think like a designer

Think Like A DesignerThinking like a designer is not as hard as it may seem.

You don’t need a masters in graphic design or an advanced diploma in PowerPoint to create consistent and compelling 
visuals. Below are three design tips to consider the next time you have to present.

1. Borrow from TV

We are surrounded by well-designed slides, it's just for the most part we never really notice them. Wherever you are in the world, broadcast news stations are busy creating simple and efficient slides every day. They are, on the whole, relatively sparse designs contaning one clear message. In television there simply isn't the time to confuse a message as audiences can easily switch off and look elsewhere for their information - the same principle can be applied to presentations.

If you live in the UK, or have access to the BBC World News, then we suggest you record an hour or so of breakfast news and skip forward to anywhere you see slides being used and borrow away!

2. Create invisible frames

Dividing your slides into grids ensures they are fluid when you run through them. If for example you have three slides that all have large central numbers on them then, as you proceed, these numbers will remain in the same position.

We often see presentations where the information is constantly jumping around the screen. You can avoid this by creating an invisible border around your slides. This will always ensure that you don’t cram text beyond your invisible border. Your slides will remain symmetrical and balanced.

3. Remember too many colours can cause sickness!

Keeping to a colour palette is not easy, especially if you are not used to thinking about it. Buying an inexpensive colour wheel online or from your local art shop will help you to balance and consider harmony when you’re planning your designs. One of the easiest ways to think about is to look at complimentary colour - that is the colours that are directly opposite each other. So, if you’re using your company’s branding, have a look at what colour and shades are opposite.

Something else to consider when thinking of colour and searching for images online, is Google's advanced tools menu. The additional choices mean you will be able to find your image (in the case of the video example below 'New York') and pick your colour tone - such as 'teal' or 'orange'. This is a quick way of doing what a designer would do. The drop down menus also allow you to limit your search to 'large' higher resolution images, so all of your pictures are crystal clear and sharp.

NEXT: 'handle difficult questions'

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