How To Prepare For Your PowerPoint Presentation

Published on
May 26, 2016

Are you looking for some cool tips and tricks to add the ‘wow’ factor into your presentation? Then, you have come to the right place. There are many ways to design a presentation. One of the most popular platforms to design a presentation is PowerPoint. Apart from Microsoft PowerPoint, people use Flash to come up with an impactful deck of slides too. Whichever software or application you use, you need to keep your audience glued to the presentation by adding oomph to your deck of slides. We have compiled several tips from a professional presentation designer, which will help you ace your upcoming presentation, with a thorough preparation.

What is the theme of your presentation?

Before designing your PowerPoint slides, it is important to understand the underlying theme of your presentation. What is the purpose of your presentation? Is it a presentation for a business meeting or for an informal corporate event? Based on the purpose of the presentation, choose the right background, colors and font, which complement your content. Once you get the underlying theme right, your presentation will flow smoothly, and the deck of slides will look connected. This will ultimately make your presentation consistent. Here are design tips from a presentation designer.

Use a maximum of four colors

People have the wrong perception that colors will add life into a presentation. However, adding too many colors ruins your presentation. A colorful presentation looks like a child’s coloring book and is not at all professional. The rule of thumb is to have a maximum of four colors throughout your presentation. Ensure consistency in the usage of colors by choosing a dark color for the headings and another dark color for the text of the body. As far as possible, choose a light color for the background of the presentation. Last but not least, if you have bullet points in your slides, you can highlight them in another color too.

The right font speaks volumes

Based on the purpose of your presentation, choose the font that matches the theme of the slides. Let us say you are preparing a presentation for a business meeting, you should stick to fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman which add a level of professionalism to your deck of slides and get your audience serious about your presentation.

Images and theme should match

There has to be some purpose behind adding images on the slides. They are not just for decoration. So, understand the message you want to convey to the audience and pick the right images accordingly. For example, if you are preparing a presentation for an anniversary celebration, add images like champagne glasses and balloons to signify a celebration. On the other hand, if you are preparing slides for an important financial meeting, you can add a dollar sign and pictures of Wall Street.

Alignment of images is important

Often, we see presentations with images all over the place. It makes the slides messy and cluttered. Align the images properly with the text so that your presentation appears neat. Ensure that there is enough space between the text and the images on a slide. If you have text on the right side of a slide, keep the images on the left side for consistency. If you are preparing a presentation for a business meeting or a client meeting, ensure that your corporate logo appears on every slide. Also, make it a point to align the corporate logo properly, in the same position on every slide. For example, if you place the corporate logo at the top right hand corner of a slide, maintain that position throughout.

If you have images on your slides, it is also important to scale them properly so that they don’t become blurry or pixelated. For example, if you must enlarge an image, ensure that it is not enlarged too much, as this may cause the image to become pixelated. Blurry images look unprofessional and will reduce the impact they are meant to have on your presentations.

Add graphs and charts to simplify your content

If there is data that you want your audience to see, do not throw an array of numbers on the slides. Organize the data into graphs and charts so that it reduces the clutter on the slides and makes it easier for the audience to understand what you are saying. Your graphs and charts should complement what you are saying, not confuse the audience.

Be consistent

Be it in the usage of images, logos, colors, background, font type or font size, you have to be consistent throughout your presentation. For example, use a font and stick with it. Keep titles in the same location and same color from slide to slide. This will help your audience engage with your presentation, and they will take your presentation seriously. Good design leaves an impact on an audience!

Now that you have learned the tips and tricks of making your presentation stand out, your can be rest assured that you will indeed ‘wow’ your audience with a thorough preparation of your presentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Stinson: The Presentation Agency

What exactly do presentation agencies do?

We provide all the help you may need to design presentations that achieve your goals. This can include content consulting, presentation slide design, custom icons and illustrations, and presentation handouts—ultimately, our team of PowerPoint designers and consultants develop a comprehensive presentation solution that meets your specific needs.

Why do companies work with presentation agencies?

Consider how much time you (or your team) spend making PowerPoint presentations for meetings. Think about the back and forth over which fonts, colors, icons, and images to use. Is it okay to use bullet points? Did you use the right brand colors? Does the slide look too crowded and busy? Or does it look too plain? How do you create the look and feel that you're picturing? After the design is done, do you have enough time to practice presenting?

As presentation experts, it is our second nature to understand your goals and work with you to create the professional PowerPoint deck that you envisioned. You can learn more about our 3-phase process here.

By leaving the presentation design to an agency like Stinson, you save yourself the time and worry over the look, feel, and progression of your presentation—we make your PowerPoint presentation-ready so that you can focus on the presentation delivery.

Which presentation design service will I need?

As a presentation company, we offer every service you may need to develop your you may need to develop your PowerPoint—however, it's tough to say exactly which services of ours would benefit you the most without having chatted about your company, industry, and presentation uses.

We've generalized the scenarios that we regularly see and help our clients with. If your situation is similar to any of the below, then rest assured that our presentation experts have proven success in developing solutions.

