How to Make Engaging Presentations: Simple Hacks with Great Impact | Vickie @ D Story | Skillshare
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How to Make Engaging Presentations: Simple Hacks with Great Impact

teacher avatar Vickie @ D Story, Design & Storytelling Consultant

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Course Introduction

      1:50

    • 2.

      Presentation Structure

      0:44

    • 3.

      Pyramid Principle

      4:12

    • 4.

      Pyramid Principle (Bonus Example)

      2:28

    • 5.

      Headline Writing

      4:55

    • 6.

      Visual Design

      1:03

    • 7.

      Slides with Lots of Text

      9:36

    • 8.

      Slides with Lots of Data

      6:31

    • 9.

      Confidence Boost

      2:06

    • 10.

      Progressive Disclosure

      8:50

    • 11.

      Progress Bar

      3:04

    • 12.

      Interactive Appendix

      4:00

    • 13.

      Course Project

      1:56

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About This Class

Presentation Design & Storytelling Tips for Beginners & Non-Designers

We can spend hours putting together a presentation – only to find that our slides look messy, the content is confusing and our audience doesn’t have the time or attention to care.

You don’t need to start over, switch tools or become a designer to make your presentation more engaging!

A few small design and storytelling refinements can make a big difference in how clean your slides look, how clear your message comes across and how engaged your audience will be!

In less than an hour, you'll learn how to...

  • Structure your points clearly so you can get your key message across no matter how much time you have to present
  • Design clean, attractive slides that will grab your audience's attention and help them focus on your most important points
  • Boost you/your audience's confidence with extra design hacks so you feel in control during your presentation and in Q&A.

Whether you’re a student making PPTs for a class project, an entrepreneur pitching a big idea to investors, or a working professional who wants to level up their visual communication skills, we’re sure you’ll pick up something new to try in your next presentation.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Vickie @ D Story

Design & Storytelling Consultant

Teacher

Vickie Leung is a design and storytelling consultant at D Story, where she's written, designed and delivered hundreds of presentations for global brands such as Google, Nike, HSBC and L'Oréal.

Aside from our consulting work, we've also run over 100 workshops on design, video and storytelling at Google Campus London, The University of Oxford, The London School of Economics, Imperial College London and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

 

