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Presentation Design and Graphics

The following are tools, solutions, tips, tricks, secrets, and best practices for professionals that need to make powerful presentations. Be sure to share this page with your colleagues so they can benefit from the information as well.

Presentation Web Resources

Presentation Knowledge

Presentation Do-It-Yourself Resources

Presenter's University
Presenter's Online
PowerPoint FAQ List


Crystal Graphics
Digital Juice

Presentation Graphic Resources

Get My Graphic
Business Graphics Library
Stock.XCHNG (Free Picts)
PicFinder (Free Picts)
Wikipedia Public Domain Images
Visual Literacy Periodic Table

The Influence of Graphics in Presentations
Graphics make it much easier for your audience to understand and remember your presentation. Studies have also shown that we need words, concepts, and ideas attached to an image or else we won't remember the product or service. Professional, visually appealing graphics increase your likelihood of reaching your audience by 43% (3M-sponsored study at the University of Minnesota School of Management). Research at the 3M Corporation concluded that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

Visuals paint the picture of who the presenter is, what they stand for, and how the audience may benefit. Graphics sell because of their ability to influence quickly and be remembered. How you use graphics greatly affects how you and your business are perceived and, ultimately, how well your product or service will sell:

  • Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab asked 2,440 participants how they evaluated the credibility of websites they were shown. Almost half (46.1%) said that the website's design look was the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the presented material.
  • Behavioral Psychologists agree that most of our decisions are based on intuitive judgment and emotions. Herbert A. Simon, Nobel Prize winning scholar at the Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, studied corporate decision-making and found that people often ignored formal decision-making models because of time constraints, incomplete information, the inability to calculate consequences, and other variables. Intuitive judgment was the process for most decisions.
  • According to studies performed at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota Management Information Systems Research Center, and 3M:
    • People agree more with a position when presented with visuals.
    • People will pay closer attention and react more positively when visuals are used.
    • The quality of a meeting is increased by the use of visuals.

This does not mean that graphic communication is better than text. However, the combination of graphics and words has a communicative power that neither singularly possesses. J.R. Levin said it best in A Transfer of Appropriate Process Perspective of Pictures in Prose: "Pictures interact with text to produce levels of comprehension and memory that can exceed what is produced by text alone."

You have very little time to convince your audience (readers, evaluators, future clients) that you are the best-of-the-best. Graphics communicate volumes about you, your company, and your product or service in seconds. For example, which company is better: Company A or Company B?

Making Presentations Graphics
When creating presentation graphics (or any graphic for your company or organization) consider the following:

  • What should this presentation say about the information you are presenting, you, or your product/service? (And why does it matter to your audience?)
  • Who is your audience? Would they understand technical terms or prefer an overview?
  • How do you want to say it?

The most important element when creating a presentation is the benefit to your audience. Solve their problem. Don't just list facts. Show them why they should care.

Seven Rules for Making Presentation Graphics

  1. All graphics should play a specific role and have a reason for being chosen and incorporated.
  2. Stay consistent.
  3. Show or say it correctly. Don't try to be original.
  4. Keep it clean and simple. Too much visual clutter can be overwhelming and lose the primary objective of your message.
  5. Label elements directly to avoid confusion. This rule is especially true if you are selling a new product or want to highlight its benefits and discriminators.
  6. Use recognizable imagery. Hearing a familiar voice or seeing a familiar face evokes trustworthiness in your audience. This is one reason celebrities are used in advertisements.
  7. Focus on your audience. Show your audience in your graphics. Allow your audience to see themselves learning, applying, and benefiting from your product/service.

Use a Template
Consistency throughout the presentation is the main reason to create a template for your project. You don't want your audience wondering why certain boxes are colored differently (if there's no reason) or different arrows are used from graphic to graphics. These differences will distract from your message.

To create a template for presentations in PowerPoint, use the following as a guide. Open a blank document and populate it with this information:

