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Blog Beginner Guides How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

Written by: Krystle Wong Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

steps to creating a digital presentation

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

steps to creating a digital presentation

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

steps to creating a digital presentation

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

steps to creating a digital presentation

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

steps to creating a digital presentation

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

steps to creating a digital presentation

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

steps to creating a digital presentation

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

steps to creating a digital presentation

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

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How to make a presentation: Tips + resources

Get your team on prezi – watch this on demand video.

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Meghan Ryan June 29, 2022

Making a presentation might seem like a daunting task, but when you have the right advice and resources at your fingertips, you can create a presentation that makes you feel confident in front of a crowd. At Prezi, we’ve worked with countless creators and presentation experts to create some of the best presentations out there. Here are our tips for how to make a presentation.

How to make a Prezi presentation

Let’s kick it off with our bread and butter: how to make a presentation on Prezi. You can make a stunning presentation using Prezi Present , a software that helps you create interactive presentations that pull your audience in and get them invested in what you have to say. Use Prezi’s unique zooming feature to add movement to your presentation. Prezi’s non-linear format allows you to jump between topics instead of flipping through slides, making your presentation feel more like a conversation than a one-way speech.

Getting started is easy. Watch this video to learn how to make a presentation with Prezi:

Discover more great resources for making a great presentation on Prezi:

  • Over 200 professionally-designed presentation templates catering to a good variety of use cases, roles, and design preferences. Find a template that suits your topic and helps structure your presentation in an engaging way, including several specifically made for online video meetings.
  • Presentation examples curated by Prezi’s editors. Prezi works with keynote speakers, influencers, and content creators to make some of the most memorable presentations out there. View our favorites here to find inspiration, or you can reuse any presentation with a green symbol by adding your own content and making it your own.

6 tips for how to make a presentation

Learning how to create a presentation doesn’t happen overnight, but even the best presenters are constantly practicing and improving their craft. Read to see how you can make a good presentation with these 6 tips.

Structure your presentation so that it’s easy to follow

If you’ve attended a presentation and left feeling inspired or informed, it’s probably because the presenter did a good job structuring their presentation so that you could follow along and understand key take-aways. There’s research to back this. Studies show that audiences retain structured information 40% more accurately than unstructured information.

On top of that, structuring your presentation allows you to organize your thoughts and plan what you’re going to say, helping you feel more confident going into your presentation.

To structure your presentation, you need to first choose the purpose of it. Presentations typically fall into four main types: persuasive, informative, motivational, and instructive. Consider what you want your audience to do when you finish your presentation and structure your presentation around that.

Next, start writing the content of your presentation. We recommend using the same narrative framework as a story (a beginning, middle, and end). The storytelling framework allows you to set up conflict that needs to be resolved and show what could be. This is a particularly good framework for persuasive presentations, but it also creates a compelling narrative for any other type of presentation. Here’s how writer, speaker, and CEO Nancy Duarte charts out the storytelling framework :

Here’s how to think about each part of the story:

  • Beginning – Describe the status quo and what the audience is used to (they might be nodding their heads in recognition of what you’re saying). Once you’ve set that baseline, introduce your vision of what could be. The rest of your presentation will bridge the gap between what is and what could be.
  • Middle – Keep describing the differences between what is and what could be. As the audience learns more about your ideas, they will sound more alluring.
  • End – Describe how much better the world will be with your new ideas and provide a call to action. Your ideas shouldn’t just benefit you, they should meet the needs of your audience, as well.

Remember to speak your audience’s language. That means understanding their knowledge base and point of view, and meeting them at their level. For instance, in a data-driven report, don’t include a lot of technical jargon if you’re presenting to people new to the field or from a different department.

To learn more on this topic, read our guide on storytelling in your presentations .

Do your research

The best way to feel confident going into your presentation is to know your topic inside and out. When you’ve taken the time to understand your topic fully, it’ll be easier for you to answer questions on the fly and get yourself back on track if you forget what you were going to say. It also allows you to provide bonus information if you end up having extra time at the end of your presentation.

The best way to do your research is to read up on information on the internet and at the library, or by reaching out to experts to weigh in (this would be a great way to pull quotes or sound bites).

If you’re an expert in your field, that’s perfect. Review your findings and pull from your past experiences to build a rich, information-dense story for your audience. Don’t just wing it, even if you know the topic well. You want the audience to walk away with a clear message, and that takes focus.

Pro tip: get in touch with your audience ahead of time and ask them what they want to see in your presentation. Researching topics that they’re interested in is how to make a presentation that clicks and keeps them hooked. 

Design your presentation

The easiest way to watch your audience’s eyes glaze over is to feature heavy blocks of text in your presentation. It doesn’t matter if the information you’re presenting is all important, you don’t want to overload your audience with too much visual stimuli.

Presentation design is one of the most important parts of making a presentation that keeps your audience engaged and interested in your topic.

  • Limit the amount of text on each slide to only the essentials. If you’re worried you might forget something important, just use presenter notes that only you can see. More on these later in the article.
  • White space is your friend. Don’t cramp content.
  • It’s best to stick to just one thought per slide.
  • Use images and a lot of them. Images grab people’s attention and are infused with more emotional meaning than text alone. Make sure your presentation images support your message and don’t seem out of place.
  • Don’t use more than three types of fonts. Find the best fonts for presentations in our guide here.
  • Visually highlight important information by bolding it, making it larger, or by using a different color.
  • Keep the background the same or similar throughout your whole presentation. Prezi’s presentation templates make this easy, as they’re already styled with consistency.
  • Add movement to grab attention.

Remember to keep the medium of your presentation in mind. If you’re presenting online, use a video presentation tool like Prezi Video that optimizes your presentation to the virtual format and allows you to share the screen with your content.

Grab your audience’s attention right at the start

First impressions matter, and in an era when there are so many distractions right at your fingertips, it couldn’t be more important to get your audience’s attention quickly to get them interested in what you have to say and hooked for the rest of the presentation.

The opening of your presentation is when your audience forms their impression of you. Telling a bad joke or a long, rambling story is an easy way to lose their interest and see their focus fade away – and you might not be able to get it back.

How to make a presentation interesting starts with an attention-grabbing hook. Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Share a shocking statistic
  • Ask a rhetorical question
  • Begin with a problem statement
  • Show an eye-catching visual
  • Tell a story

For a great example on starting your presentation with a story, watch this video by Elena Valentine , speaker and CEO of Skill Scout. She kicks her video presentation off with a compelling story. You’ll want to watch till the end, not just because she has you hooked, but because she shares tips for grabbing and maintaining audience attention throughout the presentation.

End on the emotional value for the audience

There’s no question that starting your presentation off with a hook is essential in getting your audience interested, but ending it with a strong conclusion is how you can ensure your message remains with them long after you’ve finished speaking.

Think back to the original goal of your presentation – what do you want your audience to do now that they’ve heard your piece? This is when you want your audience to have a clear understanding of what to do and how to feel.

Try these ideas to end your presentation on a strong, memorable note.

  • Tell a compelling story
  • Provide a call to action with clear next steps
  • Reiterate your opening message
  • Ask a question
  • End with exactly three points – the rule of three is a pattern that makes things easy for people to follow and remember

Use presenter notes

A person can only absorb a certain amount of information at a time, so adding too much text to your presentation can be overwhelming for your audience (and is just bad design). Make sure to include the most essential pieces of information as text in your presentation. For everything else, use notes that only you can see.

Presenter notes help you to keep track of information and reference key points throughout your presentation. Having these available allow you to provide a more well-rounded experience for your audience, giving them the opportunity to absorb the essential information in your content and listen to you for more context. Presenter notes also act as a cheat sheet, should your audience ask questions or probe for more data.

You should practice delivering your presentation before the big day. Make sure you practice with your presenter notes to get the hang of referencing them without reading them verbatim. You don’t want your eyes to be focused too much on your notes and not on your audience.

You can access presenter notes on our presentation software Prezi Present and our video presentation software Prezi Video . Read our guide on using presenter notes to learn more. Note: presenter notes are available to users on Prezi Plus plans, so please contact us if you’d like to learn more about this feature.

How to make a video presentation

Even as people are returning to the office and working in person, there are going to be a fair number of virtual meetings on your calendar. Hybrid office workers and in-office employees have to meet with people working remotely. That means that it’s good for you to brush up on your online presentation skills.

Many of the tips that we’ve covered in this article are going to help you present in an online video setting, but there are a few nuances to get used to. Consider the following:

  • Your background and home office setup
  • How your voice sounds on a computer or home microphone
  • How you’ll record and share your presentation
  • Your audience’s mood and attention span in a remote setting

Get everything you need to succeed in a virtual setting with our guide to how to make a video presentation .

There are so many ways you can make a presentation interesting for your audience and leave them feeling inspired and informed. Contact us to learn more about the presentation and collaboration solutions that Prezi can provide your business.

steps to creating a digital presentation

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How Do You Prepare a Good Presentation in 2024 in 12+ Practical Steps? (+ Expert Tips)

Sharon Hurley Hall

There's nothing more nerve-wracking than having a big presentation coming up and feeling unprepared. Public speaking can be difficult. Not feeling ready makes it even more of a trial. Learn the essential steps for presentation preparation.

how to prepare for a presentation with templates from Envato Elements

If you want to calm those nerves and wow your audience, then it's a good idea to understand the basics of creating attention-getting presentations.  

In this guide, I'll share 12+ presentation preparation tips that'll walk you through how to prepare for a presentation from start to finish. So, you can feel confident when preparing to give a presentation .

Find Premium Presentation Slides on Envato Elements

One way to save time in the presentation preparation phase is to use a premium template to design your slides. This will help you feel secure about how your presentation looks, even if design skills aren't your core strength.

presentation preparation - choose from the well-designed premium PowerPoint templates on Envato Elements

A great place to find templates when preparing to give a presentation is Envato Elements. This marketplace has a great offer you can grab today. Download as many premium PowerPoint presentation templates as you want, all for one low price.

Design without limits on Envato Elements

This offer includes other items you can use to make your presentations stand out, like stock photos, graphics, icons, and more. 

Choose graphic design elements for PowerPoint presentations on Envato Elements

The great thing about using premium design elements for your presentations is that they're well supported by the creators, are compatible with major software and apps, and are kept up to date .

Get More PowerPoint Presentation Templates on GraphicRiver

Envato Elements is an excellent resource if you've got plenty of presentations to do. But if you need a single presentation template for one-off use, try GraphicRiver. 

how to prepare a presentation with templates from GraphicRiver

GraphicRiver is a great option if you prefer to pay as you go, and choose a single PowerPoint presentation template each time you need to create a new presentation.

How to Prepare a Good Presentation Step by Step in 2024 (+ Expert Quotes)

Now, let's look at  some of the key steps in preparing a presentation, covering everything from topic selection to delivery, so you understand how to develop a presentation :

1. Choose the Right Topic

Choose the right topic

One of the most important presentation preparation tips is to pick the right topic for your presentation . You've got a few choices that'll give you a head start on wowing your audience. For example, you can:

  • Choose a topic you're passionate about. This will make it easy to give an animated and appealing presentation.
  • Pick your topic based on your knowledge and skills, so that you can wow your audience with the information you include.
  • Do a data-driven presentation based on the latest statistics on a topic of interest, plus your expert opinion or conclusions.
  • Select a presentation topic that relates to your business goals, such as reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs) or revenue .

Stephanie Schwab , Marketing Expert, Coach and Consultant, advises:

"Finding the right topic is all about knowing your audience. What's keeping them up at night? What do they really need to hear from you, right now, that will help them in their lives, or their businesses? If you're not sure what they need, ask them - survey them through email, ask your community on social media, talk to your customers directly. Meet your audience where they are and they will come to you again and again."

2. Know Your Audience

Related to that, another important step in presentation preparation is to know your audience . Your presentation plan will be completely different depending on whether audience members are novices or experts in your topic. Understanding who you're presenting to helps you select appropriate data and anecdotes to convey your topic. 

Jared Karol , Speaker, Coach and Group Facilitator, says it's extremely important to think of your audience when preparing your presentation:

"If you can trust that your content and presentation flow is solid, you can give more attention to how your audience is thinking and feeling during and after the presentation. Involve the audience as much as possible. Invite them to be part of the presentation––whether rhetorically by using "we" and/or "you" language––and literally by utilizing chat and poll features, or, depending on the size of the group, allowing verbal interaction. Remember that you are creating an experience, not just delivering content." 

If you're presenting to the C-suite, you'll want to keep your presentation short and focused to avoid wasting their time . Learn more executive presentation preparation tips in the following article:

steps to creating a digital presentation

3. Brainstorm

The next tip in our series of presentation steps is to brainstorm. This can be something you do on your own or with others. Either way,  note down initial ideas and inspiration for your presentation. Use tools like mind mapping to connect related concepts. 

By the end of this process, you'll have a clearer idea of the intended focus of your presentation and can move onto the next stage of your presentation plan.

4. Do Your Research

Do Your Research

If you're thinking about how to prepare a great presentation, one of the key elements that separates good business presentations from the rest is research.

Tara Furiani , CEO & Host, Not the HR Lady, says:

"On our show, Not the HR Lady, we are huge proponents of ‘facts’ and call on our audience to fact check us. Presentations must be rooted in more than the theories of the presenter, to be credible. This can take on a lot of different looks. For me, I use and reference a lot of movies, music and pop culture to humorously drive serious points home (like racism, misogyny, bigotry, etc…) and that means finding just the right clip that illustrates your point. Not all ‘research’ has to be academic in nature, but all presentations should call upon someone other than one’s own opinions, for maximum impact and action."

Once you know your topic, you can search for supporting information such as:

  • recent news or features
  • the latest statistics (taken from reliable sources like .gov and .edu industry reports, and Google Dataset Search )
  • relevant quotations

Once you've got that information, you're ready for the next step in presentation preparation.

5. Plan Your Presentation

Now it's time to put your presentation plan together. This is where you bring together ideas from your brainstorm and information from your research and organize them into a rough outline. 

A good way to do this is with headings for different parts of your presentation and bullet points with facts, quotes, and stats. By the end of this process, you'll have a pretty good idea of the content of your slides. That's a crucial part of presentation preparation.

6. Draft/Write Your Presentation

Of course, creating a presentation isn't just about the slides. Use the outline you've created to draft the spoken part of your presentation. It's good to start with an overview of what your presentation will cover. Get it right, and this will whet your audience's appetite and make them pay attention.

Plan your introduction to draw your audience in . Using a story, or an unusual fact or stat can help with this.  Christina Strickland , Vice President of Crackerjack Marketing, says:

"Presentation introductions are a chance to capture your audience’s attention right away. This is a good time to set the tone for the presentation and the meeting in general. Before you head in, know in your own mind the objectives for yourself and for your audience. When you introduce the presentation, begin by laying out the objectives for the audience and then a quick overview of the format and flow. This will help participants know what to expect and the right time to ask questions."

Plan your conclusion, too. It's helpful to know where you're headed so you can steer your presentation the right way.

Use storytelling throughout to keep your audience's attention. Don't be concerned if the final spoken presentation is a little different from your prepared outline. The outline is a guide, but you'll know what you need to include or exclude as you start to polish the actual presentation. 

steps to creating a digital presentation

That's part of the reason you don't always need to create your slides at the outline stage of presentation planning. Instead, update that initial outline based on what your ACTUAL presentation will be. Then it's time for slide preparation (PPT templates, as you'll see, will be a big asset for the next stage).

7. Design Your Presentation Slides

how to prepare your presentation

Wondering how to prepare your presentation with minimum hassle? Use a premium presentation template from Envato Elements to get a harmonious design. This means you can focus on your content, rather than worrying about needing graphic design skills . Remember, you can download unlimited PowerPoint presentation templates from Envato Elements, all for one low price.

There are also attractive PowerPoint presentation templates on GraphicRiver , for those preferring a single-use template. So, there's lots of choice.

Here are some other useful presentation preparation tips:

  • Don't overdo the font choice . A single heading font and a single body font will be fine for most presentations. 
  • Choose your fonts carefully . Some fonts look attractive on your computer but are hard to read.
  • Pay attention to font size . You'll need to make sure that even someone who's at the back of the room can read your slides.
  • Avoid walls of text . They make slides hard to read and is pretty off-putting. A wall of text is a sure way to lose your audience.
  • Make one key point per slide . Have a few supporting bullet points.
  • Use charts, graphics, images, and quotes . They can help make your points and keep your audience's attention.

For more presentation creation tips, check out our in-depth PowerPoint tutorial: How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide) .

8. Expect Questions

Once your main presentation is ready, there's one more way to make your presentation great. That's to prepare for questions. As part of your presentation planning, you should:

  • Think about what people might ask about your presentation content and be ready with answers.
  • Consider how to deliver your presentation to lead people to ask certain questions that you're prepared for.
  • Prepare an answer for when you've got no answer so that you're not left floundering.

Christina Strickland says:

"Unexpected questions are bound to happen. Don’t feel like you are required to answer every question that comes up. It’s always good to have a few different responses prepared for different types of questions. Remember, it’s ok to say “That’s a really good question but it’s not really in my area of expertise.”"

9. Practice the Presentation

Practice the Presentation

When you're happy with your slides and have prepared for questions, it's time for some presentation practice. This is where you do a complete run-through of your presentation, with both your presentation script and the slides. 

As you practice, pay attention to anything that doesn't flow, or is hard to say . Edit both your script and your presentation slides to remove these items. You don't want to be stumbling over your words on the day.

Some people prefer to practice alone but consider using a few friends or trusted colleagues as a test audience. It's a good way to make sure your material is clear and easy to understand.

Keep practicing till you feel you know your material inside out. This will help you deliver a polished presentation when it's time. If you're presenting online, Jared Karol suggests:

"The biggest thing to focus on when delivering presentations virtually is the idea of presence over performance. Try to recreate as closely as possible the vibe and feel you would create if you were all in the room together. Yes, prepare and rehearse. Yes, make sure the technology is good to go. And, remember that how you deliver the information is just as important as what information you're delivering. Wherever possible, try to personalize and humanize your presentation. Try to make your audience feel something not just remember something." 

To learn more about presenting in public, read our public speaking guide: 

steps to creating a digital presentation

10. Prepare the Room

When thinking about how to practice for a presentation, there's one element some people overlook: the presentation space .  If it's possible, check it out well before it's time for you to present. 

One thing to pay attention to is the presentation equipment. Whether you're using a laptop and screen, a projector and screen, or some other piece of technology, get familiar with the presentation technology so you can ensure it'll work as expected.

And if you're able to book rehearsal time, take advantage of it. If you do, there won't be any surprises on the day.

Here are a few additional tips for giving an online presentation. 

11. Adjust Slide Design For Virtual Displays

what is a good presentation

If you're doing a virtual presentation, one of the most important tips for presentation preparation is to adjust the design of your slides. People will tune in from different size screens. So, make sure you don't have any text too near the top, bottom or sides of the slide, or some people won't be able to see it. Stephanie Schwab says:

 "I like to give instructions to the audience on how to get the best view of the presentation; I use Zoom most of the time, so I'll do a quick explanation of how to switch from gallery view to speaker view, and how to slide the screensharing portion bigger or smaller. That way I can have a little bit more confidence that the audience will take in the presentation in the way I want them to see it, and not get distracted by gallery view."