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Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Course Introduction: If you're a beginner at giving presentations, having a great set of slides makes all the difference in helping you inspire your audience and create a lasting impression. Especially these days when people have shorter attention spans, and higher expectations of how things look. I'm Vickie, and I'm a presentation designer and storyteller at D Story. We design thousands of slides every year for big companies around the world. In this course, I'll teach you how to make your presentations more engaging with just some small changes. Even if you're not a designer or don't think you're very creative, you'll be able to turn your slides from this into this. You'll learn more than just how to make your presentations look nice. I'll also share with you design techniques to convey your information effectively. Things like how to structure your presentation so that you can get your most important points across without overwhelming your audience. How to organize a lot of texts, photos, and charts. So your slides look clear, professional and attractive. And other design hacks that can boost your confidence. These are the techniques that I keep going back to, the ones I use with all my clients for all kinds of presentations. I'll walk through my design and thought process on PowerPoint. But what I teach you can be done in any presentation tool. Last thing, it'll be really cool if you could post your designs in the project gallery to inspire others with your growth. I can't wait to see what kind of presentations you guys create. So open up your favorite presentation software, and let's get started. 2. Presentation Structure: In an ideal world, we know who are presenting to and how much time we have to present. But of course it doesn't always go according to plan. Technical issues pop up. People come in late or have to leave early, which ends with you having only a fraction of the time to present. If you want to stay in control, we have to design presentations that are flexible enough to deal with unpredictable situations. In this lesson, I'm going to teach you two techniques using the Pyramid Principle and writing effective headlines. 3. Pyramid Principle: The Pyramid Principle is a way to structure information clearly. It makes sure that you get your most important points across, no matter how much time your audience has. When you're presenting to people who mainly care about results like in business presentations, it's usually best to give your answers upfront before explaining how you arrive there. A lot of presentations are structured like an essay. It sets a scene with an introductory slide. Then the next few slides are about different points you've learned. And lastly, it ends with a conclusion or recommendation. This linear structure works when you have a captivated audience. But a lot of the time your audience wish to just cut to the chase. That's why you need to prioritize what they actually care about and give them a reason to give you their attention. In the first slide, give your main message. The one thing you want your audience to remember, if you only have a moment of their time. This could be the answer to their question or a recommendation. Then in the following slides give around three supporting points or the rationale behind your main message. Things you'd say if you had another five to ten minutes, some recommendations need more elaboration and support, you just add those afterwards. Details, workings, and the raw data can always go in the appendix. The appendix are slides that you don't present, but you pull them out only when your audience wants to know more, for example, during Q&A. We'll talk more about the appendix later in this course. When you structure your presentation like a pyramid, your audience will know all the important points in just the first few minutes. To see the difference, Let's take a look at this email. It says that James messed up an important presentation yesterday. He's lost a bunch of clients. He's under-performing and he keeps ignoring his bosses calls. If James didn't bother reading this entire thing, he wouldn't have known that in the end, he's fired. But then look at this email that follows a pyramid structure. The subject line says it all. Even if James didn't have the time to read the e-mail, he knows that he's fired immediately when the notification pops up. If he has the time, then he can open the email to learn why he got fired. How do you restructure an existing presentation using the Pyramid Principle? Imagine that you want to educate your audience on climate change and convince them that clean energy needs more investment. Right now, it's structured linearly. We start with a context. 2021 was an unprecedented year for climate change. We've experienced worse sea level rises, cyclones, droughts, drops in temperature, deforestation, etc. Despite that, carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise and there isn't a clear peak in sight. What's shocking is that half of those emissions are contributed by only three countries. It hasn't been all bad though, we have achieved big steps in tackling climate change. In fact, growth for renewable energy capacity reached an all-time high that same year. But it's not enough. Clean energy investment must triple by 2030 in order to reach our goal of net 0 emissions. Now let's restructure this into a pyramid. Let's start with a recommendation. We should triple investment in clean energy. Why? Because although we have achieved a lot in sustainability initiatives in 2021, we are facing an unprecedented number of disasters that same year. How did that happen? Well, here's the extra data and evidence. With this structure, everyone would know the key message of this presentation in just the first few slides. In the next lesson, I'll show you how the Pyramid Principle can be applied in all kinds of situations outside of slides. 