Getting down to the fundamentals of presentation design

Explore the in-depth article on what goes into a clear and powerful presentation and how it can be used to communicate value and make your business stand out.

readymag blog_fundamentals of presentation design

For designers working with entrepreneurs to make an impact on potential investors, creating a well-crafted presentation that clearly outlines their business plan is paramount. Here is an in-depth look at what goes into these presentations and how they can be used to communicate value and make your business stand out.

Designing a pitch deck starts with structure

All well-crafted projects start with structure. While there is no strict science to creating a pitch deck structure, a few core elements serve as helpful guideposts when designing something that is meant to inform and impress. While we don’t believe in a fixed template, these are some northern stars that you can use to build a presentation that is right for you.

A strong hook. Start your presentation off strong with a bold introduction that grabs attention. To create a strong hook slide, you should focus on two key elements: brevity and impact. Keep your message concise yet engaging; use powerful visuals that capture the essence of your company in just one glance. Here are some examples of intros that stand out:

  • Intros that tell stories. Set the scene of the problem with an anecdote to connect to your audience.
  • Pose the problem in the form of a question. Get your audience thinking about the problem you will help them solve. This can help contextualize your solution and put it in the context of their own lives.
  • Use a highly visual metaphor, like iPod’s infamous "1,000 songs in your pocket", pitch to make something abstract more concrete.

Introducing "the problem" and "the solution". It’s time to get into the meat of the problem. The next few slides will introduce both your team and the "problem" you are looking to solve in a concise and engaging way. Use this space to demonstrate an understanding of your audience’s "problem", which is arguably one of the most important elements of your pitch. Be sure to demonstrate a strong awareness of the different layers of the problem you are solving, being thorough and tactful is key!

Here’s what the research says. At this point, your data and research can do some of the heavy lifting. Your data should explain potential gain for parties you want to be involved with your project or an in-depth awareness of the problem at hand. Pick the most attention-grabbing, insightful, or poignant figures you have from case studies and independent research.

Talking business. Opportunity is one thing, but a good pitch includes a plan. Your business plan should include how your team can translate your data into results for your audience. Your unique perspective on "the problem" and the data alongside it should form a solid strategy to impress your audience.

Roll call. If you’d like to get a little more personal with your audience and establish your credibility, here’s a good chance to do so. Talk about your team and their accreditation, past work, awards, and account leads or points of contact.

Conclusion and CTA. Finally, here’s where you can firmly establish how your audience of potential investors or partners can get involved with your exciting proposal. Conclude by recapping the key points of your presentation and, as always, thanking your audience for their time.

Design tips to keep things interesting and functional

Now that the more content aspects have been sorted out, you might want to add some flair to your pitch deck. This is where you should incorporate your brand’s identity into the presentation, helping you stand out and showcase your brand’s personality. However, there’s a line between design elements that are captivating and distracting and it’s important to know the difference. Here are some ways to make your pitch stand out without making it hard to focus:

  • Make things clear and concise. This means being judicious about how much text is displayed on any single slide, and how much information you’re trying to bring across on a single topic. Opting for concise bullets, strong headings, and graphs where possible can help cut down on text clutter.
  • Apply visual storytelling. Images, animation, and graphs can not only make your presentation more engaging, but they can also help an audience engage with specific factoids or concepts that they might find confusing otherwise. Always use these elements to enhance your delivered information, rather than carrying it on its own.
  • Keep high contrast, big fonts. Show some love for those in the back of the room or with tiny screens. Don’t let your text be lost via a low-contrast text/background color ratio. Opting for bigger font and economic word choice can get points across quickly without sacrificing impact.
  • Add animation to bring things to life. Animation can be an exciting addition to impress investors and partners alike. With a powerful, versatile, and visually-pleasing toolset for designing, Readymag makes it easy to incorporate animation into your presentation to create an impressive pitch deck.

Piecing it all together

Before putting together a pitch deck of your own, browse more tips on presentation design from our team. If you’re looking for some inspiration or solid ground to start building on, check out our fully customizable presentation templates.