12. Look After Background and Lighting

We've all been on Zoom calls where the speaker is backlit, or where there's something distracting in the background. Avoid both of these so your audience can focus on your presentation. Experiment with the room you're presenting in to find the best lighting or get a ring light or two to ensure your face is always visible. And consider using a virtual background to keep distractions to a minimum. 

Tara Furiani says:

"The differences between presentations online and those that are in-person, are largely dependent on the skill of the facilitator. For example, one who’s engaging, tech savvy and can command a room… should find the presentations in-person or online, pretty much the same. When I present in a live setting, I use far less imagery than I would for an online session, because the focus would be on me. Virtually, I tend to add a touch more visual content, since my face alone should only be looked at for so long. By anyone."

13. Use Interactive Features

When preparing your presentation plan for an online presentation, try interactive features in your delivery platform to keep the audience engaged. Since you won't be able to use - or see body language - here are some tactics to try:

  • Include polls.
  • Ask questions people can respond to in the chat section.
  • Encourage the use of emoji reactions to get the audience involved.

These features are a big advantage of presenting online, says Tara Furiani:

"One shift, I think, that we will miss about online presentations (when in-person becomes the ‘norm’ again) is the ability to know, in the moment, if you are affecting change with people and resonating. Reactions, re-quotes, comments, and questions are delivered to us, while we are presenting, instantaneously… training survey be damned, this is real-time feedback.  We’re going to miss that; I just know it. In real life, save for applause, there aren’t ‘reactions’ to click that appear over the speakers’ head… maybe there should be?"

Presentation Preparation: Online vs In-Person

More conferences and events are being held online, and that's likely to continue. That means going one step further to understand how to develop a presentation to give a virtual audience a great experience. Stephanie Schwab comments:

"A lot of people think that giving an online presentation means you have to show slides the whole time - and I think just the opposite. I might have some slides to backup some of my points, but I'm usually pretty fluid between sharing my screen with a slide and then turning off sharing, so that the online audience can focus on me."

Do you wonder "what is a good presentation for online audiences?" Here are some differences in presentation preparation between online and in-person presentations.

  • You can't read the room . When presenting in-person, you can tell if people are engaged because they may lean forward, make eye contact or respond in some way. On a video call, you may not be able to see them properly, and they'll likely be muted to avoid background noise. To make up for this, pause regularly and ask for comments or feedback. 
  • You can't rely on body language . An in-person presenter can use physicality for emphasis. That's not possible in the boundaries of a small screen.
  • Visual cues are essential . In-person you can gesture or point at a key part of your slides. That's harder on a small screen. So, design your slides with visual cues like arrows and circles to direct your audience to what's most important on any slide. 
  • Working technology is more important  for virtual presentations. It's essential to ensure your mic and camera are working properly so you look professional. In contrast, you always have the option of going tech-free in an in-person presentation.
  • You handle questions differently . In-person, it's pretty easy to see when someone has a question, especially in a small room. Online, that's much harder, so have someone on hand to keep track of who's raised a hand or typed a question into the chat box.
  • Camera position is crucial. In-person, you may not have a camera. Even if you do, you can walk around the room to make eye contact with different people. That's not possible online, so make sure you're looking directly into the camera. That will allow you to make virtual eye contact with every participant. 

Learn More About How to Prepare Your Presentation

Now you know how to prepare a good presentation, but don't stop there. Find even more useful presentation preparation tips in the following guides and tutorials:

steps to creating a digital presentation

Find More Presentation Templates

Are you still looking for the right presentation template? Find great templates for any type of presentation in the following roundups:

steps to creating a digital presentation

Start Your Presentation Preparation

Now, it's your turn to prepare a presentation. You've learned some key presentation steps, including the importance of developing a presentation plan as well as the importance of presentation practice. You're ready to get started.

Don't forget. You can find attractive PowerPoint presentation templates on Envato Elements. And, for one-off use, you can also choose from the presentation templates on GraphicRiver. Check out the best PowerPoint templates available today.

Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Sharon Hurley Hall . Sharon is a freelance instructor for Envato Tuts+.

Sharon Hurley Hall

More From Forbes

Best practices for virtual presentations: 15 expert tips that work for everyone.

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In today’s COVID-19 world, virtual meetings and presentations have become the norm. While many presentation skills and best practices apply to both in-person and virtual presentations, expert virtual presenters understand the importance of adjusting their approach to match the medium. With in-person presentations, you more or less have a captive audience — you still need be engaging, but your audience is kind of stuck with you for the duration. But with virtual presentations, your audience has a greater opportunity to stray. You now have to compete for their eyes, ears, hearts, and minds against diminished attention spans, increased home and work life distractions, and conflicting priorities. 

Here are 15 expert tips to set you up for success in your next virtual presentation:

1.     Get the Lighting Right:  As a presenter, it is essential that people can see you well. Make sure you have good front light—meaning the light shines brightly on your face. If your back is to a window, close the shades. While natural light is often the best choice, if your home office doesn’t have natural light and you do a lot of virtual presentations, consider purchasing supplemental lighting to enhance your image.

2.     Choose the Right Background:  Try to use a background that enhances your professional image and is aligned with your message. Avoid a cluttered background or anything that can be distracting. Learn whether your presentation platform enables you to use virtual backgrounds (like Zoom) or whether you can blur your background (like Microsoft Teams). Your background can either add to your professional presence or detract from it.

3.     Know the Technology:  Nothing kills a presentation faster than a presenter who fumbles with the technology. This is a performance, so make sure you know how to make it work. A dry run is essential so that you’re comfortable with the platform features. It’s best to have a co-host (or producer or moderator) assist you with the technology so that you can focus on your presentation. Make sure you practice with the same technical set up (computer and internet connection) that you will use when you deliver the presentation.

4.     Play to the Camera:  When you are the one speaking, look directly into your computer’s camera , not on the screen or at the other participants. This takes some practice, but it makes the viewer feel as if you are looking right at them. Some presenters turn off their self-view so that they aren’t distracted by their own image. Put the camera at eye level . Try not to have your camera too far above or below you. If it’s too low, then you run the risk of creating a double chin. A camera too high makes it difficult to maintain eye contact, as you may find your gaze dropping as you speak. If you are part of a panel or a team of presenters, make sure you are aware of when your camera is on. If you are not speaking but your camera is on, make sure you look like you are paying attention! Powerful presenters understand the importance of making eye contact with their audience, so this means you have to simulate the same effect virtually.

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5.     Get Close (But Not Too Close).  You want the camera to frame your face, neck, and shoulders. People are drawn to faces, so you don’t want to lose that connection by being too far away, but you also don’t want your face to take over the whole screen like a dismembered head because, well, that looks weird. Practice your positioning and distance.

6.     Stand Up:  If possible, use a standing desk or position your laptop so you can stand at eye level with your computer. Standing up provides a higher energy level and forces us to put our body in a more presentation-like mode. If you have to sit, lean forward as you would if you were presenting at a real meeting or as if you were a TV news anchor. Avoid slouching away from the camera, as that sends a signal that you are disconnected from the audience.

7.     Be Animated:  Just like in a live presentation, you want to present with a little energy and animation. Too slow or too monotone in your voice makes it easy for folks to disengage and tune out. Keeping people engaged virtually requires you to actually be engaging.

8.     Pace Yourself:  Without real-time visual audience feedback cues, getting the pacing right can be difficult. Even though you want to infuse some animation and energy into your presentation don’t pump up the speed too much. If you tend to be a fast talker in real life, practice slowing down just a bit. If you’re a slow talker, you may want to speed up just a bit.

9.     Do A Sound Check:  If your sound is garbled, people will tune out. While people may forgive less than perfect video, if they can’t clearly hear you, they will leave. Practice with someone on the other end of the presentation platform. Make sure your sound emits clearly. Sometimes headphones or external microphones work better than the computer audio, sometimes not. Every platform is different, so make sure your sound quality is excellent every time. And again, you should practice with the same technical configurations and location that you will use for your presentation.

10.  Plug into Your Modem:  If possible, plug your computer directly into your modem using an Ethernet cable. This will give you the strongest signal and most stable internet connection. The last thing you want to happen during your presentation is to have a weak or unstable internet signal.

11.  Incorporate Redundant Systems.  If using slides, make sure someone else (another webinar co-host or producer) also has a copy of the slides just in case your internet goes wonky and you have to present by calling in. If you are using slides, make them visually appealing. Use high-quality graphics and limit the amount of text on each slide. It’s your job as presenter to deliver the content. The slides are meant to enhance your spoken words, not replace them.

12.  Engage Your Participants. Just as if you were doing an in-person presentation, craft your presentation to engage the audience. Incorporate chats, polls, raised hand features, etc. Try not to speak for more than ten minutes without some sort of audience engagement. Use the participant list to interact with your participants by name. Have people chat or raise a hand if they want to speak. Keep track of the order of people and then call on them to invite them to turn on their mics or cameras. 

13.  Let Someone Else Check the Chats.  Don’t get sidetracked by the chats during your presentation. You’ll be shocked at how distracting it is to your train of thought if you attempt to read the chats while speaking. Instead, have your co-host or producer monitor the chats. If you ask people to chat you answers or comments to a question you’ve posed, then pause your talking and engage directly with the chats by acknowledging them, reading them out loud, and commenting on them. 

14.  Evaluate and Enhance:  If possible, record the session and take the time to play back and look for areas that worked well and areas that you might want to improve upon. Great presenters, whether virtual or in person, understand the value of continually honing their craft. Be sure to acknowledge your strengths as well as your areas of improvement.

15.  Be Yourself and Have Fun:  Again, just like in face-to-face presentations, audiences connect to authenticity, so be yourself! Let your personality show through. Have fun. If you look like you’re enjoying the presentation so will others. Research shows that happy people retain information better than bored or disinterested people, so model the energy that you want to create. The audience takes its cue from you.

Remember, whether you are presenting in-person or virtually, all presentations are performances. And all performances are in service to your audience. Their time is valuable, so honor that time by delivering the best presentation you can. No matter what kind of presentation you are giving, you must find ways to create authentic audience connection, engagement, and value.

Mary Abbajay

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12 Easy Steps to Make a Presentation Creative (+ Examples)

Learn how to make a presentation creative without PowerPoint, and draw inspiration from creative presentation examples by industry and use case.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Dominika Krukowska

9 minute read

How to make a presentation creative

Short answer

How can I make a presentation more creative?

  • Start with captivating cover videos
  • Add chapters for smooth navigation
  • Weave in personalization using dynamic variables
  • Enhance storytelling with animations
  • Highlight key points using subtle visual cues
  • Engage with interactive elements
  • Showcase ideas using vibrant images
  • Sprinkle in video narrations
  • Wrap up with a smart CTA

Boring presentations can damage your brand’s image

Boring presentations can feel like those endless meetings where one person monopolizes the conversation. You know, the ones where you’re zoning out, doodling on the side of your notes, just waiting for it to end so you could move on to something more engaging.

That's the disconnect your audience experiences when faced with a boring presentation.

What’s even worse is that when your presentation is dull, it doesn't just bore your audience—it subtly suggests that you or your brand might be, well, kind of boring too .

The good thing is that with the right tweaks and insights, every presentation holds the potential to be memorable.

In this post, we're diving deep into the heart of what makes a presentation creative. We'll explore the mistakes that lead to forgettable slides and the strategies to elevate your content.

By the end, you’ll have all it takes to transform your presentation from mundane to magnetic and have your audience engage with it from the first click to the last.

Let’s go!

What makes a presentation boring?

A boring presentation is a mix of repetitive designs and long chunks of text without a human touch. When slides come off as too generic or overly complex, or they swing between being too predictable or hard to grasp, they lose their spark.

Add in a lack of visuals, real stories, or interaction, and you've got a recipe for audience disinterest.

To truly engage, a presentation should blend interaction, emotion, and content that is relevant to the audience.

How to make a presentation creative step-by-step

Modern presentations are more than just slides—they're experiences. Gone are the days of static bullet points; today's audience craves engagement, interactivity, and a touch of the unexpected.

Let's explore how to make your presentation more creative step-by-step:

1) Add videos to break up text

Videos can set the tone, explain complex ideas, or simply entertain. By strategically placing them at key moments where you feel energy might dip, you make sure your audience remains engaged, and your message is reinforced.

Whether it's a real-life testimonial, a product demo, or a fun animation, videos can breathe life into abstract concepts, making them tangible and relatable.

And, there’s science behind it too: presentations with a video on the cover slide see 32% more engagement . But the magic of videos doesn't stop at the cover. Presentations sprinkled with videos throughout held people's attention 37% longer and even boosted the click-through rate on calls-to-action by 17%.

2) Create a non-linear flow

Who said presentations have to be a straight line? Let's mix it up! By linking slides, you're handing the remote to your audience. It's like those 'choose your own adventure' books from our childhood.

Group your slides into themes or create chapters and let them pick what they want to see next. It's a fun, interactive way to keep them on their toes and engaged.

3) Use personalization for creating tailored stories

You know those emails that greet you by name and make you feel all special? Imagine bringing that warmth to your presentations using dynamic variables.

By integrating with your CRM, you can fetch specific data about your audience and weave it into your slides. This simple trick can make your audience feel like the content was crafted specifically for them, creating a deeper connection.

If you’re making a presentation to showcase your product, you can even use dynamic variables to create a mock-up with your prospect’s name and logo on it to make your deck stand out.

4) Use narrated design

Scrollytelling is where the magic of scrolling meets the art of storytelling. It's an interactive content experience that weaves text, images, videos, and animations into a captivating narrative.

Instead of static slides, scrollytelling guides readers through a story, allowing them to control the pace. It breaks down complex content into bite-sized chunks, enhancing engagement and retention.

Our founder, Itai Amoza, wanted everyone to enjoy this dynamic content experience. So, he joined forces with visualization expert Prof. Steven Franconeri to weave scrollytelling into Storydoc.

Thanks to their partnership, we have dedicated storytelling slides in Storydoc, like the narrator slide you can see below , designed to make content both clear and captivating for all.

Narrator slide example

5) Tell stories with videos

Videos have this unique power to turn complex ideas into simple, engaging stories. A video might break down a tricky process into fun, easy-to-follow narrative, or give us a peek into real-life examples or experiences.

It's all about making your content feel alive, relatable, and super easy to understand. Because, let's face it, everyone's a sucker for a good story.

Here's a great example of a storytelling video:

6) Use roadmap and timeline slides

Ever tried reading a long-winded description of a company's journey or a product's development process? Yawn, right?

Now, imagine swapping that snooze-fest with a vibrant roadmap or timeline. Instead of slogging through paragraphs, you get a fun, visual play-by-play.

Picture a colorful line showing a startup's journey from a garage brainstorm to its first big sale.

Or a playful timeline marking the stages of turning a wild idea into a bestselling product. It's like turning a history lesson into a comic strip—way more fun and a whole lot clearer!

You can see what it looks like below:

Video timeline slide

7) Direct attention using animations

Ever been to a theater where the spotlight focuses on the main act? That's what animations do for your presentation.

Whether it's a cheeky arrow pointing out a fun fact, a grand entrance animation for a new idea, or using grayed-out content to highlight a key point, animations are your stage directors.

They ensure your audience's eyes are exactly where you want them to be, soaking in all the important bits.

Here's a great example:

Animated slide example

8) Add interactive calculators

Who said numbers have to be boring? With interactive calculators, you're turning math into a fun game . Let your audience punch in numbers and see real-time results.

Whether they're calculating potential savings, ROI, or just playing around, it's an engaging and creative way to make your points tangible. It's like turning your presentation into a hands-on workshop.

9) Use AI-generated images

Instead of sifting through countless stock photos, thanks to the magic of AI, you can have an image that's tailor-made for your slide in seconds.

Storydoc presentation maker lets you generate any image directly in your deck - just give the AI assistant a short description and you’re good to go.

What's great is that you always get an image that matches your topic to a tee. No more "that'll do" compromises. Plus, think of all the time you save when you don't have to hunt for the right picture or take it yourself.

Here's a short video showing how it works:

Storydoc AI image generator

10) Pop into the presentation with video bubble narration

Imagine if, during a presentation, a mini version of you could pop up, share a quick tip, or clarify a point. That's video bubble narration in a nutshell.

It's like having a friendly guide accompanying your audience, ensuring they get the most out of your content. It adds a creative personal touch, making your presentation feel like a cozy chat between friends.

11) Use before-and-after to show transformation

There's something magical about witnessing a transformation. Just think about the buzz online when someone shares a 'before and after' of a design revamp, weight loss journey, or how they helped a client grow their business.

With a before-and-after slide , you're giving your audience that 'aha!' moment. Even if you can't see their reactions in real-time, you can bet they're sliding back and forth, captivated by the change.

Whether it's showcasing a product's impact, a website redesign, or a process improvement, it's a visual treat that makes your message more powerful.

Here's an example of a before-and-after slide:

Before-and-after slide example

12) Close with a smart CTA

The grand finale of your presentation deserves a touch of flair. Instead of a simple 'Thank you' slide, imagine ending with an interactive live chat prompt or a calendar invite for a follow-up. It's like the encore at the end of a concert, giving your audience a chance to engage further.

These smart CTAs aren't just functional; they're creative extensions of your narrative. By integrating them, you're not just concluding your presentation; you're opening doors to new conversations and possibilities.

Here's a great example of a smart CTA:

Next steps slide example

3 presentation opening ideas

Kicking off a presentation with a bang can set the tone for everything that follows. Here are 3 captivating ways to grab your audience's attention right from the get-go:

Dive into a story: Begin with a personal anecdote or a relatable tale. It's like inviting your audience around a campfire, setting the stage for a memorable narrative.

Pose a thought-provoking question: Challenge your viewers with a question that gets their gears turning. It's an instant engagement booster, making them active participants.

Share a startling statistic: Drop a number that makes jaws drop. When you hit them with a fact that's hard to ignore, you've got their undivided attention.

Want more insights on crafting the perfect presentation opener? Check out our article on how to start a presentation people read to the end .

3 presentation closing ideas

Wrapping up a presentation is just as crucial as the opening. It's your final chance to leave a lasting impression. Here are 3 best ways to ensure your audience walks away inspired:

Circle back to the start: Revisit your opening story or statement, bringing your narrative full circle. It's a neat way to tie everything together and reinforce your key message.

End with a Call-to-Action: End with a captivating personal video message or a lively animation. It's a unique way to engage, surprise, and guide your audience on what's next.

Share an inspiring quote: Leave them with words that resonate. A powerful quote can sum up your message and linger in their minds long after.

Here's an example of a presentation with a personal video message at the end:

Slide with a personal video message

Hungry for more tips on crafting the perfect presentation finale? Read our blog post on how to end a presentation and get people to act .