4. Pyramid Principle (Bonus Example): In the last lesson, I said that structuring your presentation using the Pyramid Principle is better when you're presenting to results-oriented people, like in business presentations. However, you might think that this isn't that useful to you if you're not working in a business role like in management consulting or marketing. But that's really not the case. The Pyramid Principle can be useful for everyone. Job interviews are a good example. Job interviewers are mainly focused on your achievements and what you can bring to the company. Some might ask you to prepare a presentation for them beforehand or asks you behavioral type questions, like "tell me about a time when you use your negotiation skills" Even if you have the perfect story in mind, resist the urge to dive into the details immediately. We naturally tell stories from beginning to end. But if you focus on what you did instead of what you achieved, you might start rambling about when it happened, who said what, how long things took or the software that was used. This is how you can restructure your work story. Start with what you've accomplished, then move to the tasks you had, the actions you took and wrap it up again with a result. There was a time where I successfully negotiated an extension to a deadline after the client change our specifications in the middle of a project. I did that by explaining to them the benefits of extending the deadline so that we can maintain the quality of work. I understood that they value the visual polish or the deliverable and leverage that to convince them. In the end, the client presented our argument to their team who then agreed to extend the deadline by two weeks. You don't need to try to predict what they might be interested in if there are things they wanted to know more about. They can always ask you. The pyramid structure isn't to leave out all the information and progress. Instead it's just moving it to the very end in the appendix. So you can talk about it only when someone asks for it. The Pyramid Principle is just one way to structure your presentation. While it's more structured, it doesn't feel as natural and you don't get the emotional hit or the suspense you get from a more linear structure. Each style has its pros and cons. So choose a style that fits your story and audience best! 5. Headline Writing: The second technique we can use to The second technique we can use to communicate efficiently is headline writing. communicate efficiently is headline writing. This is a heading and this is a headline. This is a heading and this is a headline. See the difference? See the difference? Headings give you a quick indication Headings give you a quick indication of what it is you're looking at, of what it is you're looking at, but not much else. but not much else. Imagine if all news articles, YouTube videos, Imagine if all news articles, YouTube videos, or blog posts had headings instead of headlines. or blog posts had headings instead of headlines. Because you don't know exactly what it's about. Because you don't know exactly what it's about. You don't feel as compelled to You don't feel as compelled to click on them and learn more, right? click on them and learn more, right? Headlines on the other hand, Headlines on the other hand, tell you upfront what has happened. tell you upfront what has happened. Doesn't it make you want to know Doesn't it make you want to know more about how it all went down? more about how it all went down? We see catchy headlines everywhere. We see catchy headlines everywhere. Yet, most presentations have headings instead. Yet, most presentations have headings instead. It's one of the reasons why presentations have It's one of the reasons why presentations have the reputation of being boring and hard to follow. the reputation of being boring and hard to follow. We can create headlines for We can create headlines for presentations by writing your slides' presentations by writing your slides' key message into a clear, concise sentence. key message into a clear, concise sentence. Good headlines are Good headlines are one-to-two lines short enough to scan, one-to-two lines short enough to scan, yet, specific enough to grasp yet, specific enough to grasp the meaning without reading the rest of the slide. the meaning without reading the rest of the slide. Here are some practical tips to improve your headline. Here are some practical tips to improve your headline. First is to keep it concise by First is to keep it concise by simplifying and cutting out unnecessary words. simplifying and cutting out unnecessary words. Second, use active voice. Second, use active voice. It's more conversational and easier to understand. It's more conversational and easier to understand. We can turn 'our impact on the environment can be We can turn 'our impact on the environment can be reduced' into 'we can reduce our impact on the environment'. reduced' into 'we can reduce our impact on the environment'. Lastly, quantify where possible, Lastly, quantify where possible, like replacing 'a lot' with like replacing 'a lot' with actual numbers and 'soon' with a timeframe. actual numbers and 'soon' with a timeframe. Even though writing headlines take Even though writing headlines take time and more space on the slide, time and more space on the slide, it's definitely worth the effort. it's definitely worth the effort. Headlines make it so much clearer to the audience what Headlines make it so much clearer to the audience what they need to know or do and why they should care. they need to know or do and why they should care. If someone turns up late or has to leave early. If someone turns up late or has to leave early. Headlines help them get up to speed. Headlines help them get up to speed. If you ever find yourself going off on a tangent, If you ever find yourself going off on a tangent, headlines will guide you and keep you in control. headlines will guide you and keep you in control. I'll give you a few examples for you to practice. I'll give you a few examples for you to practice. You can download these slides in You can download these slides in the 'Projects and Resources' section the 'Projects and Resources' section if you want a closer look. if you want a closer look. We have a slide with only a heading. We have a slide with only a heading. It's not clear what the problem and solution are. It's not clear what the problem and solution are. Let's come up with a headline. Let's come up with a headline. 'To solve the problem of loneliness during lockdown, 'To solve the problem of loneliness during lockdown, local members of the community have local members of the community have set up a hotline for around the clock support.' set up a hotline for around the clock support.' It's much clearer now what this slide is saying, It's much clearer now what this slide is saying, but it still can be improved. but it still can be improved. Use the three tips I mentioned before, Use the three tips I mentioned before, which is to keep it concise. which is to keep it concise. Use active voice and quantify where possible. Use active voice and quantify where possible. Pause the video now and write down a better headline. Pause the video now and write down a better headline. Have you gotten it down? Have you gotten it down? Alright, so here's how I would improve it. Alright, so here's how I would improve it. What I did first was to turn it into active voice. What I did first was to turn it into active voice. I simplified 'around the clock' to '24/7'. I simplified 'around the clock' to '24/7'. I simplified 'solve the problem' to just 'combat'. I simplified 'solve the problem' to just 'combat'. 