  • You have an upcoming presentation with investors or clients. You feel your slide deck looks outdated or dull, and you don't know how to help it. You're also not sure if the content in your presentation conveys your value. View our case study where our presentation development and content consulting services helped our client achieve their investor funding goals.
  • Your company has regular internal department presentations. Everyone works on their respective slides, which are then combined into one presentation deck. The resulting PowerPoint does not have a cohesive look and somehow, there are five new shades of your corporate colors. We can help you identify your common slide layouts and design easy-to-use custom PowerPoint templates so your team members can create seamless, unified slides.
  • Your company has a great PowerPoint template that strongly reflects your branding, but your team tends to include too much text and irrelevant images on their slides. During the presentation, key messages are lost. We offer presentation training for exactly this—we'll train your team to create better slides more efficiently.

Expectations when working with us

How does partnering with a PowerPoint designer work?

Once you contact us, we'll meet with you and ask for as much context as possible regarding the project: what materials you already have, who is presenting, who is the audience, and so on—this is our Discover phase. From there, we move onto Develop and Design where we start defining the narrative and visual characteristics of your new presentation. For more details, please read our process.

How long do projects take?

Our standard turnaround for presentation development is 2–4 weeks; for custom presentation templates, our typical turnaround is 3–6 weeks. We know this is a wide range, but due to the collaborative nature of our presentation design process (i.e. asking for and incorporating your feedback), our turnaround time also relies on your responsiveness and availability. We do offer a rush service if your timelines are short.

How much does a presentation design cost?

We price on a project-by-project basis, involving a number of key factors outlined in our pricing model. However, we do require a minimum project cost of $1,500.

We often see companies that do not have budget allocations for presentation design and are hesitant to make the initial investment. We understand—at first, it can be difficult to see the value and difference a well-designed, practical presentation can make. For our clients that started in this situation, we worked on a smaller pilot test project; when they saw the positive ROI of the presentation, they were able to secure larger budgets and found more presentations that needed our help.

What are the final files that I will receive?

All of our final PowerPoint (or other presentation software) deliverables are shared with you in its native, editable file format. We are also able to provide a PDF or video version of your presentation if you would like.

Any presentation collateral we design for your project is shared as a ready-to-print PDF, unless if you specify a different preference.

Have you worked with other clients in my industry? Can you share related samples?

Our list of clients spans a wide range of industries, some of which we hadn't known of prior to the client's project. Since our approach involves familiarizing ourselves with the client's business and industry, we've become a team of jacks-of-all-trades for industry knowledge.

We're able to share blinded, industry-specific samples of presentations that our clients have consented to. Contact us if you're interested!


Aside from PowerPoint, do you work in Google Slides? Keynote? Prezi?

Yes! While we prefer designing PowerPoint presentations due to its robust features that let us create advanced designs, we've created custom presentation designs in Google Slides and Keynote at our clients' request.

We generally do not design presentations in Prezi since it does not support the level of design customization that we need for our clients. Instead, we use PowerPoint to create the same animations and layouts that are characteristic of Prezi presentations—you can view examples in our portfolio.

Will we run into issues if we use Mac and/or Windows PC?

There are some differences in functionality between PowerPoint for Mac and PowerPoint for Windows—but these are not for your concern! We use both Mac and Windows computers at Stinson, so we're able to ensure cross-device compatibility with every PowerPoint presentation we design. During our initial call with you, we'll ask you for these tech specs so that we know to bear them in mind when working on your project.

Does it matter which version of PowerPoint we use?

Yes; the latest versions of PowerPoint have new functions and features that earlier versions of PowerPoint cannot load. We'll take note of your tech setup to ensure that our presentations for you run as intended.

Designing with branding

How are you able to design with our company's brand?

If you have any brand guidelines, we ask you to provide them early on in the process so that we can familiarize ourselves not only with your logos, colors, and fonts, but the overarching brand tone. Our collaborative process includes rounds of revision for you to provide your feedback on the presentation design.

Are you able to design within our very strict corporate brand guidelines?

Absolutely! Many of our clients are companies with well-established brand identities. We do our due diligence to maintain the integrity of their branding when designing their presentations and collateral.

Strict brand guidelines do not necessarily restrict the possibility of creating a sophisticated PowerPoint; our presentation designers thoughtfully use photos, animations, and other visuals to build the story.

We don't have concrete branding yet or we're in the process of updating our brand. Can you work without defined brand elements?

Yes! When we work with clients who are still ironing out the details of their branding, we ask them to provide us any materials they have already and to share their design inspirations. From there, we lay out moodboards of different tones and styles to see which resonates the most with what our client has in mind.


We have highly sensitive information. Will my data remain confidential?

Absolutely—we respect the proprietary nature of businesses, and enforce a strict confidentiality policy company-wide. From the first point of contact with you, we assume a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); we are happy to sign your company's NDA as well.

Where do you store my files and data?

All of our files are stored securely in an industry-leading content server. The server exceeds regulatory standards and encrypts each file using AES 256-bit encryption in diverse locations.

Additionally, the Stinson team works completely in-house, so your files will not cross borders.

How secure is my data?

We take data security seriously. We enforce numerous internal policies and procedures to ensure that Stinson continues to meet compliance and security standards for data protection, including multi-factor authentication for all company accounts and access restrictions.

Stinson Design logo icon

We’d love to hear about your project.

Complete the form below and one of our consultants will reach out within 24 hours.

Thank you!
Your request has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
This site uses cookies and similar technologies to analyze traffic.
Learn more about how we use cookies