Best tools for making creative presentations

Crafting creative presentations is an art, and like any artist, you need the right tools to bring your vision to life. Here's a curated list of platforms that are pushing the envelope in presentation design:

Storydoc : Beyond traditional slides, Storydoc offers interactive web stories. It's not just about displaying content; it's about creating experiences. With dynamic visuals and interactive elements, your audience is in for a treat.

Pitch : Collaboration is Pitch's forte. Designed for teams, it offers real-time editing, customizable templates, and a sleek interface. It's where ideas transform into visually stunning stories.

Genially : From animated presentations to responsive infographics, Genially provides tools that make your content come alive on the screen.

Beautiful.ai : Automated design assistance is its claim to fame. Feed in your content, and watch as the tool intuitively crafts slides that are both coherent and captivating.

Canva : A versatile design platform, Canva boasts a variety of templates for presentations, graphics, and more. Its drag-and-drop interface ensures even design novices feel like pros.

Visme : Tailored for visual storytelling, Visme offers a rich library of assets. Think dynamic charts, data widgets, and a suite of animations that turn your data into visual narratives.

Creative presentation templates

Ever felt the weight of the cursor blinking on an empty slide, almost taunting you to come up with something creative?

It's like being handed a stage with an eager audience, but the script is yet to be written. That initial step can be the hardest, but what if you had a little nudge in the right direction?

Creative presentation templates can help you shape your story in a way that stands out in a sea of monotony. Think of them as the paint-by-numbers kits, where the structure is set, but the colors and flair? That's all you.

Grab one and see for yourself.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

steps to creating a digital presentation

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PowerPoint 101: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Vania Escobar

Are you struggling with PowerPoint? You need a quick design in PowerPoint but don't know where to start? Don't worry, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

In this article, we're going to refresh the most important PowerPoint basics so you can take advantage of this Microsoft software and create high-impact presentations at any time!

Millions of users worldwide use Microsoft 365 services , making PowerPoint the presentation design software with the highest market share. And with good reason! PowerPoint's features stand out for its usability and originality . We can tell you that PowerPoint is pretty intuitive software, and it's a great option to choose when working with presentations on a daily basis. So, are you ready for a quick PowerPoint 101 class?

Let ' s see what you ' re going to learn today with this PowerPoint Guide :

What is PowerPoint?

What are the best uses of powerpoint, powerpoint basics: what are the components of powerpoint workspace, mastering powerpoint: what are the main features of powerpoint, what are powerpoint templates and where to find them, time to practice how to make a presentation in powerpoint.

Presentation desing service - 24Slides

Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation design software that is part of Microsoft 365 . This software allows you to design presentations by combining text, images, graphics, video, and animation on slides in a simple and intuitive way.

Over time, PowerPoint has evolved and improved its accessibility to users. For this reason, it has been adapted to the main operating systems and modalities:

  • PowerPoint Online

Additionally, you can use Word and Excel in this online version. That way, you'll be able to make real-time changes in the cloud without fearing losing your files. Sounds great, right?

PowerPoint has a versatile range of uses. Here's a list of the different tasks you can complete with this presentation design software:

  • Business presentations or Pitch decks.
  • Marketing, Sales and HR plans.
  • Project briefs and timelines.
  • Inductions to new employees.
  • Seminars and educational classes.
  • Professional portfolio of photos or designs.
  • Presentations of a research summary.
  • Presentations for special occasions.

These are just a few examples of the multiple possibilities this Microsoft software offers. Your imagination is the only limit!

Stay tuned as we continue with this PowerPoint 101 Guide...

PowerPoint 101: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

In order to deeply understand this presentation design software, you need to recognize its main components. Now it's time to learn about the PowerPoint basics!

A quick note before going any further: when opening PowerPoint, some of the commands in the ribbons will look grayish and won't be highlighted when you hover the mouse over them.

This happens since some commands need to be selected in order to function. For example, if you want to change the color of a text, you first need to select it.

That being said, let's start with this Guide for PowerPoint beginners:

PowerPoint Main Window

The first aspect to learn is PowerPoint Main Window. To facilitate the explanation, we've organized its main elements with numbers from 1 to 10:

components of PowerPoint window

Based on that, the main components of PowerPoint window are the following:

1. Quick Access Toolbar: allows you to customize commands to have them at hand. You only have to select it and go to "More commands."

2. Title Bar: shows you the name of your file and other "Suggested options" like Slide Master View . These options will vary depending on the use you give to the commands.

3. File Tab: you will see the Home Menu (PowerPoint backstage) by selecting it. There, you can create a new presentation, save it, print it, export it, and many other options.

4. The Ribbon: it's where PowerPoint tabs and tools are. These tools can also be called "commands" or “features.”

5. More Button or Down Arrow: these arrows allow you to view more tools or layout options in PowerPoint.

6. Slides Pane: shows your slides in thumbnail size. By right-clicking, you can access additional options for customizing each slide. Perfect for PowerPoint beginners!

7. Slide: PowerPoint's blank canvas and the frame to be seen when presenting the file.

8. Placeholders: they are dotted boxes that will store your content.

9. Status Bar: allows you to view the slide number, grammatical errors, speaker notes, and the comments on your file.

10. Zoom: allows you to enlarge or minimize your PowerPoint workspace. The range goes from 10 to 400%.

PowerPoint Tabs

The PowerPoint tabs are the control desk of your presentation . Since PowerPoint's features are too many, they're organized in tabs.

You can come and go between tabs as you need. Once you click on a tab, it will open its ribbon, and there, you'll be able to see all the tools related to that particular category.

This PowerPoint tutorial for beginners will give you an overview of all PowerPoint tabs . Pay attention to the following list:

  • Transitions Tab
  • Animations Tab
  • Slide Show Tab
  • Recording Tab

1. Home Tab

The Home tab is the most common tab of PowerPoint. This is the tab you'll probably use the most if you're designing a presentation deck from scratch.

Home Tab PowerPoint

It allows you to add new slides and change the text characteristics : font, size, boldness, underlining, alignment, etc. If you've ever used Microsoft Word, these features will be familiar to you.

Also, you will find commands to edit the characteristics of the geometric shapes you insert. This includes: fill color, line color, sharpe effects, among others.

2. Insert Tab

The Insert tab is exactly what its name says it is. In this ribbon, you'll find all the options concerning adding a new element to your PowerPoint presentation .

Insert Tab PowerPoint

You can insert a picture, some geometric shapes, icons, WordArt graphics, among others. We can tell you that this tab is really helpful for PowerPoint beginners!

For example, if you have a lot of data in PowerPoint , you could add a chart or diagram to show your information in a more visual way. Also, you can embed videos or music into PowerPoint really easily.

  • PowerPoint tip for beginners: To be able to write text on your slides, you need a text box. So, if you're designing your presentation from scratch, remember to go first to the Insert tab and add a text box to start writing.

3. Design Tab

If you are one of those people who enjoy choosing the design of a PowerPoint presentation, this tab will be your favorite.

Design Tab PowerPoint

The Design tab offers a wide range of premade designs , allowing you to get more polished slides. Even better, if you explore its ribbon, you can adjust the color palette and change the overall style of your PowerPoint deck.

The PowerPoint interface, as this basic PowerPoint Tutorial, is really intuitive. We believe that you won't have any problem with this tab!

4. Transitions Tab

Using transitions in PowerPoint is a dynamic way to move from one slide to the next during a presentation. This feature is PowerPoint's stamp, so don ' t miss it!

Transitions Tab PowerPoint

Some PowerPoint transitions are really classic, like wiping the old slide to present the new one. Others are somewhat over the top, like the “Vortex” or the “Airplane” effect.

If you click on each kind of transition, you'll see a preview on how it would look when presenting. Really cool, right?

5. Animations Tab

In case you want to add special effects for certain elements in your slides , the Animations tab in PowerPoint will interest you.

Animations Tab PowerPoint

Like the Transitions tab, you will find various animation effects in this ribbon. It's a matter of trying and choosing the best one according to your needs!

6. Slide Show Tab

As its name says, the Slide Show tab is about presenting your slides . We really like that it gives you several options to show up your presentation!

Slide Show Tab PowerPoint

Considering that you're a PowerPoint beginner, you're not likely to use the Slide Show tab very much.

But if you're curious about this command, you must read our article: How to Make a PowerPoint Slideshow that Runs Automatically?

7. Review Tab

The Review tab is not often used by PowerPoint beginners either.

However, if your job is related to writing or if you work at an international company, this tool can be extremely useful!

Review Tab PowerPoint

With this tab, you can check the slide's spelling, translate the text in real-time, and add comments to your slides . This last function can be helpful to give feedback to a colleague.

8. View Tab

This View tab allows you to change the view of your PowerPoint slides and make handouts from them, among other things.

View Tab PowerPoint

As you can see, the majority of its commands are really specific. So you won't have any issues while designing, test and see!

In this section, our favorite command for PowerPoint beginners is Slide Master . Explore more about this tool in our guide!

9. Recording Tab

In the last versions of this design presentation software, PowerPoint added the Recording tab. As its name says, it allows you to record all your presentation slides .

Recording Tab PowerPoint

This ribbon has advanced commands, so the most common action for a PowerPoint beginner is to take a screenshot or record the screen sequentially .

10. Help Tab

Finally, there is the Help tab. If you have any problem or question concerning how to use PowerPoint, you may go here to look for a solution.

In the latest versions, Windows has added a “Show Training” option. You can click this command to practice the PowerPoint basics since it will download training templates.

Help Tab PowerPoint

As a beginner in PowerPoint, you must recognize the objective of each PowerPoint tab to be able to master the software . But, in order to conduct an outstanding presentation deck, you also need to dominate its most important features. Let's see some of them in the next section!

If you feel ready to delve deeper into PowerPoint's tools, this section is for you.

As you may know , 24Slides specializes in creating outstanding presentations for any Design Project . So, we asked one of our experts about her favorite PowerPoint features, and we want to share them all with you!

Carmen Navarrete , Graphic Designer at 24Slides, highlighted the following features that will make your presentations stand out from the crowd:

PowerPoint Feature #1: Crop to Shape

This first PowerPoint feature is simple but effective!

Let's see how to use it:

  • First, choose an image you want to cut and insert it into your workspace.
  • Once inserted, select it with the mouse.
  • Go to the "Picture Format" tab.
  • Press the arrow of the "Crop" button (right side of the screen).
  • Select "Crop to Shape."
  • Choose your favorite shape and customize your PowerPoint presentation!

PowerPoint Feature: Crop to Shape

PowerPoint Feature #2: Merge Shapes

If you don't like any figure enough, you can create one from scratch!

This is possible thanks to the "Merge Shapes" option. Follow these steps to unleash your creativity:

  • First choose an image you want to cut.
  • Check the list of PowerPoint shapes (Insert tab > Shapes).
  • Choose two or three figures you want to merge (they can be the same figure).
  • Select the figures you are going to merge (see the image).
  • Once selected, go to the "Shape Format" tab.
  • Press the "Merge Shapes" option and the type of merge you want (test and choose!).

PowerPoint Feature: Merge Shapes

  • A new figure will appear, and you must fill it with the image from the first step.
  • Stay on the Shape Format tab and go to "Shape Fill" (button in the middle of the ribbon).
  • Select "Picture Fill" and browse for your image.
  • Select the image to fill your new figure, and that's it!

PowerPoint Feature: Merge Shapes

  • PowerPoint tip for beginners: When your merged figure is ready, paste the image to the background of your slide to achieve a better result. This way, you can use your image as a canvas and see if both elements fit well.

PowerPoint Feature #3: Insert Icons

This PowerPoint feature is quite easy to follow for PowerPoint beginners!

Just follow these steps:

  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Select the "Icons" option.
  • A Microsoft 365 library will open, where you can search for the required icon.
  • Now, you must insert it into your presentation and adapt it to your design.
  • If you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription, you'll have access to a larger number of icons in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Feature: Insert Icons

  • PowerPoint tip for beginners: If you want to learn more about icons in PowerPoint, read our article on How to Use Icons to Make Amazing PowerPoint Presentations .

PowerPoint Feature #4: Insert SmartArt

PowerPoint's SmartArt is one of the most popular and accessible tools to dominate while learning about PowerPoint basics.

To use it in your slide deck, you must:

  • Select SmartArt.
  • See all SmartArt categories and choose your favorite based on your needs.
  • Add the text you have prepared and adapt it to your presentation.

PowerPoint Feature: Insert SmartArt

We want to give you some ideas to master this SmartArt tool in PowerPoint: you can make timelines , flowcharts , and even a Venn diagram in just a few seconds. Try and see!

PowerPoint Feature #5: Remove Background

If you don't know how to use Photoshop and want to remove the background from an image, in this PowerPoint 101 Guide, we show you how:

  • First choose the image you want to remove the background from.
  • Insert the image in the PowerPoint workspace.
  • Select the image and go to the "Picture Format" tab.
  • Select "Remove Background" (first option on the left).
  • You can keep and remove parts of the image with the first two tools of the ribbon (see image).
  • Keep in mind that all the sections highlighted in purple will be deleted.

PowerPoint Feature: Remove Background of image

  • We recommend zooming in to keep or remove parts of the image with more detail.
  • Once you're done, press the "Keep Changes" button.
  • Finally, adapt the new image to your PowerPoint presentation.

Remove background in PowerPoint

  • PowerPoint tip for beginners: Choose a high-contrast photo or image for best results. In other words, the outline of the person or object you want to cut out must have clear edges and cannot blend with the image's background color.

PowerPoint Feature #6: Add Speaker Notes

The latest PowerPoint feature is a command you can use to prepare your speech before presenting to an audience.

Learning how to add speaker notes in PowerPoint is simple:

  • Select the slide that needs some notes.
  • Usually, there is a footer below the slide, but if not, you will have to activate it.
  • Go to the View tab and select "Notes."
  • The Speaker Notes section will appear, and you can add whatever you want!

PowerPoint Feature: Add Speaker Notes

  • PowerPoint tip for beginners: In case you want to practice your entire presentation and have a lot of notes, go to the View tab and select "Notes Page" (fourth command). You'll be able to see all your Speaker Notes faster!

PowerPoint Feature #7: PowerPoint Translator

If you've ever wondered how to translate your PowerPoint Slides, we'll explain the step by step here:

  • Go to the Review tab.
  • Select the text you want to translate.
  • Press the “Translate” button.
  • A panel will open on the right side of the screen.
  • Choose the language you need and you'll see the translation in real-time.
  • If you press Insert, the text will change to the new translation!

PowerPoint Feature #8: Screen Recording

The process of recording your screen in PowerPoint is straightforward and intuitive. Let's see:

  • Go to the “Record” or “Recording” tab.
  • Press the "Record Slide Show" button or the “From Beginning” button (depending on your PPT version).
  • A new window will open.
  • Select the red record button and start recording!
  • When you're done, select “Export.”
  • By default, the video will be 1080p. If you want to lower the video quality, go to "Customize export."
  • Name the video, save it to a folder and that's it!

As you may have noticed, this software has endless PowerPoint design options for beginners. We encourage you to try and test each functionality!

However, we're clear that PowerPoint has different features, so it can be hard to know where to start. That's why understanding PowerPoint basics is crucial if you truly want to master this software!

Our PowerPoint 101 Guide continues; stay tuned to discover more great stuff about this Microsoft software. Keep reading!

A PowerPoint template is a pre-made design that you can use for your own means, and that will save you a lot of time!

Templates in PowerPoint are a great resource for designing since all the structure is already done, and you only have to update the content . We can tell you they're the perfect resource for PowerPoint beginners!

They can be incredibly specific. For example, there are templates for a SWOT analysis or a complete Marketing report. Otherwise, templates can also be very general, with several slides with a similar design.

If you struggle with the artistic part of designing presentations, downloading PowerPoint templates will be a life changer!

PowerPoint free Templates by 24Slides

How to download PowerPoint templates for free?

If you didn't know, 24Slides has an extensive repository of PowerPoint templates. But how to obtain them? It's really simple:

  • First, create an account on our Free Templates Website with the button “Register” (that way, you can download everything without problems!).
  • Think about the graphics you need and the ideal structure for your presentation deck (you can also change the color palette later!).
  • Download it in PowerPoint format (if you prefer it in Google Slides format, you'll also find this type in our repository).
  • Edit and change everything you need for your PowerPoint presentation!

24Slides Designers specialize in business and corporate PowerPoints, but you'll also find other types of templates on our website: Data templates, Timelines, Roadmaps, Matrixes, Diagrams, and more.

Keep in mind that a well-designed PowerPoint deck helps you communicate stronger messages to your audience . Don't waste this opportunity to make your presentation shine!

Business Templates in PowerPoint

If you want to learn more about how to master PowerPoint, do not miss the last section. We'll show you some PowerPoint basics from the software itself!

A PowerPoint 101 Guide wouldn't be that useful with no examples. So, if you enjoy the step-by-step guides, this section is for you.

Below, we'll show you how to make a simple PowerPoint presentation. But first, here are some tips to be more efficient in the process:

  • Be clear about what type of presentation you're going to create (is it corporate, playful, or more creative?).
  • Make a draft with the most important information you need to add and, thus, generate a good structure in your presentation .
  • Get inspired by examples on the internet , but adapt them to your needs and audience.
  • If you will create a business presentation, keep in mind your brand identity .
  • Make sure your PowerPoint works , you may need to update to the latest version or pay for the subscription.

Step 1: Make a draft to structure your presentation

As we said before, writing a draft or script of your content will be vital to start on the right foot as a PowerPoint beginner.

This advice is so important that we choose it as the first step to learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation. Remember: Planning is key!

draft to structure a presentation in PowerPoint

Regarding the process of planning, we share some good practices:

  • If your presentation will be very long , write down all subtitles and content in a Word document. This will help you organize your ideas and give a correct sequence to your narrative. In addition to avoiding redundancies in the message you want to communicate.
  • If your presentation will use many visual resources , we recommend choosing high-quality images. This will help you have a starting graphic base. Some good free image repositories are Freepick , Unsplash , and Adobe Stock .
  • If your presentation is based on data , have all your results summarized or your most relevant conclusions at hand. The idea of making a PowerPoint presentation is to show your information in the simplest way possible for your audience.

Step 2: Create a new document in PowerPoint

Once you check that all the functions are working fine with the software, please open it and go to the File tab. If you've ever used Word or Excel, you'll probably find this Home Menu familiar.

In short, this is the main page of PowerPoint, where you can create a new presentation or open an older one. Let's see:

how to create a new document in PPT

In order to follow this part of our PowerPoint Tutorial correctly, take into consideration the following points:

  • On the lower side of the screen, you'll find your recently opened PowerPoint files. This option is great for saving some time.
  • If you don't find the presentation you're looking for, click on the “Open” option at the left bar and find older files.
  • Don't forget to save your presentation with a relatable name so you won't lose sight of it!

Step 3: Choose the perfect design for your presentation

With your information ready in a draft, it's time to choose the design of your PowerPoint slide deck. You must imagine that the available design options are endless!