'Members of the local community have setup 'Members of the local community have setup a 24/7 hotline to combat loneliness during lockdown.' a 24/7 hotline to combat loneliness during lockdown.' Let's go through another example. Let's go through another example. Without a headline, it's hard to tell where to look at Without a headline, it's hard to tell where to look at first and what this Gantt chart is trying to say. first and what this Gantt chart is trying to say. But if we wrote the headline, But if we wrote the headline, 'We are far behind schedule and have 'We are far behind schedule and have exceeded our budget by a significant amount.' exceeded our budget by a significant amount.' You now know that you should focus on seeing which tasks You now know that you should focus on seeing which tasks are behind schedule and which ones went over budget. are behind schedule and which ones went over budget. Can you improve the headline? Can you improve the headline? Pause the video now and come up with a better one. Pause the video now and come up with a better one. Here's how I would rewrite it. Here's how I would rewrite it. I quantified 'far behind' to 'two weeks' I quantified 'far behind' to 'two weeks' and 'a significant amount' to '$10,000'. and 'a significant amount' to '$10,000'. I also made the sentence more concise, I also made the sentence more concise, simplifying 'exceeded our budget' to just 'over-budget'. simplifying 'exceeded our budget' to just 'over-budget'. 'We are two weeks behind schedule and 'We are two weeks behind schedule and $10,000 over budget.' $10,000 over budget.' I made four more examples, I made four more examples, if you want more practice, if you want more practice, you can also download them in you can also download them in the resources section below. the resources section below. After this lesson, you should be able to structure After this lesson, you should be able to structure a presentation to make a presentation to make the message clearer for your audience. the message clearer for your audience. In the next lesson, In the next lesson, we'll cover the visual design of the slide. we'll cover the visual design of the slide. 6. Visual Design: Everyone wants simple, clean and visual slides, but sometimes it's hard to accomplish it. Maybe we have a bunch of charts that we want to compare and analyze on the same slide. Or we're only allowed to present ten slides, so we cram all our points into every bit of space. Or maybe we're making a presentation that's meant to be sent out and read, so we have to leave in the details because we're not there to elaborate on top of it. Not every slide can look minimalistic and not every presenter is confident enough or had enough time to practice to be able to present with little texts to remind them of what to say next. In this lesson, I'll teach you how to design clean and clear slides, even if you have a lot of content so that you can present more confidently. With just some small tweaks. I'll demonstrate how I transformed this slide into this one. 7. Slides with Lots of Text: When there's a lot of content on the slide, we should create visual hierarchy. It's to use design to make it clear what's more important and what's less important. So the audience naturally knows what to look at. Visual hierarchy can be found everywhere. Without it, things start to look like terms and conditions. When people can clearly see what's important, they become more engaged and interested and the content becomes easier to understand. That's why it's important to create visual hierarchy in our presentations. We can do this in three ways by laying out information logically, emphasizing what's important, and de-emphasizing what's less important. And using space, color and images to organize information. Let me take you through how I would create visual hierarchy on this slide about the four stages of the human sleep cycle. I already see a few issues with this slide. First is the heading. In the last lesson I talked about writing headlines. Writing four stages of sleep makes sense, but it's not particularly insightful. So let's write a better one. The headline depends on the message of this presentation. Let's say our goal is to teach people how to improve their sleep quality. So I'm going to write 'Our bodies rest and recover in the latter stages of sleep.' Second, the two images look a bit random. One's an illustration and one's a photo. Sometimes it's tempting to fill an empty spaces with pictures to try to make the slide more engaging. But is it necessary to have them both there? They don't really give a sense of the four different stages. I'm going to take them out to just focus only on the text for now. The third problem is that the line lengths are really long. Long line lengths are good if you want people to read faster, their eyes will take fewer breaks when they dropped to the next line. But the problem is that it not only looks intimidating, but it's also tiring to read. If you want to design a more comfortable reading experience, makes sure that your line lengths are short. We can shorten the lines by redesigning the layout. Since I want to make it super clear that there are four stages, I'm going to split this entire textbox into four columns. Now that we've got the layout done, Let's move on to the next step, which is emphasizing what's important and de-emphasizing what's less important. One reason your slide might have a lot of texts is because you feel that everything there is essential. They may be important points, but it'll definitely overwhelm your audience if they can't see what to prioritize. What we want to do first is to reduce the size of the text. If we assume that everything is less important, It's easier to be more critical in identifying what should be prioritized. What would help the audience understand the information easily at a glance. People often makes Stage 1 to 4 big and bold, but actually they're not as important anymore because the fourth stages are already indicated by the four columns. What we should do is to write subheadings for each paragraph so the audience can understand the gist of each stage in just a few words. Let's name the stages consistently. Make them bigger and bolder. Now it's much clearer how the four stages are different. We should also simplify the paragraphs into separate points. This is much clearer now, but it can still feel overwhelming. Although the subheadings are bigger and bolder, it still doesn't pop out enough. All the texts right now is black and there isn't enough difference between the subheadings and the details. Sometimes people