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How to create a professional slide presentation: 5 tools to use

Learn what it takes to create an impactful slide presentation and check out the top free tools to use!

Creating a slide presentation – an image of a laptop with a slide presentation being displayed on the screen

Everyone has a boring story involving a slide presentation, right? It’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t almost died of boredom in a classroom or meeting when someone started giving a slide presentation. 

However true this might be, creating a slide presentation is a good way to present ideas and discuss plans.

But, this won’t be efficient if there’s no clear dynamic that communicates with the audience and can engage it. 

How can you do this without boring your audience? You’ll find out now!

What is a slide presentation and what is it used for? 

A slide presentation is the creation of a set of texts, images, videos, and other media, to present projects, academic papers, timelines, and so forth. 

This set of formats needs to communicate between each other in the presentation, drawing attention to what is being proposed and clarifying the idea being conveyed to the audience. 

For this reason, it’s important to intermix texts with static or dynamic images to make everything easily understood for those watching. 

Slide presentations have always been widely used since they were created with overhead projectors – machines that produced light and projected the images – using a transparent sheet with the text written on it.

Image of an overhead projector, equipment formerly used for slide presentations

It was used for many purposes, such as classes, academic papers, business presentations, and meetings. 

Today, slides are still used, but in a more modern way, with digital resources that can gather various other media types besides text and static images, such as e-books and infographics.

What is the importance of creating an impactful slide presentation? 

Slide presentations are always changing, but they’re always prominent when a detailed idea needs to be presented. 

Creating impactful slide presentations is the key to delivering a message that impresses, sells an idea, and engages your audience in what you wish to say by combining interactivity and dynamics. 

With it, you can excel in a professional or academic career. 

Creating a successful slide presentation 

To create a slide presentation, you have to think ahead before you roll up your sleeves and get to work. And everyone has their own method for doing so. 

Below are a few tips that can make the process more efficient, check them out.

Set the goal of the presentation 

Before you think about what your presentation will look like, you need to determine what you wish to achieve. What is the message? Do you want to sell something, convey an idea, and explain a topic? How do you want to explore the subject you’re going to cover?

These questions will help direct and delimit the possibilities of how to approach the subject, as long as you have a clear objective. 

Less is more 

Remember when I said that no one has come out unscathed from watching a boring slide presentation? 

This is probably because it included too much content with a lot of text. 

Therefore, focus on the essentials and on what is important. Instead of making your audience read your presentation, make them pay attention to what you say. And don’t talk too much. 

Structure the text into topics, avoiding long sentences, and you can explain each detail yourself. 

Tell a Story

Your presentation needs to be consistent from beginning to end. Merely putting ideas out there isn’t enough; you need to amaze without losing your train of thought. 

Use storytelling techniques to present these ideas. Create slides that communicate your story, using images that can enrich what you’re saying and follow your reasoning. 

Create a visual hierarchy 

In line with the previous topic, you need to make it clear what information is the most important in your slides. 

You can use colors, text formatting, such as bold and italics, for example, to help make your audience understand what the main idea of each slide is. 

The important thing is that those watching your presentation can easily identify the message on that slide. Therefore, in addition to attributes, such as color and text formatting, insert this information in more prominent areas of the slide. 

Stick to a visual identity 

Design is an important part of your presentation, even if this isn’t the first thing you think about. 

The tools, which you’ll see later on, contain a few ready-made themes as well as the possibility of customizing your visual identity. 

Whatever you choose, your slides should be uniform, communicating with each other. Your viewer won’t be surprised by a new visual pattern unless you have a very clear purpose for it.

Still, avoid using the same templates from one slide to another. Vary the backgrounds, use different colors and visual elements, but respect the identity you stipulate.  

Revise and edit! 

Take a second look at your slides, always! 

Go over all the points covered. Then, analyze if everything makes sense within the purpose you have set. 

One suggestion is to always let the content “marinate” overnight so you can read it with fresh eyes and be able to find possible mistakes, whether they are conceptual, of design, or textual. 

5 free tools for creating slide presentations

Are you ready to check out some of the top tools for creating slide presentations? Below are 5 of them!

1. Google Slides

The largest search engine on the internet has its own resources for the most varied purposes; among them is Google Slides, included in its productivity suite.

Like every Google product, it’s online and can be built remotely and by multiple users at the same time. 

You can customize your slides as well as use ready-made templates. To save it offline, you can download the presentation in .ppt format, the same format as PowerPoint.  

2. Canva

Canva is another popular resource for creating slide presentations. It’s famous for its simplicity and the practicality of its tools. 

The most interesting thing about this platform is that it’s very useful for those who don’t have any practice with design creation. 

You can create graphic templates, infographics, and your presentation’s visual identity intuitively without necessarily mastering design.

Canva has both free and paid packages. Pro is for designers and has its own tools for them. Enterprise is recommended for companies with large teams.  

3. Prezi

This platform is well known for allowing you to create slide presentations that are more dynamic than usual.

Because of this, Prezi is able to attract your audience’s attention and make the presentation be remembered for a longer time. 

Prezi’s features help you conduct the content, and your ideas are conveyed in a logical and proper train of thought, making your presentation impactful and original. 

In addition, Prezi also works with other applications, such as Zoom, Meet, and Facebook, and can be easily streamed via video calls. 

It has different packages from basic free features to advanced, such as the premium version.

  1. Adobe Spark

Another platform that breaks away from the ordinary, Adobe’s tool for creating slideshows allows you to use video formats, with graphics, texts, and images. 

You can create everything as one big video, where each slide is a scene. But that’s not all. With it, you can also create web pages and images for social media, all with impactful results. 

Its initial plan is free, but it only has ready-made templates. To have access to the most advanced features, you can subscribe to an individual plan or a Team plan. 

5. Microsoft PowerPoint Online

PowerPoint is the most traditional slide creation program. It needs no introduction. 

However, it also has an online version. Everything you already know about Microsoft’s program, but on the web. 

You can use it from various devices, and you can save it in the well-known .ppt format.

Create impactful presentations for your audience and increase your engagement!

Slide presentations ensure that you can present an idea, a plan, or an academic paper in such a way that engages and entertains your audience. 

Creating impactful, out-of-the-ordinary slide presentations is a guarantee that your idea or work will be truly absorbed by your audience.

To do so, remember the following: 

  • Determine the purpose of the presentation
  • Doing less is more
  • Maintain a train of thought
  • Have a visual hierarchy between the slides
  • Create a visual identity
  • Review

With the 5 tools you’ve read about here, it will certainly be much easier to create an impactful slide presentation!

And speaking of slides, did you know that presentations work great for online courses? 

If you’d like to know more about content for online courses, check out this article with the best formats for your classes and create your online course with Hotmart today!

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