For practical reasons, you have three options regarding the design:

  • Start a design from scratch (very difficult for a PowerPoint beginner).
  • Choose an established PowerPoint design or layout.
  • Download a PowerPoint template and modify some details.

Don't worry if you don't know how to continue! In this PowerPoint 101 class, we're going to explain step by step the second option:

How do you set a default design in PowerPoint?

  • First, go to the Design tab.
  • Open the list of options by clicking on the third arrow.
  • Choose the design you like the most for your PowerPoint presentation.

How do you set a default design in PowerPoint

If you want to explore more PowerPoint designs, there is a way to research online. For that, you only need to:

  • Go to the File tab (first tab, next to the Home tab).
  • Select "More themes" (see image).

More themes in PowerPoint

  • Use the search engine and write the keyword you want (it can be related to your business or it can be a color).
  • Check the list of PowerPoint themes and choose your favorite.
  • Wait a few minutes while it loads and keep designing in PowerPoint!

Themes designs in PowerPoint

How do you change the layout of one slide in PowerPoint?

In this PowerPoint 101 Guide, you will also learn how to configure the layout of each slide.

Keep in mind that to have a high-impact presentation, you must adapt your slides' design to the type of content you'll add. And using layouts is perfect for this purpose.

To change the layout type in PowerPoint, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the slide you want to change.
  • Select the "Layout" option.
  • You will find more than ten layout models.
  • Choose the one that best suits your content.
  • Repeat these steps for each slide (if you wish or require).

How do you change the layout in PowerPoint

How do you customize your slides in PowerPoint?

The design process in this PowerPoint 101 Guide doesn't stop there.

You also can customize your presentation's color palette , font style, background format , and graphics effects .

Just go to:

  • Design tab > Variants.
  • Select Colors, Fonts, Effects or Background Styles (as you need).
  • If you're inspired and want to create your own background in PowerPoint, select Background Styles > Format Background.
  • Finally, custom your slides as you want!

how to customize a design in PowerPoint

Step 4: Add all your information to your presentation

Now, it's time to add all your information to your slides. If your script is long, take your time to copy each part of it.

In this PowerPoint Tutorial, we're going to show how our design is going so far. We design at your side!

How to design a presentation in PPT

Step 5: Add transitions or animations to your presentation

The stamp of PowerPoint is its transitions and animations! Naturally, our PowerPoint 101 has considered these essential commands.

If you want to add them to your presentation and make your speech more fluid, follow these steps:

  • Go to the tabs section of PowerPoint.
  • Select "Transitions" or "Animations" and try your favorite effects.
  • Remember that if you select Transitions, these will modify the entire slide, while Animations can be added to each element individually.

When choosing one Animation, you can eliminate it if you aren't 100% convinced. You only need to:

  • Select the Animation number that appears on the corner.
  • Press the "Delete" or "Backspace" button on your keyboard.
  • Choose another Animation in PowerPoint if you want!

How to add transitions or animations to PPT

This “PowerPoint for dummies” is full of tips and tricks! So here is one more: Don't overuse transitions or animations in PowerPoint ; they can make your presentation slower and unprofessional . Use this tool in a subtle way!

Step 6: Refine the final details

As always, every final product must be reviewed. Especially if you're learning the PowerPoint fundamentals with us.

We recommend reviewing each slide of your PowerPoint presentation one final time. In this process, you will be able to:

  • Add icons if your presentation requires it.
  • Change any image or illustration if they don't convince you.
  • Change transitions or animations.
  • Customize your presentation's color palette .
  • Proofread your slides' text or add more information.
  • Add speaker notes to your presentation.

How to add speaker notes to PPT

Step 7: Slideshow your presentation

When your presentation is finished, it's essential to know how to make a PowerPoint slideshow. This way, you can see your slides from the exact same perspective your audience will see them.

To slideshow your presentation in PowerPoint, follow these simple steps for PowerPoint beginners:

  • Position yourself on your first slide.
  • Go to the bottom right of the software.
  • Select the "Slide Show" button (see image).
  • Have a look of your presentation by clicking on each slide or pressing the right arrow on your keyboard.
  • To go out from the Slide Show mode, you have to press the ESC key.

How to slideshow in PowerPoint

Now you can present your slides like an expert!

When you master this presentation design software, you'll be able to create amazing things in PowerPoint : infographics, diagrams, charts, pitch decks, business cards, calendars, you name it!

This was our PowerPoint Guide for beginners. We hope that our compilation today will be useful for conducting more professional presentations in the future and, why not, achieve all your goals!

Don't forget to share this PowerPoint 101 Guide with your co-workers or whoever you want!

Presentation design service promotion

Want to boost your beginner PowerPoint skills? Check out this content:

  • How to Work with Multiple Images in PowerPoint
  • How to Add a Timer to Your Powerpoint Presentations
  • PowerPoint Charts, Graphs, & Tables Made Easy | Tips & Tricks
  • How To Use PowerPoint Design Ideas - All Questions Answered!
  • 36 Fun Icebreakers for Your Next Presentation
  • The Cost of PowerPoint Presentations: Discover the hidden expenses you might overlook!

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation (Step-by-Step)

  • PowerPoint Tutorials
  • Presentation Design
  • January 22, 2024

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn step-by-step how to make a PowerPoint presentation from scratch.

While PowerPoint is designed to be intuitive and accessible, it can be overwhelming if you’ve never gotten any training on it before. As you progress through this guide, you’ll will learn how to move from blank slides to PowerPoint slides that look like these.

Example of the six slides you'll learn how to create in this tutorial

Table of Contents

Additionally, as you create your presentation, you’ll also learn tricks for working more efficiently in PowerPoint, including how to:

  • Change the slide order
  • Reset your layout
  • Change the slide dimensions
  • Use PowerPoint Designer
  • Format text
  • Format objects
  • Play a presentation (slide show)

With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be ready to start creating PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, you’ll have taken your skills from beginner to proficient in no time at all. I will also include links to more advanced PowerPoint topics.

Ready to start learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation?

Take your PPT skills to the next level

Start with a blank presentation.

Note: Before you open PowerPoint and start creating your presentation, make sure you’ve collected your thoughts. If you’re going to make your slides compelling, you need to spend some time brainstorming.

For help with this, see our article with tips for nailing your business presentation  here .

The first thing you’ll need to do is to open PowerPoint. When you do, you are shown the Start Menu , with the Home tab open.

This is where you can choose either a blank theme (1) or a pre-built theme (2). You can also choose to open an existing presentation (3).

For now, go ahead and click on the  Blank Presentation (1)  thumbnail.

In the backstage view of PowerPoint you can create a new blank presentation, use a template, or open a recent file

Doing so launches a brand new and blank presentation for you to work with. Before you start adding content to your presentation, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint interface

Picture of the different parts of the PowerPoint layout, including the Ribbon, thumbnail view, quick access toolbar, notes pane, etc.

Here is how the program is laid out:

  • The Application Header
  • The Ribbon (including the Ribbon tabs)
  • The Quick Access Toolbar (either above or below the Ribbon)
  • The Slides Pane (slide thumbnails)

The Slide Area

The notes pane.

  • The Status Bar (including the View Buttons)

Each one of these areas has options for viewing certain parts of the PowerPoint environment and formatting your presentation.

Below are the important things to know about certain elements of the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint Ribbon

The PowerPoint Ribbon in the Microsoft Office Suite

The Ribbon is contextual. That means that it will adapt to what you’re doing in the program.

For example, the Font, Paragraph and Drawing options are greyed out until you select something that has text in it, as in the example below (A).

Example of the Shape Format tab in PowerPoint and all of the subsequent commands assoicated with that tab

Furthermore, if you start manipulating certain objects, the Ribbon will display additional tabs, as seen above (B), with more commands and features to help you work with those objects. The following objects have their own additional tabs in the Ribbon which are hidden until you select them:

  • Online Pictures
  • Screenshots
  • Screen Recording

The Slides Pane

The slides pane in PowerPoint is on the left side of your workspace

This is where you can preview and rearrange all the slides in your presentation.

Right-clicking on a slide  in the pane gives you additional options on the slide level that you won’t find on the Ribbon, such as  Duplicate Slide ,  Delete Slide , and  Hide Slide .

Right clicking a PowerPoint slide in the thumbnail view gives you a variety of options like adding new slides, adding sections, changing the layout, etc.

In addition, you can add sections to your presentation by  right-clicking anywhere in this Pane  and selecting  Add Section . Sections are extremely helpful in large presentations, as they allow you to organize your slides into chunks that you can then rearrange, print or display differently from other slides.

Content added to your PowerPoint slides will only display if it's on the slide area, marked here by the letter A

The Slide Area (A) is where you will build out your slides. Anything within the bounds of this area will be visible when you present or print your presentation.

Anything outside of this area (B) will be hidden from view. This means that you can place things here, such as instructions for each slide, without worrying about them being shown to your audience.

The notes pane in PowerPoint is located at the bottom of your screen and is where you can type your speaker notes

The  Notes Pane  is the space beneath the Slide Area where you can type in the speaker notes for each slide. It’s designed as a fast way to add and edit your slides’ talking points.

To expand your knowledge and learn more about adding, printing, and exporting your PowerPoint speaker notes, read our guide here .

Your speaker notes are visible when you print your slides using the Notes Pages option and when you use the Presenter View . To expand your knowledge and learn the ins and outs of using the Presenter View , read our guide here .

You can click and drag to resize the notes pane at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen

You can resize the  Notes Pane  by clicking on its edge and dragging it up or down (A). You can also minimize or reopen it by clicking on the Notes button in the Status Bar (B).

Note:  Not all text formatting displays in the Notes Pane, even though it will show up when printing your speaker notes. To learn more about printing PowerPoint with notes, read our guide here .

Now that you have a basic grasp of the PowerPoint interface at your disposal, it’s time to make your presentation.

Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Notice that in the Slide Area , there are two rectangles with dotted outlines. These are called  Placeholders  and they’re set on the template in the Slide Master View .

To expand your knowledge and learn how to create a PowerPoint template of your own (which is no small task), read our guide here .

Click into your content placeholders and start typing text, just as the prompt suggests

As the prompt text suggests, you can click into each placeholder and start typing text. These types of placeholder prompts are customizable too. That means that if you are using a company template, it might say something different, but the functionality is the same.

Example of typing text into a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Note:  For the purposes of this example, I will create a presentation based on the content in the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, which is available to the public on their website.

If you type in more text than there is room for, PowerPoint will automatically reduce its font size. You can stop this behavior by clicking on the  Autofit Options  icon to the left of the placeholder and selecting  Stop Fitting Text to this Placeholder .

Next, you can make formatting adjustments to your text by selecting the commands in the Font area and the  Paragraph area  of the  Home  tab of the Ribbon.

Use the formatting options on the Home tab to choose the formatting of your text

The Reset Command:  If you make any changes to your title and decide you want to go back to how it was originally, you can use the Reset button up in the Home tab .

Hitting the reset command on the home tab resets your slide formatting to match your template

Insert More Slides into Your Presentation

Now that you have your title slide filled in, it’s time to add more slides. To do that, simply go up to the  Home tab  and click on  New Slide . This inserts a new slide in your presentation right after the one you were on.

To insert a new slide in PowerPoint, on the home tab click the New Slide command

You can alternatively hit Ctrl+M on your keyboard to insert a new blank slide in PowerPoint. To learn more about this shortcut, see my guide on using Ctrl+M in PowerPoint .

Instead of clicking the New Slide command, you can also open the New Slide dropdown to see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template. Depending on who created your template, your layouts in this dropdown can be radically different.

Opening the new slide dropdown you can see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template

If you insert a layout and later want to change it to a different layout, you can use the Layout dropdown instead of the New Slide dropdown.

After inserting a few different slide layouts, your presentation might look like the following picture. Don’t worry that it looks blank, next we will start adding content to your presentation.

Example of a number of different blank slide layouts inserting in a PowerPoint presentation

If you want to follow along exactly with me, your five slides should be as follows:

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Picture with Caption

Adding Content to Your Slides

Now let’s go into each slide and start adding our content. You’ll notice some new types of placeholders.

Use the icons within a content placeholder to insert things like tables, charts, SmartArt, Pictures, etc.

On slide 2 we have a  Content Placeholder , which allows you to add any kind of content. That includes:

  • A SmartArt graphic,
  • A 3D object,
  • A picture from the web,
  • Or an icon.

To insert text, simply type it in or hit  Ctrl+C to Copy  and Ctrl+V to Paste  from elsewhere. To insert any of the other objects, click on the appropriate icon and follow the steps to insert it.

For my example, I’ll simply type in some text as you can see in the picture below.

Example typing bulleted text in a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Slides 3 and 4 only have text placeholders, so I’ll go ahead and add in my text into each one.

Examples of text typed into a divider slide and a title and content slide in PowerPoint

On slide 5 we have a Picture Placeholder . That means that the only elements that can go into it are:

  • A picture from the web

A picture placeholder in PowerPoint can only take an image or an icon

To insert a picture into the picture placeholder, simply:

  • Click on the  Picture  icon
  • Find  a picture on your computer and select it
  • Click on  Insert

Alternatively, if you already have a picture open somewhere else, you can select the placeholder and paste in (shortcut: Ctrl+V ) the picture. You can also drag the picture in from a file explorer window.

To insert a picture into a picture placeholder, click the picture icon, find your picture on your computer and click insert

If you do not like the background of the picture you inserted onto your slide, you can remove the background here in PowerPoint. To see how to do this, read my guide here .

Placeholders aren’t the only way to add content to your slides. At any point, you can use the Insert tab to add elements to your slides.

You can use either the Title Only  or the  Blank  slide layout to create slides for content that’s different. For example, a three-layout content slide, or a single picture divider slide, as shown below.

Example slides using PowerPoint icons and background pictures

In the first example above, I’ve inserted 6 text boxes, 3 icons, and 3 circles to create this layout. In the second example, I’ve inserted a full-sized picture and then 2 shapes and 2 text boxes.

The Reset Command:  Because these slides are built with shapes and text boxes (and not placeholders), hitting the  Reset button up in the  Home tab  won’t do anything.

That is a good thing if you don’t want your layouts to adjust. However, it does mean that it falls on you to make sure everything is aligned and positioned correctly.

For more on how to add and manipulate the different objects in PowerPoint, check out our step-by-step articles here:

  • Using graphics in PowerPoint
  • Inserting icons onto slides
  • Adding pictures to your PowerPoint
  • How to embed a video in PowerPoint
  • How to add music to your presentation

Using Designer to generate more layouts ideas

If you have Office 365, your version of PowerPoint comes with a new feature called Designer (or Design Ideas). This is a feature that generates slide layout ideas for you. The coolest thing about this feature is that it uses the content you already have.

To use Designer , simply navigate to the  Design tab  in your Ribbon, and click on  Design Ideas .

To use Designer on your slides, click the

NOTE: If the PowerPoint Designer is not working for you (it is grey out), see my troubleshooting guide for Designer .

Change the Overall Design (optional)

When you make a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll want to think about the overall design. Now that you have some content in your presentation, you can use the Design tab to change the look and feel of your slides.

For additional help thinking through the design of your presentation,  read my guide here .

A. Picking your PowerPoint slide size

If you have PowerPoint 2013 or later, when you create a blank document in PowerPoint, you automatically start with a widescreen layout with a 16:9 ratio. These dimensions are suitable for most presentations as they match the screens of most computers and projectors.

However, you do have the option to change the dimensions.

For example, your presentation might not be presented, but instead converted into a PDF or printed and distributed. In that case, you can easily switch to the standard dimensions with a 4:3 ratio by selecting from the dropdown (A).

You can also choose a custom slide size or change the slide orientation from landscape to portrait in the Custom Slide Size dialog box (B).

To change your slide size, click the Design tab, open the slide size dropdown and choose a size or custom slide size

To learn all about the different PowerPoint slide sizes, and some of the issues you will face when changing the slide size of a non-blank presentation,  read my guide here .

 B. Selecting a PowerPoint theme

The next thing you can do is change the theme of your presentation to a pre-built one. For a detailed explanation of what a PowerPoint theme is, and how to best use it,  read my article here .

In the beginning of this tutorial, we started with a blank presentation, which uses the default Office theme as you can see in the picture below.

All PowerPoint presentations start with the default Microsoft Office theme

That gives you the most flexibility because it has a blank background and quite simple layouts that work for most presentations. However, it also means that it’s your responsibility to enhance the design.

If you’re comfortable with this, you can stay with the default theme or create your own custom theme ( read my guide here ). But if you would rather not have to think about design, then you can choose a pre-designed theme.

Microsoft provides 46 other pre-built themes, which include slide layouts, color variants and palettes, and fonts. Each one varies quite significantly, so make sure you look through them carefully.

To select a different theme, go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon, and click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Themes section .

On the Design tab you will find all of the default PowerPoint templates that come with the Microsoft Office Suite

For this tutorial, let’s select the  Frame  theme and then choose the third Variant in the theme. Doing so changes the layout, colors, and fonts of your presentation.

Example choosing the Frame PowerPoint theme and the third variant of this powerpoint presentation

Note: The theme dropdown area is also where you can import or save custom themes. To see my favorite places to find professional PowerPoint templates and themes (and recommendations for why I like them), read my guide here .

C. How to change a slide background in PowerPoint

The next thing to decide is how you want your background to look for the entire presentation. In the  Variants area, you can see four background options.

To change the background style of your presentation, on the Design tab, find the Background Styles options and choose a style

For this example, we want our presentation to have a dark background, so let’s select Style 3. When you do so, you’ll notice that:

  • The background color automatically changes across all slides
  • The color of the text on most of the slides automatically changes to white so that it’s visible on the dark background
  • The colors of the objects on slides #6 and #7 also adjust, in a way we may not want (we’ll likely have to make some manual adjustments to these slides)

What our PowerPoint presentation looks like now that we have selected a theme, a variant, and a background style

Note: If you want to change the slide background for just that one slide, don’t left-click the style. Instead, right-click it and select Apply to Selected Slides .

After you change the background for your entire presentation, you can easily adjust the background for an individual slide.

You can either right-click a PowerPoint slide and select format background or navigate to the design tab and click the format background command

Inside the Format Background pane, you can see you have the following options:

  • Gradient fill
  • Picture or texture fill
  • Pattern fill
  • Hide background

You can explore these options to find the PowerPoint background that best fits your presentation.

D. How to change your color palette in PowerPoint

Another thing you may want to adjust in your presentation, is the color scheme. In the picture below you can see the Theme Colors we are currently using for this presentation.

Example of the theme colors we are currently using with this presentation

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own color palette. By default, the Office theme includes the Office color palette. This affects the colors you are presented with when you format any element within your presentation (text, shapes, SmartArt, etc.).

To change the theme color for your presentation, select the Design tab, open the Colors options and choose the colors you want to use

The good news is that the colors here are easy to change. To switch color palettes, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Variants area, click on the  dropdown arrow  and select  Colors
  • Select  the color palette (or theme colors) you want

You can choose among the pre-built color palettes from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

As you build your presentation, make sure you use the colors from your theme to format objects. That way, changing the color palette adjusts all the colors in your presentation automatically.