bold, highlight or colour texts like this to make them stand out. It's not the best way because you're making the audience eyes dart everywhere and it's easy to get carried away, creating a rave on your slides. If you try to make everything stand out, nothing is going to stand out. That's why the secret to emphasizing what's important is de-emphasizing what's less important and making it quieter. That's why we should make the details a lighter color. In PowerPoint, I usually go to the theme colors and pick one of the first two grays here. Now the subheadings stand out a lot more. Let's also add back the heading at the top so it's clear what the slide is, and give a highlight color to make it stand out a bit. I'll capitalize all the stages just to create extra hierarchy and differentiation. Now see, if you stand back a bit or squint, you can clearly see the hierarchy of the information. For fonts. I recommend sticking to the default fonts that everyone has like Arial, if you're presenting through someone else's computer. Otherwise, if you're presenting through your own computer or sending out a PDF, you can use custom fonts because they have more weights like hairline, light, and black that can further differentiate between the words. Here I've changed the font to Lato, which is a free Google font that you can download at fonts.google.com The last tip I want to talk about is using space, color, and images to organize information rather than using lines and boxes. Our brains are very good at finding patterns because this subheading has a small gap between the paragraph beneath it, we know that they're related. Because the gaps between the four stages are big, we know that there are four separate points without needing to add lines or boxes. This gap is called 'white space' and using it to organize information keeps a slide clean. Colors are also a good way at helping our brains separate information. There are selective visual variable. People can quickly and easily scan across the slide to pick them up. The benefit of using color to draw attention is that it doesn't involve adding more things to the slide like arrows or underlines. You can not not only emphasize things faster, not needing to draw shapes everywhere, but your slides will look a lot cleaner too if you use color sparingly. Now let's go back to designing the slide. We've already achieved a good level of visual hierarchy in the text, but we can also use visuals to enhance this slide. Further, emojis and icons are a great way to create visual hierarchy, making the text easier to understand at a glance and make the slide more interesting. However, I couldn't find icons or emojis that can convey the four stages clearly. In this case, another way is to use illustrations. They're more distinctive and more specific. Illustrations are better at communicating intangible and specific concepts, whereas icons are better for tangible and simple concepts. However, I would recommend using a cohesive set of illustrations, so it doesn't look distractingly mismatched. I drew these illustrations myself, but you can also find free and customizable ones online. I'll link some in the 'Projects and Resources' section below. When choosing visuals, always ask yourself whether they helped make the message clear or not. But if he can't find any suitable icons or illustrations, it can add a background image. Photos are really good for theming and can make the presentation look really attractive. But the trade-off is that it can also reduce the clarity of the slide. It doesn't communicate a lot or help you understand different concepts. It also risks messing up the hierarchy because the background image and text both compete for your attention. You have to be really selective in which background image you choose. It should be subtle without a lot of details. But is there a simple way to do everything to make it clean, clear, and attractive? For this slide, I think using colors to communicate the difference between the stages is really effective. It's clean because it doesn't add new elements to the slide. It's clear because it differentiates a stages and helps the audience visualize the concept that you fall deeper and deeper into sleep in the later stages. And it's attractive because everyone loves the gradient with nice colors. It's easy to make it. Fill the background with a nice color and add a big circle. You set the circle from 'solid fill' to 'gradient fill' Set the type to 'radial', and make sure that the direction is set to the center. Then you make both the gradient colors the same. but you set the transparency for one of them to 100% to get the soft edges. This is the final design of the presentation. In the next lesson, I will go through another example, this time with more charts and data. 8. Slides with Lots of Data: In the last lesson we talked about creating visual hierarchy by laying out information logically, emphasizing what's important, and de-emphasizing what's less important. And using space, color, and images to organize information. I want to show you one more example of creating clean and clear slides. Imagine the marketing team of your company wanted to launch an ad and wanted to know which social media platforms customers use. So you create charts for the top eight most popular platforms overall, as well as breakdown for female and male customers. On the bottom is a textbox with a three conclusions that we want the audience to take away from this slide. So, what's wrong with this slide? Well, the most important things aren't emphasized enough, so it's not clear at a glance what we want to learn from the slide. The three takeaways are the most important. Yet, they're small and hidden at the bottom. Social media accounts, on the other hand, grabs our attention, even though it doesn't really tell us anything. So first let's make it smaller to make space for the headline and turn it into a sub-heading. We should put the most important things on the top or the top left of the slide because that's where people usually look at first. Let's drag this up top. We can turn the most important key takeaway here into a headline. Also make the other key takeaways a bit smaller and lighter. This chart title looks too eye-catching and detached from the three charts. So let's remove the navy box. Okay, so we still have the icons to talk about. It's good to use icons and pictures to make the slide interesting. But ideally it should serve a clear purpose or help communicate the key message. In this case, it doesn't really do that. From the looks of it. I would assume that Facebook is more popular than YouTube because the logo is bigger. Instagram should also be there since the focus is on the top three platforms. If we're going to use icons or logos, we have