Can I be direct with you?
The backgrounds you’re using for your business slides might be costing you business. Let me prove to you why…
But, before that – why do most business presenters feel compelled to add a background to their slides?
Here are the usual answers I get…
- I want to create the ‘right mood’ for my presentation
- I want to fill the empty space on my slides
- White background looks too boring. So, I want to spice it up a bit
I can see the point in their argument.
Instead of a plain looking title slide like this…
…a slide with background, does look better.
But, the real problem occurs when you carry the same background to the rest of your slides.
It messes up the look and feel of your slide deck in two significant ways:
1. A busy background makes it hard to read the text
Take a look at the following example:
Your audience needs to strain their eyes to read the text. That sounds like ‘work’ to me.
After a few slides, you’ll find them browsing their mobile phones than paying attention to what you’ve to say. Once you lose their attention, it is hard to get it back.
2. A complex background makes your pictures look messy
Take a look at the following slide:
Most of the images including the isolated ones stick like a sore thumb on a busy background.
Even if you remove the picture backgrounds using ‘Set transparent color’ option – the dirty shadows still spoil the show.
Your background messes up your tables, maps and diagrams too.
Remember – when your slides look unprofessional, your brand gets adversely impacted. Your audience loses trust in you. And that can hurt your business.
So, what kind of slide backgrounds should you use?
It’s plain and simple (quite literally)…
Use a plain white background for your content slides. You may get away with a busy background for your title slides. But, when it comes to your content slides, just stick to a plain white background.
But then, what about the design continuity from the title slides to the rest of the content slides?
Fine. Use a thin strip from your title slide background as a footer, to maintain the continuity in design. This allows your slide deck to hang together, without disturbing the content of your slides.
Take a look at how that works on a text based slide:
Much easier to read the text. Right?
Even, the pictures look clean and professional:
So, the next time you get tempted to add a busy background to your content slides – stop and repeat this sentence three times inside your head:
“Readability trumps Fanciness – Always”
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In fact, Ramgopal’s PowerPoint Mastery Program is the only program you’ll need to create business presentations that are clear, compelling and effective – even if you are a novice in PowerPoint.
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