E. How to change your fonts in PowerPoint

Just as we changed the color palette, you can do the same for the fonts.

Example of custom theme fonts that might come with a powerpoint template

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own font combination. By default, the Office theme includes the Office font pairing. This affects the fonts that are automatically assigned to all text in your presentation.

To change the default fonts for your presentation, from the design tab, find the fonts dropdown and select the pair of fonts you want to use

The good news is that the font pairings are easy to change. To switch your Theme Fonts, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Variants  area
  • Select  Fonts
  • Select  the font pairing you want

You can choose among the pre-built fonts from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

If you are working with PowerPoint presentations on both Mac and PC computers, make sure you choose a safe PowerPoint font. To see a list of the safest PowerPoint fonts, read our guide here .

If you receive a PowerPoint presentation and the wrong fonts were used, you can use the Replace Fonts dialog box to change the fonts across your entire presentation. For details, read our guide here .

Adding Animations & Transitions (optional)

The final step to make a PowerPoint presentation compelling, is to consider using animations and transitions. These are by no means necessary to a good presentation, but they may be helpful in your situation.

A. Adding PowerPoint animations

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust animations engine designed to power your creativity. That being said, it’s also easy to get started with basic animations.

Animations are movements that you can apply to individual objects on your slide.

To add an animation to an object in PowerPoint, first select the object and then use the Animations tab to select an animation type

To add a PowerPoint animation to an element of your slide, simply:

  • Select the  element
  • Go to the  Animations tab in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  animation  you want

You can add animations to multiple objects at one time by selecting them all first and then applying the animation.

B. How to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation:

  • Click on the Preview button in the Animations tab
  • Click on the little star  next to the slide
  • Play the slide in Slide Show Mode

To learn other ways to run your slide show, see our guide on presenting a PowerPoint slide show with shortcuts .

To adjust the settings of your animations, explore the options in the  Effect Options ,  Advanced Animation  and the  Timing  areas of the  Animation tab .

The Animations tab allows you to adjust the effects and timings of your animations in PowerPoint

Note:  To see how to make objects appear and disappear in your slides by clicking a button,  read our guide here .

C. How to manage your animations in PowerPoint

You can see the animations applied to your objects by the little numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the objects

The best way to manage lots of animations on your slide is with the Animation Pane . To open it, simply:

  • Navigate to the  Animations tab
  • Select the  Animation Pane

Inside the Animation Pane, you’ll see all of the different animations that have been applied to objects on your slide, with their numbers marked as pictured above.

Note: To see examples of PowerPoint animations that can use in PowerPoint, see our list of PowerPoint animation tutorials here .

D. How to add transitions to your PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust transition engine so that you can dictate how your slides change from one to the other. It is also extremely easy to add transitions to your slides.

In PowerPoint, transitions are the movements (or effects) you see as you move between two slides.

To add a transition to a slide, select the slide, navigate to the transitions tab in PowerPoint and select your transition

To add a transition to a PowerPoint slide, simply:

  • Select the  slide
  • Go to the  Transitions tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Transitions to This Slide area, click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  transition  you want

To adjust the settings of the transition, explore the options in the  Timing  area of the Transitions tab.

You can also add the same transition to multiple slides. To do that, select them in the  Slides Pane  and apply the transition.

E. How to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview your PowerPoint transitions (just like your animations):

  • Click on the Preview  button in the Transitions tab
  • Click on the little star  beneath the slide number in the thumbnail view

Note:  In 2016, PowerPoint added a cool new transition, called Morph. It operates a bit differently from other transitions. For a detailed tutorial on how to use the cool Morph transition,  see our step-by-step article here .

Save Your PowerPoint Presentation

After you’ve built your presentation and made all the adjustments to your slides, you’ll want to save your presentation. YOu can do this several different ways.

Click the file tab, select Save As, choose where you want to save your presentation and then click save

To save a PowerPoint presentation using your Ribbon, simply:

  • Navigate to the  File tab
  •  Select  Save As  on the left
  • Choose  where you want to save your presentation
  • Name  your presentation and/or adjust your file type settings
  • Click  Save

You can alternatively use the  Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut to save your presentation. I recommend using this shortcut frequently as you build your presentation to make sure you don’t lose any of your work.

The save shortcut is control plus s in PowerPoint

This is the standard way to save a presentation. However, there may be a situation where you want to save your presentation as a different file type.

To learn how to save your presentation as a PDF, see our guide on converting PowerPoint to a PDF .

How to save your PowerPoint presentation as a template

Once you’ve created a presentation that you like, you may want to turn it into a template. The easiest – but not technically correct – way, is to simply create a copy of your current presentation and then change the content.

But be careful! A PowerPoint template is a special type of document and it has its own parameters and behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning about how to create your own PowerPoint template from scratch, see our guide on how to create a PowerPoint template .

Printing Your PowerPoint Presentation

After finishing your PowerPoint presentation, you may want to print it out on paper. Printing your slides is relatively easy.

The print shortcut is control plus P in PowerPoint

To open the Print dialog box, you can either:

  • Hit Ctrl+P on your keyboard
  • Or go to the Ribbon and click on File and then Print

In the Print dialog box, make your selections for how you want to print your PowerPoint presentation, then click print

Inside the Print dialog box, you can choose from the various printing settings:

  • Printer: Select a printer to use (or print to PDF or OneNote)
  • Slides: Choose which slides you want to print
  • Layout: Determine how many slides you want per page (this is where you can print the notes, outline, and handouts)
  • Collated or uncollated (learn what collated printing means here )
  • Color: Choose to print in color, grayscale or black & white

There are many more options for printing your PowerPoint presentations. Here are links to more in-depth articles:

  • How to print multiple slides per page
  • How to print your speaker notes in PowerPoint
  • How to save PowerPoint as a picture presentation

So that’s how to create a PowerPoint presentation if you are brand new to it. We’ve also included a ton of links to helpful resources to boost your PowerPoint skills further.

When you are creating your presentation, it is critical to first focus on the content (what you are trying to say) before getting lost inserting and playing with elements. The clearer you are on what you want to present, the easier it will be to build it out in PowerPoint.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and other presentation resources by  visiting us here .

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How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

steps to creating a digital presentation

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How to Make a “Good” Presentation “Great”

  • Guy Kawasaki

steps to creating a digital presentation

Remember: Less is more.

A strong presentation is so much more than information pasted onto a series of slides with fancy backgrounds. Whether you’re pitching an idea, reporting market research, or sharing something else, a great presentation can give you a competitive advantage, and be a powerful tool when aiming to persuade, educate, or inspire others. Here are some unique elements that make a presentation stand out.

  • Fonts: Sans Serif fonts such as Helvetica or Arial are preferred for their clean lines, which make them easy to digest at various sizes and distances. Limit the number of font styles to two: one for headings and another for body text, to avoid visual confusion or distractions.
  • Colors: Colors can evoke emotions and highlight critical points, but their overuse can lead to a cluttered and confusing presentation. A limited palette of two to three main colors, complemented by a simple background, can help you draw attention to key elements without overwhelming the audience.
  • Pictures: Pictures can communicate complex ideas quickly and memorably but choosing the right images is key. Images or pictures should be big (perhaps 20-25% of the page), bold, and have a clear purpose that complements the slide’s text.
  • Layout: Don’t overcrowd your slides with too much information. When in doubt, adhere to the principle of simplicity, and aim for a clean and uncluttered layout with plenty of white space around text and images. Think phrases and bullets, not sentences.

As an intern or early career professional, chances are that you’ll be tasked with making or giving a presentation in the near future. Whether you’re pitching an idea, reporting market research, or sharing something else, a great presentation can give you a competitive advantage, and be a powerful tool when aiming to persuade, educate, or inspire others.

steps to creating a digital presentation

  • Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist at Canva and was the former chief evangelist at Apple. Guy is the author of 16 books including Think Remarkable : 9 Paths to Transform Your Life and Make a Difference.

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10 Tips For Giving Effective Virtual Presentations

What to know before you go live.

September 26, 2016

An illustration of a computer screen with messy notes and graphs around it.

Presenting online? Try these suggestions to improve your results. | Illustration by Tricia Seibold

As audiences go global and you need to reach more people through technology (including webinars, conference calls and teleconference), you must consider the challenges to connecting with a virtual audience. Here I pinpoint 10 valuable best practices to ensure you communicate successfully.

1. Be Brief

Audiences begin to lose attention after roughly 10 minutes of hearing from the same presenter. If you have more than 10 minutes of content, use interactive activities to keep your audience engaged (for example, take a poll, give quizzes, or ask audience members for their opinions via chat).

2. Be Simple

Keep slides simple — avoid too many words, graphics and animation features. Less is definitely more!

An illustration of a lamp

Light yourself well | Illustration by Tricia Seibold

3. Be a TV Personality

Look straight into your camera, not the screen. Wear clothing that is neutral in color (no plaids or stripes). Light yourself well and from above. Be mindful of what appears behind you in the background. Invest in a good microphone.

4. Be Standing

Even though your audience cannot see you, stand when you present. This allows you to stay focused and use good presentation delivery skills such as belly breathing, vocal variety, and pausing.

5. Be Prepared

Practice delivering your presentation with your technology in advance of your talk. Make sure all of the features of the technology work. Record your practice using the recording feature of your tool. Watch and listen to learn what works and what you can improve.

6. Be Assisted

Have someone available to deal with technical issues and to field email/text questions. Also, if you have multiple remote audience members in one location, be sure to pick one of them to be your “eyes and ears.” Ask them to queue up questions and facilitate discussion on your behalf.

7. Be Specific

Ask pointed questions to avoid too many people answering at once. For example, rather than ask, “Are there any questions?” try “Who has a question about the solution I provided?” Set a ground rule that people state their names prior to speaking.

An Illustration of two pictures of people.

Imagine your audience | Illustration by Tricia Seibold

8. Be Synchronized

Transitions are critical. You must connect what you just said to what is coming next when you move from point to point. Transitions between topics and slides are good opportunities to get people reengaged to your talk.

9. Be Connected

Imagine your audience even though you can’t see them. You can place pictures of audience members behind your camera so you can look at people as you present.

10. Be Early

Encourage your audience to access your call or webinar in advance of the start time so you can iron out any technical issues in advance and get them familiar with the technology.

Matt Abrahams is a Stanford GSB organizational behavior lecturer, author, and communications coach.

For media inquiries, visit the Newsroom .

Explore More

Communicating through conflict: how to get along with anyone, power, culture, persuasion, and the self: communication insights from stanford gsb faculty, lose yourself: the secret to finding flow and being fully present, editor’s picks.

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April 04, 2016 A Big Data Approach to Public Speaking Key takeaways from analyzing 100,000 presentations.

November 19, 2014 Matt Abrahams: The Power of the Paraphrase An expert on public speaking shows how paraphrasing can help you navigate tricky communication situations.

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How to give a good presentation that captivates any audience

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What are the main difficulties when giving presentations?

How to create an effective presentation, after that, how do i give a memorable presentation, how to connect with the audience when presenting.

If you’ve ever heard someone give a powerful presentation, you probably remember how it made you feel. Much like a composer, a good speaker knows precisely when each note should strike to captivate their audience’s attention and leave them with a lasting impression.

No one becomes a great public speaker or presenter without practice. And almost everyone can recall a time one of their presentations went badly — that’s a painful part of the learning process.

Whether you’re working within a small creative team or a large organization, public speaking and presentation skills are vital to communicating your ideas. Knowing how to present your vision can help you pitch concepts to clients, present ideas to your team, and develop the confidence to participate in team meetings.

If you have an upcoming presentation on the horizon and feel nervous, that’s normal. Around 15-30% of the general population experience a fear of public speaking . And, unfortunately, social anxiety is on the rise, with a 12% increase in adults over the last 20 years . 

Learning how to give a good presentation can dismantle your fears and break down these barriers, ensuring you’re ready to confidently share your point of view. 

It’s the week before your presentation, and you’re already feeling nervous . Maybe there’ll be an important mentor in the room you need to impress, or you’re looking for an opportunity to show your boss your value. Regardless of your countless past presentations, you still feel nervous. 

Sharing your vision and ideas with any sized group is intimidating. You’re likely worrying about how you’ll perform as a presenter and whether the audience will be interested in what you offer. But nerves aren’t inherently negative — you can actually use this feeling to fuel your preparation.


It’s helpful to identify where your worries are coming from and address your fears. Here are some common concerns when preparing for an upcoming presentation:

Fear of public speaking: When you share your ideas in front of a group, you’re placing yourself in a vulnerable position to be critiqued on your knowledge and communication skills . Maybe you feel confident in your content, but when you think about standing in front of an audience, you feel anxious and your mind goes blank.

It’s also not uncommon to have physical symptoms when presenting . Some people experience nausea and dizziness as the brain releases adrenaline to cope with the potentially stressful situation . Remember to take deep breaths to recenter yourself and be patient, even if you make a mistake.

Losing the audience’s attention: As a presenter, your main focus is to keep your audience engaged. They should feel like they’re learning valuable information or following a story that will improve them in life or business.

Highlight the most exciting pieces of knowledge and ensure you emphasize those points in your presentation. If you feel passionate about your content, it’s more likely that your audience will experience this excitement for themselves and become invested in what you have to say.

Not knowing what content to place on presentation slides: Overloading presentation slides is a fast way to lose your audience’s attention. Your slides should contain only the main talking points and limited text to ensure your audience focuses on what you have to say rather than becoming distracted by the content on your slides.

Discomfort incorporating nonverbal communication: It’s natural to feel stiff and frozen when you’re nervous. But maintaining effective body language helps your audience stay focused on you as you speak and encourages you to relax.

If you struggle to incorporate body language into your presentations, try starting small by making hand gestures toward your slides. If you’re working with a large audience, use different parts of the stage to ensure everyone feels included. 

Each presenter has their own personal brand and style. Some may use humor to break the ice, while others might appeal to the audience’s emotional side through inspiring storytelling. 

Watching online presentations, such as TED talks, is an excellent way to expose yourself to various presentation styles and develop your own. While observing others, you can note how they carry themselves on stage and learn new ways to keep your audience engaged.

Once you’ve addressed what’s causing your fears, it’s time to prepare for a great presentation. Use your past experience as inspiration and aim to outshine your former self by learning from your mistakes and employing new techniques. Here are five presentation tips to help you create a strong presentation and wow your audience:

1. Keep it simple

Simple means something different to everyone.

Before creating your presentation, take note of your intended audience and their knowledge level of your subject. You’ll want your content to be easy for your intended audience to follow.

Say you’re giving a presentation on improving your company’s operational structure. Entry-level workers will likely need a more straightforward overview of the content than C-suite leaders, who have significantly more experience. 

Ask yourself what you want your audience to take away from your presentation and emphasize those important points. Doing this ensures they remember the most vital information rather than less important supporting ideas. Try organizing these concepts into bullet points so viewers can quickly identify critical takeaways.

2. Create a compelling structure

Put yourself in your audience member’s shoes and determine the most compelling way to organize your information. Your presentation should be articulate , cohesive, and logical, and you must be sure to include all necessary supporting evidence to strengthen your main points.

If you give away all of your answers too quickly, your audience could lose interest. And if there isn’t enough supporting information, they could hit a roadblock of confusion. Try developing a compelling story that leads your audience through your thought processes so they can experience the ups and downs alongside you. 

By structuring your presentation to lead up to a final conclusion, you’re more likely to keep listeners’ attention. Once you’ve reached that conclusion, you can offer a Q&A period to put any of their questions or concerns to rest. 

3. Use visual aids

Appealing to various learning styles is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure they absorb your content. Visual aids are necessary for visual learners and make it easier for people to picture your ideas.

Aim to incorporate a mixture of photos, videos, and props to engage your audience and convey your key points. For instance, if you’re giving a presentation on anthropology subject matter, you could show your audience an artifact to help them understand how exciting a discovery must have been. 

If your presentation is long, including a video for your audience to watch is an excellent way to give yourself a break and create new jumping-off points for your speech.

4. Be aware of design techniques and trends

Thanks to cutting-edge technology and tools, you have numerous platforms at your disposal to create a good presentation. But keep in mind that although color, images, and graphics liven things up, they can cause distraction when misused.

  Here are a few standard pointers for incorporating visuals on your slides: 

  • Don’t place blocks of small text on a single slide
  • Use a minimalistic background instead of a busy one
  • Ensure text stands out against the background color
  • Only use high-resolution photos
  • Maintain a consistent font style and size throughout the presentation
  • Don’t overuse transitions and effects

5. Try the 10-20-30 rule

Guy Kawasaki, a prominent venture capitalist and one of the original marketing specialists for Apple, said that the best slideshow presentations are less than 10 slides , last at most 20 minutes, and use a font size of 30. Following this strategy can help you condense your information, eliminate unnecessary ideas, and maintain your audience’s focus more efficiently.

Once you’re confident in creating a memorable presentation, it’s time to learn how to give one. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your audience invested during your talk: 

Tip #1: Tell stories

Sharing an anecdote from your life can improve your credibility and increase your relatability. And when an audience relates to you, they’re more likely to feel connected to who you are as a person and encouraged to give you their full attention, as they would want others to do the same.

Gill Hicks utilized this strategy well when she shared her powerful story, “ I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned .” In her harrowing tale, Hicks highlights the importance of compassion, unconditional love, and helping those in need.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing personal stories, that’s okay. You can use examples from famous individuals or create a fictional account to demonstrate your ideas.

Tip #2: Make eye contact with the audience

Maintaining eye contact is less intimidating than it sounds. In fact, you don’t have to look your audience members directly in their eyes — you can focus on their foreheads or noses if that’s easier.

Try making eye contact with as many people as possible for 3–5 seconds each. This timing ensures you don’t look away too quickly, making the audience member feel unimportant, or linger too long, making them feel uncomfortable.

If you’re presenting to a large group, direct your focus to each part of the room to ensure no section of the audience feels ignored. 


Tip #3: Work on your stage presence

Although your tone and words are the most impactful part of your presentation, recall that body language keeps your audience engaged. Use these tips to master a professional stage presence:

  • Speak with open arms and avoid crossing them
  • Keep a reasonable pace and try not to stand still
  • Use hand gestures to highlight important information

Tip #4: Start strong

Like watching a movie trailer, the first seconds of your talk are critical for capturing your audience’s attention. How you start your speech sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and tells your audience whether or not they should pay attention. Here are some ways to start your presentation to leave a lasting impression:

  • Use a quote from a well-known and likable influential person 
  • Ask a rhetorical question to create intrigue
  • Start with an anecdote to add context to your talk 
  • Spark your audience’s curiosity by involving them in an interactive problem-solving puzzle or riddle

Tip #5: Show your passion

Don’t be afraid of being too enthusiastic. Everyone appreciates a speaker who’s genuinely excited about their field of expertise. 