to make sure that they're useful. So I'm going to take them away. We've removed most of the distractions and it's clear what the message of this slide is. Now let's move on to the charts. Boxes are a common way to highlight information, but it's not the best because it adds another thing to the slide, making it look more cluttered. The better way is to use color because it doesn't add anything. Remember how I said in the previous lesson, if you try to make everything stand out, nothing is going to stand out. That's why we have to make what's less important, less obvious. I usually put a semi-transparent white box over the less important bars, fading it just enough to make the top three bars stand out while making the rest still legible. Already, I see a huge improvement and it's clear enough to present, but we can still take it to the next level. I jumped a few steps ahead, making it look more aesthetically pleasing. I've updated the font to PT Serif, which is also a free Google font. I added a gradient bar at the top to highlight this headings subtly. I changed the colors of the bars to differentiate them a bit more and made the chart labels smaller and more subtle. I also added a small icon next to the genders to make it more scannable. To make the takeaway that 'female customers are more likely to use Instagram' more explicit. I added a label to this bar. To link the takeaways more clearly with the chart. We could also add these tags so it's more obvious to the audience where the data lies. In this design, we have used visual hierarchy to draw our attention to what's most important, which are the headline, the three key takeaways, and the top three bars. Depending on who your audience is, how you design your slides can be very different. This slide is effective if you're presenting to an audience who wants to look closely at the data and do their own comparisons. But if you're presenting to an audience who just wants everything explicitly laid out for them. You might consider a layout like this. If the presenter isn't going to elaborate on every single social media platform, we can take out the rest of the bars and turn it into a table instead. It's a lot smaller and less distracting now. But if people want to know more about the other social media platforms, it's there for them to read. I turned the bar chart into a column chart because it saves a lot more space. If you know that the audience is mainly concerned about the overall chart, then we can make the other two charts smaller. One last design tip I want to add here is about the lines. Even though I recommend using color and space to separate information if the space is really tight or if you're already using a lot of colors for other things, of course use dividers or lines! But they should be more subtle. See the difference if I made the lines dark versus if it's light. This last one is another possible layout. If we think that the comparisons between the two genders are important, we can create a clustered chart for them instead. We could even fade out the other bars if we want the focus to be on the gender differences for Instagram and Reddit. There isn't just one template you should follow if you want to design the clearest slide possible. That's why the first step of designing slides is to ask yourself, what is it that you want the audience to take away from this slide? If we don't put in the effort to design the slides effectively, we push the burden to the audience to figure things out themselves, which makes it harder for them to understand the message you're trying to convey. The harder we work to design the slides, the less the audience has to work during the presentation. In the next lesson, I'll be going through other design tricks that can make your presentations more engaging. 9. Confidence Boost: We're always told not to put too much text on the slide because it's distracting for the audience. But not everyone packs their slides with texts because they're lazy or don't know how to design. Sometimes it's because the presenter doesn't feel confident not having the content there to back them up in case they forget what to say. What can you do if you want to have some texts guide you while also making the slides more presentable. I've got three simple techniques for you. First is progressive disclosure animation. You reveal one point a time only when you're talking about them, while also fading out the previous points. So you can really focus the audience attention on what you're currently saying. It'll feel less overwhelming as you're spotlighting specific parts for them to focus on. Even if they lose focus for a second, they can get up to speed quite quickly. The second is creating a progress bar. Sometimes people drift off in the middle of a presentation or become impatient because they don't feel a sense of progress. You can engage your audience by drawing a progress bar and help them visualize reaching the end. Last is creating an interactive appendix, which can really help you ace Q&A. Instead of fumbling through the whole deck, trying to find the right slide to support your answer. And interactive appendix lets you see an overview of all the important slides and help you jump to the right one with just a click. All these techniques can be found in apps, websites, and video games to make them more engaging, your audience will find your content easier to understand. And in return, you'll feel more prepared and in control and confident because you'll see your audience really focused on what you're presenting. In the next three lessons, I will show you how you can easily achieve these three steps. I'll be demonstrating on PowerPoint, but all three techniques can be done in any presentation tool. 10. Progressive Disclosure: Progressive disclosure is showing only what's necessary, or relevant. In presentations. This usually means showing one point at a time while fading out the previous points. When you show your information all at once, your slide kind of becomes like a buffet. You'll leave it to the audience to pick and choose what they want or think is important. However, with progressive disclosure, your slides become a carefully created menu. The chef sends out courses one-by-one, so we can focus on appreciating the one dish in front of you. It's like a spotlight on the stage. It's not enough to shine a bright light. At the same time, you also have to turn off the other lights to create a contrast. You're not taking the point out completely, especially if there's a lot of information. It's there when the audience needs to refer back to it, but subtle enough so that it's not grabbing attention. There are many ways to do progressive disclosure. The most efficient way is putting a white box over the content you're not