atmosphere. Instead of boring your audience by reading off a full list of bullet-points, a presentation is another communication channel to fully share yourself.

Ransom Note Effect

We’re all for variety, but if your presentation looks messy and cobbled together, it might be time to reassess. A franken-pitch composed of scraps from other decks will have a negative impact on viewer retention. It may even hurt your credibility. Always apply design best practices and when in doubt, talk to a professional!

Using Unedited Photos

Images add visual interest to your presentation and can make a powerful impact, but not all images are equal! If your levels and colors are inconsistent, your presentation will look lazy and unprofessional. Make sure that you’re using photography to your full advantage and put in the extra effort to edit your images first.

Bad/Boring/Lack of Typography

System-safe typography doesn’t have to be lame! A little bit of experimentation can turn a “boring” font into a cool visual element. Make the most of hierarchy and contrast to emphasize important points and make your text pop. In 2018, let’s quit making excuses and get inspired!

Infographics, Not Charts

Infographics are climbing the list of top presentation design trends, and it isn’t hard to see why. Audiences love hyper-stylized data visualization, and studies show that they comprehend it better too. Instead of dumping your data into yet another chart, gather up the icons and get creative!

Presentation Motion Graphics

If your presentation designs are strictly static, it’s time to kick things up a notch. Animation is a powerful communication tool that also grabs attention. Incorporating motion into your pitch allows you to combine audio and visuals to tell an engaging story. It’s also a great way to break down complex info and make it entertaining.

Photographic Illustration

Photo manipulation has always had its place in publications, and is on the rise in presentation design. Adding extra elements to a well-chosen photograph can improve its relevance and strengthen your message. Unlike full-fledged illustration, a manipulated photo has a level of realism that increases viewer empathy. We look forward to seeing how designers will continue to build on this technique.

Technology Integration for Audience Interaction

If your presentations feel more like a lecture hall, your audience engagement is probably suffering. Technology integration has made it possible to involve your viewers in real time. Projecting live statistic, polls and more encourages participation and ultimately improves message retention. Enough with boring, over-rehearsed speeches. Let your audience get involved!

Takeaway: Presentation design is a vital part of a successful marketing strategy, and more companies are taking notice. Designers have upped the ante with smarter tech and more elegant layouts, proving that slides don’t have to boring. With a new emphasis on audience interaction, we hope to see the end of phoned-in presentations once and for all.

Enjoyed this piece on presentation design trends?

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