In “ Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance ,” Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the importance of passion in research and delivery. She delivers her presentation excitedly to show the audience how excitement piques interest. 

Tip #6: Plan your delivery

How you decide to deliver your speech will shape your presentation. Will you be preparing a PowerPoint presentation and using a teleprompter? Or are you working within the constraints of the digital world and presenting over Zoom?

The best presentations are conducted by speakers who know their stuff and memorize their content. However, if you find this challenging, try creating notes to use as a safety net in case you lose track.

If you’re presenting online, you can keep notes beside your computer for each slide, highlighting your key points. This ensures you include all the necessary information and follow a logical order.


Tip #7: Practice

Practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes progress. There’s no way of preparing for unforeseen circumstances, but thorough practice means you’ve done everything you can to succeed.

Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or to a trusted friend or family member. Take any feedback and use it as an opportunity to fine-tune your speech. But remember: who you practice your presentation in front of may differ from your intended audience. Consider their opinions through the lens of them occupying this different position.

Tip #8: Read the room

Whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event or presenting to a small group of clients, knowing how to read the room is vital for keeping your audience happy. Stay flexible and be willing to move on from topics quickly if your listeners are uninterested or displeased with a particular part of your speech.

Tip #9: Breathe

Try taking deep breaths before your presentation to calm your nerves. If you feel rushed, you’re more likely to feel nervous and stumble on your words.

The most important thing to consider when presenting is your audience’s feelings. When you approach your next presentation calmly, you’ll put your audience at ease and encourage them to feel comfortable in your presence.

Tip #10: Provide a call-to-action

When you end your presentation, your audience should feel compelled to take a specific action, whether that’s changing their habits or contacting you for your services.

If you’re presenting to clients, create a handout with key points and contact information so they can get in touch. You should provide your LinkedIn information, email address, and phone number so they have a variety of ways to reach you. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all template for an effective presentation, as your unique audience and subject matter play a role in shaping your speech. As a general rule, though, you should aim to connect with your audience through passion and excitement. Use strong eye contact and body language. Capture their interest through storytelling and their trust through relatability.

Learning how to give a good presentation can feel overwhelming — but remember, practice makes progress. Rehearse your presentation for someone you trust, collect their feedback , and revise. Practicing your presentation skills is helpful for any job, and every challenge is a chance to grow.

Enhance your presentation skills

Discover coaching that transforms your public speaking and boosts your confidence in presenting.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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Presentation Skills: 16 tips for effective presentations


A successful presentation requires good presentation skills and effective presentation techniques. Here we provide you with 15 presentation tips for effective presentations. Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you improve your presentation skills.

Presenting successfully: 16 tips to improve your presentation skills and give a killer presentation 

How do you give a good presentation this is how to succeed.

In order to be able to present successfully, not only the layout and the content of the presentation must be convincing. The decisive step is to convey the content of the presentation to the audience in the best possible way by presenting it correctly. The tips listed below should help you do this by improving your presentation skills. The most important thing to keep in mind is a healthy combination of the tips listed below. (The order of the tips does not give any information about their importance).

Not every tip will lead to a successful presentation. What is important in a presentation?

As mentioned earlier, you should try to implement a combination of the tips to give a successful presentation. It should be noted that not every one of these tips needs to fit in your own presentation. In addition, too many of these tips can make the presentation look overloaded and too "rehearsed". Therefore, think carefully in advance about what you want to pay particular attention to.

Here are 16 tips for killer presentations:

Tip 1: maintain eye contact while presenting and smile.

In order to give each of your listeners the feeling of being important and to make them feel personally addressed, it is particularly important to maintain eye contact with the audience during the presentation. Not only does this exude confidence, but it also helps your audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you feel less nervous.  Easier said than done right? Here's what can help:

Find someone in the audience who seems to be genuinely interested in the topic and is listening attentively (for example, your lecturer). Make eye contact with this person at the beginning of the presentation. Once you start feeling more calm and confident let your gaze drift over the audience to address the other listeners as well. Keep returning your gaze to the initial person to stay calm throughout the whole presentation.

Another alternative is to find a fixed point in the room (preferably on the wall behind the audience) which you fix at the beginning of the presentation. Similar to the first example, after you have achieved confidence, you can let your gaze wander over the audience and return to the previously selected fixed point again and again.

Don't look at the screen! Don't look at the floor! Don't just look at your index cards! Don't just look at the laptop!

Tip 2: Use of gestures and facial expressions

To emphasize the content of your presentation, it is advisable to use appropriate gestures and body language to get your message across. Avoid crossed arms, hands behind your back, or in your pockets during a presentation.  Always stand up straight, and try not to appear tense or stressed. You can do that by using your hands and arms to emphasize what you are saying and get your message across.  Your facial expressions should always be friendly and open. Smile and show that you enjoy the topic and you are confident in the information you are presenting.

Tip 3: Avoid distractions

Often you will not be able to avoid the use of aids. For example, you may need to use a laser pointer to show something on the screen, or you may need to use a pen to write something down on a flipchart. To avoid distractions for you and the audience, get into the habit of putting down tools you don't need! That way you will not be tempted to deal with them in the first place. You will also have your hands free for gestures.

Tip 4: Be prepared: Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect, right? If you prepare well before the presentation, you will feel more relaxed and confident while presenting and it will also improve your body language. 

Here are some ways to help you prepare for a presentation:

Rehearse in front of a crowd

Time yourself

Record yourself

Tip 5: Be confident

By appearing self-confident, you convey to the listener that you are confident in your topic and have prepared yourself sufficiently. Try to relax and not appear too stressed or nervous. Another tip for advanced speakers: Step out in front of the podium and walk around the room and get closer to the audience. This also exudes self-confidence and helps in attracting your audience's attention.

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Tip 6: Effective beginning/end

Good presentation skills can help you in captivating your audience straight away. In order to do that, you should start your presentation with a bang. Many studies show that if you can capture someone’s interest straight away, there’s a good chance they’ll listen to the rest of the presentation. Shock the audience, ask them to imagine something or think of a what-if situation, share a personal story, share a joke, u se a quote, or a video. You should also give an overview of the time and structure of your presentation. This outline should run through your presentation so that you can always assign the individual contents to an outline point. It is also helpful for your audience to have the outline displayed in a slimmed-down form during the whole presentation.

How you end the presentation is as important as how you start it. A weak ending will leave the audience uninspired. But a good ending will motivate them and help them walk away on a positive note. For example, include a call to action, end the presentation with a memorable quote, or a personal story, and don't forget to thank and acknowledge the audience. 

Tip 7: Speak freely

The headline speaks for itself. To make the presentation as lively and enjoyable as possible, you should avoid reading it off. Speak freely, slowly, and clearly. If you are not yet confident in what you are presenting, try using note cards. But keep in mind: No continuous text, but only short, concise bullet points! If you use note cards to support you, it is especially advisable at this point to memorize at least the beginning and end of your presentation, as eye contact is crucial at these points.

Tip 8: Avoid filler words

In order to make your presentation flow as smoothly and confidently as possible, you should avoid using filler words such as "um," "so," and so on. For your listeners, these words convey insecurity and inadequate preparation.

Tip 9: Bring along something to share

In addition to a handout, other small takeaways can also significantly improve your presentation. For example, if you are giving a presentation on gummy bears, why not offer some to your audience? If you are giving a presentation about your fishing hobby, why not show the audience your fishing equipment?

Tip 10: Use different types of media

A presentation can quickly become boring and monotonous. To avoid this, it is advisable to use different types of media. For example, combine videos and flipcharts, use the whiteboard, or show something practical on a model. This will increase the attention of your audience enormously and will help in keeping them engaged until the end.

Tip 11: Use effective pauses

When giving a presentation, you should keep in mind that you have already heard the content several times - your audience probably hasn't! Therefore, give your audience enough time to read and understand the content of your slides.

Effective use of speech pauses is a master technique. It is one of the most versatile tools in a presenter's toolbox. Yet very few people perform it well. A pause, if used correctly, can add a great deal to your presentation or speech. Pause before, during, or after saying something that you would like to emphasize. Pausing between two different parts of your presentation can indicate to the audience that something new is coming. A quick pause could also help you in remembering your next point, without the audience noticing that you forgot what to say.

Tip 12: Speak the language of the audience

When creating your presentation, you should already think about your target audience. This will help you present successfully later on. It is especially important that you speak the language of the audience. Use appropriate and relevant examples. Use "strong" and meaningful words in short sentences to avoid losing the audience. Make sure to use appropriate analogies and anecdotes and avoid foreign words, empty phrases, and clichés. If you have to use foreign words, explain them in a handout or footnote within the presentation.

Tip 13: Engage with the audience

Always try to keep the attention of your audience and keep them engaged during a presentation. To do this, it is advisable to regularly involve the audience. One way to do this is to ask questions. Deliberately ask "easy" questions so that can easily be answered by your audience. Another way to involve the audience in your presentation is by interacting with them. To make a point clearer, you can use an example to explain it in more detail, using a person (whose name you should know). You can address participants directly and refer to their work.

Tip 14: Don't fight the stage fright & take deep breaths

Stage fright is one of the biggest enemies of a presentation, yet you shouldn't let yourself be a victim of your feat. Do not fight it, rather address your fear and try and accept it, and transform it into positive enthusiasm. Don't let your stage fright get you all worked up and nervous. Take a couple of deep breaths to get oxygen to your brain and relax your body.

Tip 15: Choose the right angle on standing during a presentation

One of the most frequent questions that speakers ask themselves during a presentation is, how do I best position myself, and where do I stand in front of the audience?

You have a free stage without a podium

In many cases, you will be facing your audience in a "free space", without a podium. This gives you a lot of room to move, but at the same time, it creates uncertainty because you don't know how to position yourself properly or how to move. Avoid standing frontally in front of the audience! This frontal facing is unconsciously perceived negatively by the audience. It is perceived by the audience as a kind of frontal attack and causes stress in your audience. Make sure to stand slightly to the side of the audience. If you notice during the presentation that you are again standing frontally in front of your audience, simply move your right or left foot 20 cm forward.

You have a podium at your disposal

A podium makes it easier to decide how to position yourself and where to stand in front of the audience. In order not to make your presentation too monotonous, it is advisable to leave the "safe position" behind the lectern from time to time, e.g. to walk to the other side of the screen or to show something on the flipchart. This brings movement into your presentation and helps keep the connection with your audience.

Tip 16: Create something with the whiteboard during the lecture

PowerPoint is no longer the tool of choice for a successful presentation. Photo collages, company logos on every slide and flashing text boxes often distract from the essentials. A presentation convinces the audience especially when they witness how something is being created. In addition to the classic flipchart, the whiteboard is recommended for this purpose. This is because diagrams, keywords and the results of a brainstorming session are written in real time on a whiteboard. Board markers allow a wide range of colors and the magnetic property of pinning additional information. The result of the presentation produced in this way is remembered longer than ready-made slides.

Björn Rolleter

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10 Steps to Creating a Powerful Product Presentation

10 Steps to Creating a Powerful Product Presentation

Written by: Unenabasi Ekeruke

steps to creating a digital presentation

Whether you're running a small or large business, product presentations are a big deal. You've probably invested time and resources in creating a fantastic product to solve a market need.

That's great, but presenting your product to investors, prospects and other relevant stakeholders is the final piece of the puzzle.

Weeks, months and years of research, planning, design, production and testing often lead up to this point. So, you've got to create a persuasive product presentation that drives sales for your product.

Here's a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit product presentation templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more below:

steps to creating a digital presentation

If you're overwhelmed with the whole idea of creating product presentations and wondering how to get started, you're in the right place.

This article will teach you how to create powerful product presentations. We'll also share tips for delivering a product presentation that wows your audience.

Let's get started.

Table of Contents

What is a product presentation and why is it important, why create product presentations, product presentation vs. sales presentation, what you need in a product presentation, how to create a powerful product presentation in 10 steps, tips for nailing your product presentation.

Product presentation is the process of introducing a new or rebranded product to your audience. During product presentations, you'll dig deep into how your product works, how it will address customer pain points and the specific benefits it will bring to them.

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steps to creating a digital presentation

It often involves using visual aids like videos, images and slideshows to describe product features, benefits, market fit and other relevant details.

Presentations could take place at different stages of the product development process. But when introducing the product to potential buyers, the stakes are never higher. Therefore it's crucial to make your product presentation effective, impactful and memorable like the one below.

steps to creating a digital presentation

In many organizations, product presentations happen at different levels. For example, top management and executives could unveil a new line of products to the board of directors, investors and potential partners.

Product managers may present a beta or gamma version of a new product to the entire team. In addition, the sales team would have to make product presentations during sales visits to prospects.

Let's face it. There are tons of competing products in the market like yours. Your competitors could be offering similar products or substitutes.

This means that creating useful products may not be enough to set your brand apart or bring in sales. You need product presentations that produce eureka moments for your audience.

Getting it right with your presentations will not only win over your audience, but it'll drive product sales over the top.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of creating product presentations.

Here are other reasons why you need to create and deliver powerful product presentations.

Create a Memorable First Impression

Nowadays, people are faced with an explosion of product choices. This and many more factors have also contributed to their shrinking attention span.

By any chance, your product presentation could be the first interaction an investor, prospect or customer has with your brand. So, you have to make it count.

Your product presentation is an excellent opportunity for you to introduce your product and expand their knowledge about your brand. And nailing it will leave a positive and memorable first impression on your audience.

Best of all, it will nudge them to the consideration and conversion stage of your marketing funnel .

Tell a memorable and impressive product story with the captivating product presentation template below.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Build Trust and Long-Lasting Client Relationships

Customers will buy and recommend brands that provide incredible product and service experiences.

But how do you communicate value and product offerings to your prospects? How do you tilt customer purchase decisions in your favor?

The golden secret is a product presentation that makes you stand out. How you present your product can influence customers' perceptions of your brand.

During product presentations, you have a chance to showcase product features and promise of value to clients. And when done right, it can ignite a solid business relationship between you and potential customers.

Over time, these customers will trust your product and become loyal to your brand.

Here's what you should know. As a business owner, brand loyalty , customer trust and credibility are your greatest assets. A captivating product presentation will inspire client trust in your product and business.

Stand Out from the Competition

The business world is marked by fierce competition among companies that provide similar products and services.

You probably have a lot of competitors and you're wondering how to distinguish yourself. Start by delivering a flawless product presentation.

As previously stated, your sales presentation should be able to leave an indelible impression on prospects and investors. It would captivate their attention so completely that, regardless of the stiff competition, they would always opt for your brand.

One way to leave a lasting impression is to make your product presentation interactive. An interactive presentation whether presented or read builds a bridge between you and the potential investor or reader. Instead of simply throwing information at them an interactive presentation allows you to layout your storytelling and product information in a way that's engaging and enticing.

For example you might want to add video clips, popups with extra information for additional reading, or add a flip book effect. For more check out 20 Ways to Create an Interactive Presentation That Stands Out. 

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steps to creating a digital presentation

Boost Sales and Revenue

Having an excellent presentation is the key that unlocks sales for your product.

After your presentation, you certainly want customers to pull out their checks or proceed to the next steps. If you can nail your product presentations, you will win over your audience, gain new customers and increase sales.

On the contrary, mediocre product presentations could hurt your brand. You might even have a top product that has the potential to be a major game-changer. But poor delivery would not only portray you as lacking confidence in your product but could be a turn-off for prospects.

Want to convince your prospects to invest in your business or purchase your products? If the answer is yes, we recommend using a robust product presentation tool like Visme.

Check out the template below to see how Visme can make your product presentation pop.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Product presentations aren't so different from sales pitches. Both presentations focus on providing value or solutions to customers. However, product presentations are primarily focused on products or services.

With product presentations, you'll dive deeper into details like:

  • How your product works
  • How it will solve your customer's needs or pain points
  • The specific benefits your product will bring to your customers

For instance, sales presentations can have a broad focus on your business as a whole rather than a particular product.

Let's say you run an accounting firm that offers a wide range of products and services. Your sales presentations could focus on pitching solutions like:

  • Accounting audit
  • Tax accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Forensic accounting

On the flip side, you'll need a product presentation to sell inventory management or accounting software to your clients.

Keep in mind that both presentations are essential for your sales process. The goal is to get your prospects' attention, drum up excitement and move them towards making a purchase decision.

Although product presentations cut across different industries, there's no universally accepted format. However, this infographic template below highlights the key elements of winning a product presentation.


Company overview, the problem, product and solution.

  • Promise of Value or Benefits

Product Positioning

Use cases and social proof.

  • Call-to-Action

Together, these key details juice up your product presentation and make it a delight for your audience.

Read on to learn more about the key components of a captivating product presentation.

The introductory part is where you hook your audience in and get them excited about your presentation. It should provide an overview of what you will cover during your presentation.

In this section, you can sum up the purpose of your presentation, why it's relevant to your audience and key takeaways.

Before you get into the product details, start with a general overview of your company. It doesn't matter if your audience is familiar with your business or not. You want to include key details such as:

  • Company name
  • Vision, mission and goals
  • When your business was created
  • The products and services you offer
  • How your business and products have evolved
  • Relevant team members

Here's an intro slide from our startup pitch deck theme you can customize:

steps to creating a digital presentation

The problem or customer needs should receive more attention than others. This is what your prospects care about most and that's why they are sitting at the other end of the table. So we recommend that you include this section earlier in the presentation.

To attract audience attention, show them you have an in-depth understanding of pain points. Remember to explain how the problem affects your audience and the consequences of not resolving it.

Take note of how the presentation template below emphasizes the problem the product is designed to solve.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Start by showing your audience how they'll feel or what they could enjoy if they solve that problem. Here, you want to paint a mental picture of a perfect world without those pain points.

While writing this section, be sure to highlight these things:

  • Introduce your product or service, passing any type of quality assurance services .
  • Briefly explain how it addresses the problem and makes their dream of a perfect world a reality.
  • Highlight how your product is made. Is it handcrafted, mass-produced, custom-made or batch produced?
  • Include product details like features, functionalities, specifications, durability, quality and more.

Highlight your product features and process using the beautiful Visme template below.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Promise of Value

No product presentation is complete without a value proposition. This is where you make a case for your product. Articulating your promise of value will help create an "aha moment" for your prospects.

This section should provide more insight into the value your product Is offering. Here you should:

  • Mention what your audience will get out of the product (product or service experience)
  • Highlight what makes your product unique from other competing products (unique selling proposition)
  • Explain why your prospect should opt for your product (competitive edge)

It's a good idea to center your product pitch around the key benefits your prospects will enjoy. So you want to highlight as many product benefits as possible. It could be productivity, convenience, health and wellness, peace of mind and much more.

Draw attention to your competitive edge and pitch your promise of value to prospective client and customers using the stunning template below.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Product positioning refers to how you want your market to think or feel about your product. It's a description of who you are as a brand, the products and services you offer, your target market and what makes your product unique.

Here you should talk about:

  • Your brand image and values
  • The positioning of competing products in your target market
  • How your product features and benefits stack up to the competition

The infographic template below highlights the benefit of brand positioning.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Brand positioning helps to set you apart from your competitors. Think of it as what customers can remember about your brand when they think of similar products.