presenting and lower the opacity like this. But what you'll end up with is a bunch of the same slides. If you want to change one thing, you'll have to change it on all of the slides. So I recommend putting the white boxes only when you finish all the slides. I'll show you a way where you can do it all in one slide. Here we have three text boxes. The first thing we want to do is make them appear one-by-one. Let's highlight them. Go to the 'Animations' tab on the ribbon, and finally green stars. They're called 'Entrance Animations' and choose 'Appear' animation. Right now all three text boxes appear all at once. So let's change that. Open up the 'Animation Pane' to adjust the animation, which is this button right here. If you're using a Mac, click on 'Point 2' and go down to open the timings tab. Change the 'Start with previous' to start on 'Click' On Windows, right-click on 'Point 2' and select 'Start on click' Now, do the same for Point 3 After each click, the three points will appear one by one. The second step is to make Points 1 and 2 fade. So let's highlight them. Go to emphasis effects where the yellow stars are and click on 'Transparency' You might need to click on the dropdown arrow. On Windows, you have to click on the drop-down menu where all the animations are. Now we go to reorder the animations. We want Point 1 to fade out at the same time as Point 2 appears. So let's try to Point 1 fade animation right below the Point 2 appear animation and set it to start with previous. The Point 2 fade animation is already set to start with previous, so we don't need to change that. Let's check what we have right now. First click, second click, third click. It works now! But I think the fade isn't subtle enough. Let's lighten it up a bit. Click on the Point 1 fade animation, and then open up the effects options below. We want their properties to be at least 75%. Do the same thing for Point 2. Now let's check it again. First click, the second click, third click, and there you go. There is your progressive disclosure animation. Agendas and timelines are types of slides where progressive disclosure is really helpful. Some timelines can't help but look messy because of all the events and details you have to include. Here's another trick I want to show you. On top of fading things out. You also add a dot to put even more focus on the point you're talking about. Kinda like a cat with a laser pointer. This is how you can animate it. First, let's draw a line. I'm using the rectangle tool. Let's make it light gray so it's not so distracting. And let's also draw a circle. Fill it with a nice accent color, and align it to Point 1 to start off with. All right, so let's animate it. Click on the circle, go to 'Animations' tab, and click on 'Path animation'. Choose 'lines' in the basic section, which will move the circle down in a straight line. We want to move it down on the first click. Let's drag it up to the third step right after the Point 1 fade animation and set it to 'start with previous' I also want the first to be there when we first open up the slide. So let's remove that 'Appear' animation for Point 1 Now if we play this slide, the circle automatically moves down. It's a bit slow right now, and the end position doesn't align exactly to Point 2 So let's fix that next. Go back to the 'Animation pane' Click on the circle and set the duration to 1 second. Now let's fix where the point stops. You can zoom in a bit for this. Click the circle. Do you see the tiny green and red arrows? Green arrow marks where the circle starts and the red arrow is where it stops. Let's hold down the Shift key. Click the red arrow, and drag it up a bit so it's parallel to Point 2. Holding shift makes sure that when you move the circle, it'll be on a straight line. Now let's play this slide again. That's much better. Let's do the same thing for Point 3 Click on the circle, 'path animation', 'lines' The next steps are a little bit different. We also want to move the green arrow this time because it's where it starts. Or else on the next click, it'll start from Point 1 again. Let's hold down the Shift key and drag the green arrow down this time to where Point 2 is because that's where it starts. The green arrow and red arrow next to Point 2 should overlap. Now let's align the red arrow next to appoint Point 3. Lastly, go to the 'animation pane' Click on the circle animation and set it to 'start with previous' and set the duration to 1 second. All right, let's take a look at what we've made. It starts with Point 1 being emphasized. On the first click, the focus moves to Point 2. On the second click, the focus moves to Point 3. Progressive disclosure animation is also a really useful when there are a bunch of photos. Compared to the icons, photos are full of details, so it can look really busy. If you have a photo and a step for each point, you want to make, group them together and apply that appear and transparency animation. Or you can just put the white box over them. There are many creative ways you can use progressive disclosure outside of breaking up points, steps, or events. Take this slide for example. I took the dialogue of Rachel and Ross's breakup in FRIENDS, and turn it into a chat on WhatsApp. And since it's copyrighted, I'll have to try my best and do the voice acting myself. I mean, I don't feel like I have a girlfriend anymore. You want me to just quit my job just so you can feel like you have a girlfriend. Is this about Mark? It's not it's not... Oh my God, I can't keep having the same fight with you Ross. Look, maybe we should take a break. Fine, You're right. Let's take a break. Let's cool off, okay? No, a break from us. Progressive disclosure animation lets you control the flow, story and pacing, while also making it visual and immersive for your audience. Progressive disclosure is also helpful when you're reviewing or analyzing something like an essay or a passage from a book or play. It draws attention to the sentence you want to highlight and analyze. It's helpful for the audience to be able to see the other faded out passages and where the sentence lies relative to them. Progressive disclosure is one of the easiest changes you can make for your presentation. If you have a presentation coming up, try giving it a go! 11. Progress Bar: These days we're so used to getting a sense of progress on apps, websites, and software. We almost take it for granted. When we don't know how long things take, we feel anxious and frustrated. We are uncertain whether the time and energy we've invested in is worthwhile or not. Presentation sometimes feel never-ending not because they're long or boring, but because you don't feel a sense of progress, That's why I recommend putting a progress bar in your presentation. Having a more engaged