In order to create a great presentation, if you decide that you need visual aids, it’s important to understand how to design a great slide. Among others, you should be focusing on two elements: background and text. The success of a slide from a design perspective also depends on these two elements.
The first rule for backgrounds is to forget creativity. The goal is not to be original but to be effective. A background is like a surface on which to place content—it’s not a design element itself. Therefore, don't go wild. Choose a simple background, otherwise the risk is twofold: a) you make the background in competition with the content of the slide, b) you make the important elements of a slide difficult to see.
In order to create a professional presentation you need to choose professional typefaces. For example, Calibri is not a professional typeface, Helvetica is.
Once you’ve made a decision about what typeface to use, be consistent throughout the slides in order to give a sense of unity. My suggestion is to use two typefaces at most. (In the sample slides below I used Gotham and Over the Rainbow—the former as the main typeface and the latter for some additional comments).
- Background: The goal is not to be original but to be effective
- Text: If you want to create a professional presentation you need to choose professional typefaces
If you want to learn more about how to make better presentations, download my report Top 7 Mistakes People Make When Creating Business Presentations.