For example, the Pepsi brand is distinct from the Coca-Cola brand. Even though they are both cola drinks, they have different tastes, looks, connotations and legacies.

To influence customers' perceptions of your brand, you could create a brand positioning statement. For example, a recent marketing campaign by Salesforce highlights their brand positioning statement:

We bring companies and customers together. We make technology that supercharges every part of your company that connects with customers, delivering a 360-degree customer view across sales, marketing, service, e-commerce, mobile apps, connected products and more. CRM also powers integration with all the other parts of your business already humming along, including supply chains and finance, its back office, front office, and offices yet to come.

You could use the Visme template below to communicate your brand guidelines and product positioning.

steps to creating a digital presentation

This section should provide a visual picture of the customer using your product to address their problems. Here are some ways you can visualize or share them in your presentation.

  • Create a scenario of how customers can use your product to solve their problem.
  • Share customer reviews, testimonials, user ratings, celebrity endorsements, expert reviews and more.
  • Share case studies and real results of how your product has helped similar businesses.
  • Provide a snapshot of your product performance in terms of downloads, engagements, purchases and much more.
  • Mention any product and compliance certifications, documentation, quality badges and awards you've received.
  • Use anecdotes to showcase how existing customers love your solution.

Use this product testimonial slide template to showcase your own customer reviews.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Call-to-Action (CTA)

Now it's time to tell your viewers what you expect from them. Your call to action will depend on your audience.

It will also depend on the goal of your product presentations, which we'll discuss in the next section.

During in-house product presentations, you might want to ask for feedback from different departments. At a trade show, you might ask to meet prospective customers to meet you at the booth to make purchases.

During B2B presentations, you might request time for questions and more. Ultimately the goal is to get customers to purchase your product.

Most businesses have confidence in their ability to make excellent products. However, they struggle to commercialize or bring in revenues from those products.

Why's that? The attention spans of people in this tech-driven society are shrinking. And the reality is that people no longer have enough time to sit through mediocre product presentations.

Want to drive sales or get a positive return on investment for your product? Then you've got to make your product presentations compelling.

Let's show you how to create compelling product presentations that capture the important elements we've highlighted above.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Whether you're presenting a new, rebranded or upgraded product, the first thing you need to do is to define your goals and objectives.

Let's say you've launched a new line of products into the market. Firstly, you'll have to spell out what you're looking to achieve with your product presentation?

  • Do you want to get investors' buy-in to expand production capacity?
  • Do you want to secure more funding from management to produce more units?
  • Are you looking to secure partnerships with distributors, retailers or franchisees? Or you want to introduce the new product to your prospects or client.

Secondly, reiterate why it's important for you and your team to achieve these goals? For example, as you'd expect, securing partnerships with distributors could help:

  • Expand your product reach
  • Boost product sales and revenue
  • Increase market share and more

Next, you want to highlight how you intend to communicate with your audience. Also, be clear about what you want your audience to do after watching your presentation.

Do you want your prospects to call you or buy one year's supply of your product? What about in-house presentations? Do you want the sales and marketing team to develop a strategy to introduce the product into a new market? Your presentations should answer these questions in a convincing way.

It makes sense, right? Lastly, remember to make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART).

The success of your presentation is measured by whether your audience understands and acts on your message. Therefore consider your goals in every slide and include a clear call to action.

Not sure how to set SMART goals for your product? Go ahead and use the worksheet below to jumpstart your creativity.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Step 2: Figure Out What Your Audience Needs

If you want to pique your audience's interest in your product, you'll have to figure out what matters most to them and serve it to them. This is what sets successful brands apart.

Don't make the mistake of assuming you know what your target audience wants, which is a trap many businesses fall into. Rather go ahead do these things:

  • Perform in-depth research into your audience
  • Develop buyer personas
  • Delve into customer data to monitor patterns or trends
  • Keep an eye on social media, public forums and industry publications

We get it. You've probably gone through this process during product development. Now you're wondering why it matters during the presentation?

Here's what you should know. Getting access to information is much easier than ever. As a result, potential buyers extensively research products and scan competitors' offerings before making purchases.

So your presentation is an opportunity to demonstrate that you not only understand their pain points, but your products can make their life or business better.

Step 3: Create an Outline

The next step is to outline the main points you want to hit during your presentation.

During presentations, there are usually a lot of key points to cover. Creating an outline helps you ensure things don't fall through the cracks.

First, decide the topics you want to cover and the sequence to present them. Then dedicate a slide to show the outline to your audience. This will give them an idea of what to expect and make your delivery insightful.

The outline we've shared above is an excellent place to start. You can use the template below to organize your ideas in a sequential manner and logical flow.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Step 4: Pick Out the Right Tool and Template

Presenting your product or services is an art. You need a rich blend of visually appealing slides and powerful delivery to make it effective.

Achieving this may require long hours of planning, strategy, design and organization. You'd have to craft an outline, prepare your slide notes, source royalty-free visuals and use them to design your slides.

Pretty tedious, right. Templates and tools come in handy, making your work easier and faster.

Templates reduce the time it takes to make eye-catching and engaging product presentation slides. In addition, they provide direction on how to keep your content organized and impactful.

Most tools are fairly limited in terms of features and how much you can customize them. However, Visme is an exception to this.

Visme's product presentation templates make it super-easy for anyone to create eye-catching product presentations. The tool has a rich library of templates, tools and visual aids to help you present your product to the world with style and poise.

These ready-made templates are not only customizable, but they cut across any product or niche you can think of. All you have to do is input your content and your product presentation is ready to go.

Using templates like the one below is a great starting point.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Step 5: Make Your Content Relevant and Compelling

Creating relevant and convincing content is the key to nailing your product presentation.

The other ideas we've shared will make your content more effective. But an excellent presentation begins and ends with great content. It has the potential to capture the hearts and minds of viewers and connect them with your solution.

Don't just assume you can wing it by putting less effort into developing compelling content. You'll need to spend a lot of time researching, brainstorming and writing out the key points relevant to your audiences.

For example, some customers may care more about product quality than price. On the other hand, convenience and ease of use could be a primary concern for other prospects.

While your presentation should be brief, the value proposition should be at the heart of your sales pitch. You want to focus on how the product will benefit the customer rather than the aesthetics.

Here's an Airbnb-inspired slide template that focuses on product benefits:

steps to creating a digital presentation

Start by describing the world your customers will enjoy after purchase. And be sure to quickly convey what makes your product different.

For instance, the process of buying and installing new equipment can sometimes be tricky and demanding. But it helps companies bring down costs, increase productivity and revenue.

Your content should communicate the problem and what the prospect will enjoy after buying your product. Offering additional perks like pre-purchase and after-sales support can further convince customers to buy.

Step 6: Bring Your Presentation to Life With Attractive Designs

Think about the last time you sat through a dull presentation.

  • What were the slide designs like?
  • Was the color scheme dull or monotonous?
  • Were the visual aids clumsy and difficult to understand?
  • Were there too many ideas crammed on each slide?

You probably zoned away during the presentation. Like you, other people feel the same way about terrible slide decks.

The demand for creative and engaging visual content is at an all-time high. Therefore if you're going to attract audience attention, you need stunning product presentation designs like the one below.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Regardless of how amazing the quality of your content may be, a poor slide design can be frustrating to watch.

Not only will it hurt your product presentation, but it could undermine your credibility. So, you want to ensure your slide design is not only professional but has a clean and organized layout.

Here's how to get savvy with your slide design.

  • Use legible fonts and stick with a minimum of three fonts throughout your slide deck.
  • Avoid using too many colors in your presentation.
  • Be sure there's a strong contrast between your text color and background color.
  • Tailor your typography, color scheme and visual language to your brand identity .
  • Format your text, images and design element to achieve perfection.

Visme templates incorporate eye-catching images, excellent data visualizations and powerful typography to make your slide decks attractive .

Go ahead and watch the video below to learn design tips for creating awesome presentations.

steps to creating a digital presentation

Step 7: Use High-quality Graphics and Visual Aids

Incorporating quality visual aids into your product presentation is a must.

Why does it matter? The thing is, you've put in a lot of time and effort into preparing for your big day. So you certainly don't want your prospects to leave the room recalling only a tiny fraction of what you said.

According to a study, 65% of people are visual learners. So adding stunning visuals in your presentations ensures the odds are stacked in your favor.

No matter the type of audience you're looking to reach. Impactful visuals help you communicate your message and ideas more effectively. Best of all, they grab and retain audience attention, build solid emotional connections and keep your presentation on track.

Avoid using pixelated or cheesy images. Even more, stay away from generic stock art, copyrighted or watermarked visuals available. Rather source top-quality photos that enhance your presentation.

A collage of stock photos.

Just like it's important to stick to one main idea per slide, use one or two images per slide. But, again, the key is to use images that convey your message in the most compelling way possible.

Whether you're visualizing financial data or showcasing product features, Visme offers a wide range of visual aids to make your product presentations shine, including:

  • Premium and royalty-free images
  • Short videos and animations
  • Charts and graphs
  • Scatter plots

… and much more.

You don't need to entirely create visual product presentations from scratch. Instead, give yourself a head start by using a modern presentation theme like this one.

A modern presentation theme available in Visme.

Step 8: Determine Follow-Up Questions and Provide Answers

At the end of your product presentation, prospects or investors are likely to have a handful of questions about your product.

Typically prospective customers ask questions to know if the product is a right fit for their organization. These questions could be along the lines of:

  • Scalability
  • Quality assurance
  • Ease of use
  • After-sales support and more

For example, let's say you've built a digital product like customer relationship management (CRM) software. Prospects could ask questions such as:

  • Is your software scalable?
  • Will it support our company's growth and future expansion plans?
  • How will the tool help us manage our day-to-day process?
  • How will the product help our business grow sales, gain a competitive advantage or increase market share?

Most clients could even ask for a live demo or a trial of your software.

Preparing for potential questions will help you avoid getting caught off-guard. It also shows you clearly understand your prospect's needs.

Answering these questions will wow your audience, boost their confidence in your product and help you close the deal.

Step 9: Run It by Your Team and Incorporate Feedback

You've spent time designing your slide and putting your ideas together. Great job. Now your presentation needs a few rounds of edits to make it shine.

Here's how to polish your presentation to make it pop.

  • Keep editing aggressively until your presentation is clear and free of fluff. The goal is to improve language accuracy, flow and overall legibility.
  • Be sure to weed out anything that doesn't relate to the core message.
  • Run it by your mentor and team members, get their feedback and incorporate it into your product presentation.

Getting a fresh pair of eyes to look at your presentation can help you refine it, even if you're a good editor.

Here's the deal. When editing your presentation, your brain could instinctively fill in the gaps with what you wanted to say. But other editors could readily flag errors or point out areas where you aren't expressing your ideas clearly.

Peer editing may seem daunting. But Visme makes it super-easy for you to collaborate with your team. You can share your presentation online with peers. Also, you can download it in HTML5 (with animations) or PDF format and share it via email or other file-sharing platforms.

If you don't have anyone within reach, automated writing assistants like Grammarly and ProWritingAid could come in handy.

Create a stunning presentation in less time

  • Hundreds of premade slides available
  • Add animation and interactivity to your slides
  • Choose from various presentation options

steps to creating a digital presentation

Step 10: Practice Your Presentation

If you want to deliver captivating business presentations , rehearse till you become perfect.

Why does it matter anyway? After all, you've gone through the entire product development process and have a good grasp of the product.

Notable speakers like Steve Jobs and Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor practiced their speeches many times before delivering speeches before getting on stage. And guess what! They nailed it every single time.

Steve Job's rehearsal routine and his ability to communicate their ideas persuasively drove massive sales for Apple products. It has also played a vital role in the success of the Apple brand.

Rehearsals grow your confidence and make you familiar with the key points. As you rehearse, you have a great opportunity to:

  • Weed out the irrelevant points or jargon in your presentations
  • Try something new (like a strong opening or pause to play a clip)
  • Streamline your presentations for the allotted time

Practice your product presentations between five to ten times before the big day. You can do it alone (facing the mirror) on the first day.

Then you can practice before a small group of friends, family, colleagues. This will enable you to see reactions and get natural human feedback.

While you're at it, make sure to time yourself, record your practice sessions and take notes.

Feel free to enunciate tricky words and pause when you notice mistakes. Be sure to analyze, reanalyze and refine your presentation structure as you proceed.

Go ahead and review the recorded clips and feedback from your practice audience. Once done, you can then incorporate the feedback into your remaining practice sessions.

Remember, you shouldn't read your slide or deliver the presentation just the way you memorize it. The goal of rehearsals is to build enough confidence to:

  • Avoid sounding rigid or too rehearsed
  • Present your product or services without appearing unprepared
  • Take questions and comments from your audience without getting lost or overwhelmed

You can learn more about memorizing your presentation and other practice techniques from the video below.

steps to creating a digital presentation

With the tips we've shared, the stage is set for a flawless product presentation.

But you need much more than perfect content and slide design to nail your product presentation .

What's more? You need to convey your message in a compelling and convincing manner. If your delivery is on point, you are on the right path to profitable sales.

Read on to learn how to deliver product presentations that drive action.

steps to creating a digital presentation

1. Start With a Bang

The beginning of your product presentation is super important. How you begin will determine how the rest of the presentation will go. If you start strong, the chances are that you'll end on a high.

Right off the bat, you need to grab your audience's attention, establish credibility and get them in the mood to listen to you.

Don't waste those precious opening minutes rambling on pointless details. Else they'll switch off and you may struggle to get back their attention.

There are many excellent ways to start your presentations off on the right foot.

  • You can tell a captivating story about the circumstance that led you to make the product. If you're rebranding your product, you can talk about how the product has evolved.
  • Quote shocking headlines, figures or statistics related to the purpose of your presentation. For example, you could cite statistics from a study or industry report highlighting the need for your product or solution.
  • Ask a thought-provoking question that sparks curiosity and articulates the problem. For example, "do you spend too much time tracking inventory, leads or sales?" Or do you struggle to increase conversions for your business?
  • Kick-off with a compelling image or video showing customer testimonials, reviews, live videos of customers using your product and much more.

Read on to learn more about starting your presentation on a perfect note.

Give your audience a sneak peek of what to expect from your presentation using the intuitive template below.

steps to creating a digital presentation

2. Tell a Story

Beyond the opening part, it's crucial to tell stories throughout your presentation. It is an excellent way to keep your audience engaged from start to finish.

Storytelling helps your audience connect and remember the main points of your presentation.

For example, you could tell a story about the existing problems in your niche before your product came on the scene.

Another angle could be how your product will change the trajectory of the industry. Using compelling statistics and figures in your storyline can help you build a strong case.

Be sure to use your product pitch as an avenue to convince prospective customers about the superiority of the product or services you're offering.

If you are selling a rebranded or repackaged product, this is your chance to dispel any doubts or false beliefs about your product. Reassure them of the benefits they will enjoy if they buy your product.

Use the template below to share compelling stories that drive interest in your product.

steps to creating a digital presentation

3. Prioritize Your Audience Needs

Your presentation should be designed to meet the needs of your audience. In other words, what benefits will your audience gain from your presentation?

When planning your presentation, make sure it is relevant to your target audience and piques their interest. Find out what your audience needs to know rather than focus on what you feel like telling them.

Customize your slide to address the subjects that are most important to your clients. Then, make your delivery simple enough for your audience to understand and respond.

During your presentation, you should also pay attention to the body language and reactions of your audience. Interpreting their moods and emotions can keep you track and help you achieve your presentation goals.

4. Keep It Short, Simple and Sweet

A product presentation isn't an academic presentation or keynote address. So you're not going to have all the time in the world. And, most of all, no one wants to sit for hours listening to a long presentation.

According to studies, attention levels during presentations dip substantially after 30 minutes.

While delivering your presentation, always remember that you won't have your prospect's time and patience for so long.

So you want to ask: What is the core message for my audience to take away? What's the least amount of time I need to convey the key points concisely?

Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule says that the ideal presentation should have no more than ten slides, last 20 minutes with a font size of at least 30 points.

business presentation - infographic 10 20 30 rule guy kawasaki

Whichever rule you choose, make sure to keep your core message focused and brief. And if what you are planning to say doesn't add value to that core message, leave it out.

5. Maintain the Right Body Language

Body language or non-verbal cues play a critical role in your presentation. It can make all the difference between a successful presentation and a disastrous one.

Here's why. People pay 90% more attention to the tone of voice and body language than the actual words.

This means people don't just pay attention to what you're saying. They notice other non-verbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, postures and body movements. Having the correct body language can help you win over your audience and keep them hooked to your presentation,

Here are a few positive body language tips to help you connect with your audience.

  • Wear a genuine smile
  • Make every effort to stay relaxed
  • Assume a power pose during your presentation
  • Demonstrate your individuality, passion and interest in the subject
  • Maintain eye contact with individual members of the audience
  • Speak clearly and make your voice a little louder than you believe it should be
  • Make use of the space and Interact with your audience as you move around the stage
  • Don't speak too fast, but also don't speak too slowly
  • Use occasional arm movements
  • Don't slouch or lean over the podium
  • Remember to breathe and take occasional pauses in-between speeches

Lastly, be confident in your ability. People won't trust anything you have to say if you don't sound authentic.

You've put in so much work to develop a great product. Don't lose your enthusiasm when you stand before your audience.

Do your best to speak about it from the heart. Doing this will leave a positive impression on your audience and inspire trust in your product.

6. Invite Questions From Your Audience

After your presentation, thank your audience for listening. You can further improve engagement by inviting your audience to ask questions.

Listen to the questions carefully and provide clear-cut answers. If you don't understand the question, feel free to ask for more clarification. Be honest with your audience and don't make promises you can't deliver.

7. Leave a Lasting Impression

Ending your presentation poorly can sabotage all the efforts you've put in so far. Hence the need to conclude your presentation on a high.

Your conclusion should summarize the major points of the presentation. It should also leave a memorable impression in the minds of your audience and encourage them to take action.

There are many viable ways to create a memorable conclusion.

  • You could reiterate the important points, such as your product benefits and unique value proposition.
  • This could be an excellent opportunity to share compelling reviews and testimonials about your product. If your product has earned awards, recognitions and notable features, be sure to showcase it.
  • Close with a story that refers back to the opening message.
  • End with an interesting question you asked at the beginning of your presentation.
  • Highlight compelling figures and case studies about your product.

For example, you could mention that your software has helped company A increase productivity and sales by 55%.

On a more practical note, imagine you offer on-demand delivery services. You could mention that your product has helped improve access to delivery services and cut down delivery expenses for more than 200,000 customers. Then go ahead and highlight how your prospects can enjoy these benefits too.

Make sure to add a clear and compelling call to action. Let them know what you expect from them and the next steps. For example, you could ask prospects to purchase a premium version of the software or buy a year's supply of your product.

Read this article to learn powerful and stylish ways to end your presentation .