audience really helps boost your confidence. You won't need to reassure them that there's only a few slides left. And so we can focus completely on how you deliver it. It also helps to presenter manage your time while presenting, giving you a hint of whether you should speed up or slow down. It's basically just a rectangle, yet the impact it makes on you and your audience is massive. All you have to do is make the rectangle longer after each slide, ideally at equal distances. There are so many ways to design a unique progress bar. Let me show you a few! I made all of these on PowerPoint, but you can do this in any presentation software. You can create a gradient one like this. All you have to do is fill your rectangle with two colors on either end and put a gray rectangle on top of it. You shorten the gray rectangle after each slide. This one looks like Instagram stories. The thin bars represent the number of slides or sections. You can also write the sections out like this so the audience can keep track of where they are and what they've already gone through. This one is inspired by navigation bars on websites. This one looks like a media player. You just have to put a circle at the end of the rectangle. This one combines a bit of everything. I also created a shadow with a bright color on the current thought we're on to create this nice glow. If your presentation has a certain theme, there is a chance for you to come up with something creative. For example, I took these organizations and made progress bar is based on what they do. The Target one, well, hits the target. The Uber one has a car driving along the screen, and so does a DHL one. Charity Water provides safe drinking water. So I put a gradient there next to the faucet. It looks like the murky water is being cleaned. Progress bars are so simple. You are so engaging in delightful to the audience. So I definitely recommend you to be creative and have fun designing them. If you have a long presentation coming up, give it a go and make a simple progress bar for it. 12. Interactive Appendix: Q&A sessions or nerve wracking because you never know if someone might throw a curve ball at you. But there is a way to escape some of the nervousness which is to be well-prepared and predict some potential questions. Remember how in the previous lessons I recommended not to load everything into your main slides and instead move the details into the appendix? This not only prevents overloading your audience with information during the presentation, but it can also help you prepare for questions afterwards. Imagine this. Someone asked you a question about something you didn't cover in the presentation, but actually you have thought about it. You even whip out a backup slides to support your answer. You nail the answer completely, the audience is impressed and your confidence is through the roof. Instead of tapping the back arrow furiously to find the right slide. There's a way to jump there with just one click. This lesson, I'm going to show you how to create an interactive appendix by using hyperlinks. Create a slide at the end of your presentation and type out all the slides and sections you'd want to refer back to. Then highlight one of them. Right-click and click 'Link'. It'll open a window and click on 'This Document' tab. Open up 'Slide Titles', and select the slide you'd want this link to jump to. This is how you do it on Windows. So if I'm making a presentation about fire safety and someone asked me about state regulations, I can click this and there it is. You can also create a back button that goes back to the interactive appendix. All you have to do is create a colored box and hyperlink it to the appendix. If you want to make it look easier on the eyes, you can create hyperlinks on rectangles like this. Sometimes people will ask you to go back to the specific slide. Since it's easier to remember the slides based on how they look. You can remind them by putting in thumbnails of slides. To quickly save all your slides as images. Go to 'File', click Export, choose JPEG, and click 'save every slide'. Then I insert all the screenshots to the appendix and put a dark box over each of them for the opacity lowered. This kind of looks like those video games level selection screens, doesn't it? The appendix slide is a slide where you can have fun designing. While these aren't simple hacks, It definitely can create a huge impact. You can make a slide where it looks like you exited back to your desktop, except the folders and files are the hyperlinks. This one is also another variation, except it's an Internet browser. If you presented a bunch of data, you can create a dashboard highlighting the top insights. This one is inspired by video game inventory interfaces. A slide like this can be helpful if you're a creative and wants to show off extra details of your portfolio pieces. It also works if you're pitching a product, and want to show it off across different angles. Appendices are a great way to leave a lasting impression on your audience. If you're feeling nervous about the next Q&A, try spending a few minutes now making a simple interactive appendix. 13. Course Project: So this is the end of the course. Thank you so much for watching it and I hope it's been helpful for you in your journey of becoming an amazing presenter. Just a quick recap. In this course, we learned how to structure your presentation through the Pyramid Principle and learn how to write good headlines. We also practiced creating visual hierarchy to make our slides look clean and clear. We also looked at design hacks that could make the presenter and audience feel more confident through progressive disclosure animation progress bars, and an interactive appendix. If you want to put what you've learned into practice. I've also made this deck for you to work on. I want you to take one or more slides from this presentation and use the techniques we discussed to improve it. There are many ways to improve the same presentation and it'll be so cool if you could share your designs in the project gallery. Give me a peek into your thought process too like, Why did you decide to make those changes? You can download it in the 'Projects & Resources' section below. If you enjoyed this course, I'll be so grateful if you could share it with your friends and colleagues, if you feel like it could help them out as well. If you have any feedback that could help me improve the next course, I'll love to hear it. Oh, one last thing. We're thinking of starting a YouTube channel where our team will redesign other people's slides. If you want a chance for your presentation to be featured, please send it over to d@dstory.co Thanks again for taking this course, and I really hope to see you on the next one. Bye!!