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The best slides is ironically no slide at all. If you need slides, however, make it simple. See Ken Robinson and Simon Sinek presentation, as an example.
Three Slide Design Approaches
- Golden method: Use fill page picture. Fill the page with high-resolution copyrighted picture. Try to match the resolution of your pictures with that of the projector.
- Takahashi method: Make giant texts and make the slide clean. The best is to use one sentence per page. Use 7 by 7, i.e., no more than 7 bullets per slide and no more than 7 words per bullet.
- Lessig method: The combination of the above two.
Use as few words, colors, and pictures in one slide as possible. Each slide should contain one theme only.
"Use slides as a place where you take off and land. Nothing more."--Craig Valentine
Here are a few recommendation for picking fonts:
- Try to use one font only. If you need variety, use boldface and italic styles. If you have to use multiple fonts, use font in the same family.
- San Serif family (e.g., Helvetica) does not have decorative at the end of each character. This is good for headline. For example, Helvetica gives neutral yet authoritative mood. In fact, this font would fit for most talks.
- Serif family does have decorative ends. It has details to guide the eyes to the next letter. Time New Roman has credible and classic mood.
- A script font is good for high contrast boldface. For example, Lucida Calligraphy is an elegant handwriting font.
Use a color palette for at most five colors. Draw these colors from the images you use in the presentation. Use color wheel (see below). Use a cool color for background and a warm color for foreground. Use solid colors in charts so that it would not interfere with texts.
Color Wheels and How to Use It
Color wheel is a design tool which tells the property of colors.
- Complementary colors: These are colors on the opposite side of the wheel. They have highest contrast. So they are use to complement each other.
- Analogous colors: These are colors located next to each other. They are similar color. You can use them to create color dimension to your work.
- Triad colors: In case two primary colors are not enough for your work, you can pick three colors. Pick color equally located on the color wheel.
The Rule of Third
Divide your slide into three equal parts both horizontally and vertically. Use these grids to align texts and lines. For example, align the sky horizon with one of the two horizontal grid line. The intersections of grid line are good focal points for object placement.