  • Title slide template
  • Background templates (be sure to include all versions for different sections or larger titles)
  • Colors
    • Primary color
    • Secondary color
    • Tertiary color
    • Color palette of boxes tinted with your chosen colors
    • When choosing colors, research the meaning behind the color choice and tie it into what you want to say during your lecture or training session. In most Western cultures:
      • Red = empowering, bold
      • Orange = warmth, happiness
      • Yellow = happiness, energy (excellent for highlighting)
      • Green = balance, refreshing (usually makes a good secondary color)
      • Blue = relaxing, cool (usually the safest/most appealing color to use for business graphic color schemes)
      • Violet = comforting
      • White = pure, associated with cleanliness
      • Black = authoritative, shows discipline
    • You may need to stick with your corporate colors and choose a palette that complements those colors. Another idea is to use your audience's colors, if you are doing a sales presentation to a company because your audience likes to see themselves reflected in your presentation.
  • Font and text styles
    • Font style (Most proposals are either Arial or Times New Roman)
    • Font size (For graphics, use at least 12 pt. for best visibility when projected on a screen)
    • Font color
    • Bullet styles
    • Labeling styles
  • Box styles (different boxes for org charts, flow charts, benefits boxes, etc.)
  • Arrow styles
  • Line style (width and color)
  • Logos for your company and any team members or the logo of the company for which you're presenting
  • Samples of graphic icons/photos used in other graphics (e.g., blue cylinder equals main database)
  • Samples of graphic styles (area charts, bar charts, etc. used within presentation)

Presentation Graphic Solutions
You need your presentation to be powerful and compelling. Unfortunately, you have very little time, money, and resources. You have complex information to share and you need to make the best impression. You know you need high-quality graphics. But what do you do? Great news, you have a choice:

1. Do-it-yourself compelling graphics guide
2. Ready-to-go graphics on DVD
3. PowerPoint templates
4. Presentation graphic how-to training
5. Fast Class seminars (1 hour quick classes)
6. Business graphic library (graphics to inspire your creativity)

Presenters use Billion Dollar Graphics solutions to conceptualize clear, communicative, compelling visuals that, according to independent research, increase their success rates up to 43%.

Don’t waste anymore of your energy, money, and time making presentations that don't stand out. Help your audience better absorb your solutions, concepts, data, processes, and ideas. Influence and motivate your audience to take action. Use the book and learn to quickly communicate your ideas effectively. (Learn more about the book.)

Get Do-It-Yourself Billion Dollar Graphics: 3 Fast and Easy Steps to Turn Your Text and Ideas Into Graphics That Sell for your company (includes a Virtual CD with templates and graphics to get you and your team started) and succeed where others fail.

You also have PowerPoint templates at your disposal with Billion Dollar Graphics' Spectacular PowerPoint templates. You get 125 (plus hundreds of color variations) unique, high-quality professional PowerPoint templates for only $39.95 on the new Billion Dollar Graphics Spectacular PowerPoint Template DVD. Make an impression with new, high-end, unique PowerPoint templates. Your next presentation will leave a positive impact because you tailored your template to your audience and your subject matter. (Learn more about the PowerPoint templates DVD.)

Kick start or add to your existing presentation graphics library. The Billion Dollar Graphics Master Collection DVD contains 111 editable graphics (+ free Book + Virtual CD + 41 bonus graphics + more) for Illustrator and Photoshop CS2 or better for Mac and PC.

All graphics are professionally conceptualized and rendered at print resolution. (Learn more about the DVD.)

Our graphics training/workshops will show you how to use visual communication to achieve your goals. The training is applicable to anyone who needs to communicate information to educate, motivate, or influence. Visual communication training will help you and your company succeed. (Learn more about the Training and Workshops.)

Custom Solutions for Prenters
Your challenges are unique. Perhaps your goal is to increase the quality of your visuals or analyze your existing process and develop a better system for generating clear, communicative, compelling graphics. Allow Billion Dollar Graphics to be of service. We are available for consultation. (Learn more about custom solutions.)

Presentaton Design Services with 24 Hour Company
Billion Dollar Graphics and 24 Hour Company work together to provide:

  • Presentation design (conceptualization and rendering)
  • Desktop publishing and layout
  • Editing

(Learn more about 24 Hour Company.)

Click on the solutions below to purchase...

BDG Master Collection ($549)
FREE Book + 111 ready-to-use, editable business graphics + 41 bonus graphics + FREE tools and resources on DVD.
Only $4.95 per graphic.

More Information
Is the BDG Master Collection for your company or organization? Choose the best option for you:
Single License = source art installed on one computer
Limited Site License = source art installed on up to 5 computers (per site)
Unlimited Site License = source art installed on unlimited computers (per site)

Click here to download a fax order form, if you have a PO# or prefer not to order online.

Other services are also available:

Conceptualization Training and Workshops

Graphic Conceptualization Online Training
(coming soon)

Custom Solutions for Presentation Professionals

Design Services
(through 24 Hour Company)

Fast Class Seminars
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