Make Your Product Presentation Shine with Visme

There's no denying that crafting incredible product presentations can up your chances of closing more deals and driving sales for your product. In addition, it offers you a fantastic opportunity to pitch your product benefits and what sets you apart from competitors.

Now, you have some valuable tips to make your next product presentation successful. Make it a powerful and memorable one with these top-notch product presentation templates from Visme.

Looking to present your product to prospective clients and skyrocket sales? Visme has got your back. Our presentation software offers everything you need to create stunning slide decks.

Create beautiful presentations faster with Visme.

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About the Author

Unenabasi is a content expert with many years of experience in digital marketing, business development, and strategy. He loves to help brands tell stories that drive engagement, growth, and competitive advantage. He’s adept at creating compelling content on lifestyle, marketing, business, e-commerce, and technology. When he’s not taking the content world by storm, Unenabasi enjoys playing or watching soccer.

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  • Digital transformation

steps to creating a digital presentation

How to lead a digital transformation: 10 key steps

Digital transformation success requires cross-organizational alignment, actionable goals and top-notch project management. here's how leaders can create that..

Tom Nolle

  • Tom Nolle, Andover Intel

A digital transformation might be critical to gaining a competitive edge, but that doesn't mean that leading one is easy.

Reimagining the way the business can operate, and implementing digital technology to gain insight, capture new markets or operate more efficiently is no easy task. Business and IT leaders -- and the cross-functional project team -- must understand which steps they must execute to create success.

Here are 10 steps that every digital transformation leader should know.

1. Set your sights on true transformation

Be sure to define and preserve the transformational opportunity. A root cause of a digital transformation failure is "un-creep" -- the tendency to back away from transformation targets to minimize effort and risk.

Setting goals that are too small reduces the potential benefits more than it reduces the risks. Failing to capitalize on the transformation opportunity threatens the very justification of the project. Even if the project is successful, the total project benefit may then not meet company goals for ROI.

2. Connect with senior leadership

Digital transformation leaders can start the project by reviewing with senior line management what opportunities for transformation exist in line operations and business departments. Together, these leaders can work together to identify the nature and breadth of the optimum project. They can also uncover what would make the business more productive. Other issues to discuss might be how the company can be more responsive to threats and opportunities, and what specific business processes the changes might affect.

If line management or IT management believes that the optimum set of productivity improvements would be too costly or disruptive to achieve in a single project, then they can scale those back.

10 benefits of a digital transformation

3. Define actionable goals

Specificity is key to success. The targeted productivity improvements should define the actionable goals , priorities to assign and the most important departments to engage with. The project's technical activities will target each of these areas, and addressing all these activities determines project success. Department leaders will decide whether technical activities meet goals, so leaders should engage with these people throughout the project.

4. Define IT's goals

Be sure to establish a technology model that validates the business case. Digital transformation is a sweeping set of changes that redefines many of a company's business processes and the relationship between those business processes and IT.

Line managers must define the targeted processes so that IT can understand what technology changes will uphold those processes. Because digital transformation is literally transforming business processes, it's important to define IT goals by referencing the business processes you're targeting. Line managers and IT planners can cooperate to identify the target processes and the way technology changes will improve them. These changes then establish the technology model for the project.

The technology model is the set of requirements for the IT portion of the project and the goals that IT will have to meet to support the digital transformation. This phase also defines the areas of IT where business process management changes will be required for line operations.

5. Schedule inclusive stakeholder check-ins

Digital transformation leaders should frame the project plan to integrate line personnel into every phase , particularly specifications and testing. The project's specifications should be as granular as possible, with defined actions and clear boundaries. This step lets line departments see clear progress and offers a way of making regular progress meetings relevant to and inclusive of all the stakeholders.

Each step in the project plan should identify the transformation benefits through the already defined technology requirements and specifications. Tracking alignment with the project's requirements is the only way to ensure the transformation supports its business case. After reaching a critical step in benefit validation at any point in the plan, schedule a meeting of all IT and line department stakeholders to get full buy-in.

6. Create simplified documentation

Each step in the project plan must start with a requirement reference and then move to specify the implementation. This process starts with a plain-language description of the activity, followed by the dependencies, such as the technology required for implementation and the results from previous steps.

If a modeling language like UML defines application logic or integration with human processes, be sure that there is still a plain-language description provided for use by line departments. Refrain from explaining complicated topics, such as software architecture and modeling or programming languages to non-IT personnel.

When the project plan's specifications are complete, schedule a meeting with all the stakeholders, and review the plan and specifications in detail . This is particularly important for the relationship between the IT and line processes, and the tech project lead should be sure to get sign-off from the line managers whose processes are being transformed, the target processes from the earlier step. For this part of the project, assign a technical leader to each step and for steps involving line procedures, include a designated line department representative.

Getting buy-in at this point is critical to avoid future issues and delays. Resistance to a digital transformation can be harder to deal with if there are surprises.

7. Document testing steps

Testing requires special attention, especially any form of integration or load testing. Technical documentation, which starts with the specifications created in the early project activity, must be developed during testing.

For example, there might be a point in the process where there's user input/output associated with the testing. In that case, it's critical to involve the designated line representatives after validating basic workflow logic. Try to limit project discussions to these designated representatives. End users might need additional assistance with visualizing technology steps from descriptions. Live interaction during testing can help identify areas of unmet end-user expectations.

Project leaders can then take steps to either redefine expectations or change the input/outputs. Avoid changes that impact the way the current step affects future steps. Pushing too many changes downstream can lead to change fatigue and increase the risk of errors. Be sure to revise and review specifications to reflect changes made here. During testing of software components, establish and validate both the program logic and the operations practices and tools, such as configuration, orchestration and GITops or DevOps.

8. Address issues early

As problematic as having changes pushed downstream, having them pushed upstream is worse. Not only does this increase the cascading change risk, but the need to go back to an already completed task creates change fatigue and demoralizes both IT and line personnel. Approve changes that require rebuilding the outputs of prior steps only when necessary or where dependencies on the affected components or processes are minimal.

9. Validate goals

When the project plan identifies a point where the accumulated functionality largely delivered a business benefit, ensure that the designated line representative validates the goal and reports this accomplishment to the line department and the IT team.

It's also important to account for the IT and human investments. For example, suppose the transformation involves purchasing equipment and requiring work hours from people. In this case, documenting these resources helps to determine and validate the ROI . The importance of the cost and benefit validation will grow in later testing phases, so expect to spend more time on it then.

10. Plan for employee testing

Once testing has progressed to entire subassemblies, or the whole of IT logic, the designated line representatives can start involving the actual workers in the testing phase. This step is critical to get a broader validation of the overall process flow and allows end users to gain experience.

These final tests can phase gradually into live operation, allowing workers to build confidence before production. These final tests also form the basis for the final buy-in review, which should focus on process improvements to make future digital transformation projects even more successful.

Tom Nolle is founder and principal analyst at Andover Intel, a consulting and analysis firm that looks at evolving technologies and applications first from the perspective of the buyer and the buyer's needs. By background, Nolle is a programmer, software architect, and manager of software and network products, and he has provided consulting services and technology analysis for decades.

Related Resources

  • How do we build trust in the digital world Video –Okta
  • Enable Deep Visibility for Applications, Users, and Devices With FortiGate ... –Fortinet, Inc.
  • ITSM Problem Management: What Are Your Pain Points? –ServiceNow
  • Time to rekindle the Digital Transformation drive –TechTarget ComputerWeekly.com

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Jobscan > Resume Formats

Resume Formats That Help Get You Job Interviews

Find out how to choose the best resume format to showcase your skills, experience, and achievements.

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A good resume format organizes your skills, experience, and achievements. It tells hiring managers what they need to know.

Having a good resume format is important for another reason. It helps applicant tracking systems (ATS) read and understand your resume.

ATS is a computer software that most companies use today to help them hire employees. One of the main jobs of ATS is to screen the hundreds of resumes that come in for every job opening.

If your resume isn’t formatted the right way, the ATS will have trouble reading it. This makes it far less likely that a hiring manager will see your resume.

Don’t worry! Choosing a resume format isn’t as hard as it sounds. This article will guide you through the process.

By the end of it, you’ll know which resume format is best for your situation.

The 3 basic resume formats

There are three basic resume formats to choose from. They are:

  • Chronological – Lists your work history in order, starting with your most recent job first.
  • Functional – Focuses on your skills and accomplishments instead of your work history.
  • Hybrid – Places your skills and accomplishments at the top, before your work history.

It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each format. This allows you to choose the one that best suits your specific situation and career goals.

After choosing a format, consider using a resume template to help create your resume. A template is a pre-designed layout that provides a structured framework for presenting your skills and experience. All you have to do is fill in your information.

Jobscan has a variety of free resume templates you can use. Our templates come in all three resume formats and each one is ATS-friendly.




The chronological resume format

Also known as the “reverse chronological” resume, this is the most common type of format. You’re most likely already familiar with it.

As the name suggests, this format lists your most recent job first. Then your second-most recent job, your third-most recent job, etc…

Why do hiring managers like the chronological resume?

Hiring managers often prefer the chronological resume format for several reasons:

  • It’s easy to follow – Recruiters can scan through your resume. It’s easy for them to find the companies you’ve worked for and the positions you’ve held.
  • It’s the most traditional – Hiring managers are very familiar with this format. It won’t confuse them.
  • It shows your career growth – Your work history makes it easy for recruiters to see how your career is going.


Who should use the chronological resume format?

Because this resume format focuses on work experience, it’s often used by job seekers who:

Have a strong work history

This format is ideal for job seekers who have lots of relevant work experience. It allows recruiters to see your career trajectory at a glance. They can get a good sense of the breadth and depth of your expertise.

Work in traditional industries

Many traditional industries prefer the chronological format. These industries include finance, engineering, healthcare, and legal professions. These sectors generally place a strong emphasis on a candidate’s work history.

Have a stable career path

The chronological resume is good at showing steady career growth within an industry. Hiring managers like to see this because it shows commitment.

How to set up a chronological resume

The reverse chronological resume contains the following sections, from top to bottom:

  • Contact Information : Begin your resume with your name, phone number, and email address. You can also include a professional website or LinkedIn profile (if applicable).
  • Resume Summary : This is a short statement about your goals, qualifications, and experience. It should provide a snapshot of your professional profile.
  • Work Experience : This is the heart of the chronological resume. List your jobs in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. Include the company name, job title, and dates of employment. Add a brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments for each role.
  • Education : This section should also be in reverse chronological order. List degrees earned, school names, and graduation dates. You may also want to list academic honors or certifications relevant to your field.
  • Skills : This section allows you to highlight relevant skills. Include both hard and soft skills.
  • Additional Sections : Depending on your background, you may choose to include more sections. These could include volunteer work, hobbies, publications, or foreign languages.

You don’t have to create your resume from scratch. You can use a resume template. This is a pre-designed layout that includes all the sections listed above. All you have to do is fill in your information.

Jobscan has free resume templates . Each one is ATS-friendly and can be easily customized to suit your needs.

Pros and cons of the chronological resume format

  • Draws attention to employment gaps – Shows if you’ve had periods of unemployment or job breaks.
  • Not ideal for career changers – Does not highlight your transferable skills. These are important if you are making a significant career change.
  • Less focus on skills – Does not immediately highlight your specific skills. These are listed later in a separate skills section.
  • Emphasizes career progression – Highlights promotions, increased responsibilities, and relevant experience.
  • Preferred by recruiters – This makes it easy for them to assess your work history.
  • Shows career stability – A stable career shows commitment to a job or industry.
  • ATS-friendly – Applicant tracking systems are familiar with this format. They should have no problem reading and understanding your information.

Functional resume format

This is also known as the skills-based resume format. It’s quite different from the chronological resume format.

The chronological format focuses on your work history. The functional format focuses on your skills and achievements. It minimizes your work experience.

This has several advantages:

  • Focusing on your skills helps recruiters see if you can do the job.
  • This format downplays negatives like employment gaps, career changes, and limited work experience. Instead, it focuses on positives, such as your transferable skills.
  • This format also focuses on achievements that are relevant to the job you’re applying to. This makes it easier for recruiters to assess your capabilities.

Why do hiring managers like the functional format?

Actually, hiring managers don’t like the functional resume format!

This is because the lack of work experience makes it hard for them to understand your career. The functional format can also hide periods of unemployment. Hiring managers prefer transparency.

Another big reason why you shouldn’t use the functional resume format is that it’s not ATS-friendly.

ATS scan resumes for specific keywords, job titles, and dates. They use this information to assess an applicant’s qualifications for a specific job.

But functional resumes don’t focus on job titles and dates. So the ATS might have trouble reading and understanding them. As a result, functional resumes may not receive high rankings from an ATS.


Who should use the functional resume format?

While we don’t recommend using a functional resume, it can help certain job seekers. Especially those who:

Have transferable skills

Are you considering a career change? The functional format might be for you. It emphasizes your transferable skills that are relevant to the desired role.

Transferable skills are abilities that you can use in any job in any field or industry. They include things like communication, problem-solving, leadership, time management, organization, and adaptability.

Have limited work experience

The functional resume is for recent graduates or people with limited work experience. This is because it highlights things like your school achievements, hobbies, and volunteering.

Have employment gaps

The functional format downplays gaps in your work history. It redirects the focus of hiring managers toward your skills.

How to set up a functional resume

When creating a functional resume, follow this structure:

  • Contact Information: This is the same regardless of which resume format you choose. Include your name, phone number, email address, and location.
  • Resume Summary: The resume summary provides a concise snapshot of your qualifications. It should touch upon your unique skills, expertise, and accomplishments. The goal is to attract the reader’s interest.
  • Skills Section : This is the heart of your functional (or skills-based) resume. This section should include a combination of hard skills (technical abilities specific to the job) and soft skills (transferable skills like communication , leadership , problem-solving , etc.).
  • Use bullet points when creating your skills section. List your most relevant skills first. Whenever possible, try to include achievements that display relevant skills.
  • Work Experience: Whatever work experience you have should come after your skills section. Don’t list detailed job descriptions. Instead, focus on the accomplishments, projects, and experiences that show your skills.
  • Education : Include information about your educational background. This includes degrees earned, institution names, and graduation dates. Also include relevant coursework, certifications , or academic achievements.

If you don’t want to build your functional resume from scratch, try Jobscan’s free resume templates . They’re easy to customize and each one is ATS-friendly.

Pros and cons of the functional resume format

  • Lack of detailed work history – Employers often want to see your work experience to see if you can do the job.
  • No career timeline – Recruiters may find it hard to grasp the chronology of your work experience. This is because the focus is on your skills.
  • Less suitable for established industries – Some industries focus more on work history.
  • Highlights skills and achievements – This shows employers that you have what it takes to do the job.
  • Good for career changers – This format focuses on your transferable skills. These give recruiters a good idea of your potential.
  • Hides employment gaps – This format can lessen concerns about gaps in your work history.

Hybrid resume format

The hybrid resume format is becoming more popular. It combines the best aspects of the chronological and functional resume formats.

That’s why it’s called a hybrid .

The hybrid resume emphasizes both skills and work history. It features a dedicated skills section at the top of the resume. Below that is a chronological work experience section.

This format is especially helpful when you have lots of work experience but also want to show off your skills and accomplishments.

Why do hiring managers like the hybrid format?

Hiring managers appreciate the hybrid resume format for several reasons:

  • It strikes a balance – Recruiters can see your skills and your work experience.
  • It focuses on key skills – Sometimes recruiters want to make sure you have the skills to do the job. This resume format tells them immediately.
  • It shows career progression – The hybrid resume provides a clear overview of your career path.


Who should use the hybrid resume format?

Anyone can use the hybrid resume format to great advantage. It’s especially suited to job seekers who:

Have a diverse skill set

You might have the perfect skills for the job. But your work experience is a little weak. This format allows you to feature your skills while downplaying your work experience.

Want to emphasize achievements

The hybrid format allows you to showcase achievements as well as skills at the top of your resume.

Are changing careers

The hybrid is good if you are transitioning to a new field. It focuses more on your transferable skills and slightly less on your work history.

How to set up a hybrid resume

When creating a hybrid resume, follow this structure:

  • Contact Information : Begin with your name, contact details, phone number, and email address. You can also include your professional website or LinkedIn profile (if applicable).
  • Resume Summary: Try to distill your entire resume into a short, easy-to-read blurb. Summaries can help career changers who need a place to explain a shift in career trajectory.
  • Skills Section : Use bullet points to list your skills and achievements. Include both hard skills and soft skills.
  • Work Experience: List your jobs in reverse chronological order. Start with your most recent or current position. Include the company name, job title, and dates of employment. Also, include a brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments for each role.
  • Education : List your education as you would on a chronological resume. Include degrees earned, school names, and graduation dates. You may also want to list academic honors or certifications relevant to your field.

If you don’t want to build your hybrid resume from scratch, try Jobscan’s free resume templates . They’re easy to customize and each one is ATS-friendly.

Pros and cons of the hybrid resume format

  • Can result in a longer resume – The hybrid format may result in a longer resume. This is due to the inclusion of both a skills section and a detailed work history. But this shouldn’t be a problem as long as your resume isn’t more than two pages.
  • Requires more thought – It can be hard to achieve the right balance between skills and work history. It requires thoughtful consideration and planning.
  • Highlights your skills – By showing your skills first, this format captures the attention of hiring managers who are looking for them.
  • Showcases your career progression – This format includes a chronological work experience section. This gives employers a good sense of your professional background and experience.
  • Adaptable – The hybrid resume is flexible and easy to customize for specific jobs.
  • ATS-friendly – ATS should have no problem reading this type of resume format.

If you’re still not sure which format to use for your resume, follow this flowchart to help you decide based on your situation.

How to format your resume so an ATS can read it

It’s important to choose the right resume format. But it’s also important to optimize your resume layout and content for an ATS.

If your resume is not optimized for an ATS, it’s less likely to make it into the hands of a hiring manager. Even if you have relevant skills and experience.

Here are some tips for creating a resume that will get past the initial screening of an ATS.

  • Use standard fonts – Stick to common fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Avoid fancy or decorative fonts. The ATS may not recognize them.
  • Keep it simple – Avoid excessive formattings, such as tables, images, or graphics, as they may confuse the ATS.
  • Use simple headings – Use headings like “Work Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills”. The ATS can read these without a problem.
  • Use plain text – Stick to basic formatting like bullet points and simple indentation. Avoid using headers or footers, text boxes, columns, or special characters.
  • Use a font size that is easy to read – The recommended font size is 11-12 pt for regular text and 14-16 pt for section titles.
  • Use the right margin – Make sure that the margins on all sides of your resume are 1 inch so that it doesn’t look too crowded.
  • Include relevant keywords – Read the job description and pick out prominent keywords. Incorporate these keywords throughout your resume. This helps the ATS recognize your qualifications. It will then rank your resume higher in the search results.
  • Use standard file formats – Save your resume as a .docx or .pdf file. These formats are widely compatible with most ATS systems.
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms – Spell out acronyms and avoid excessive abbreviations. The ATS may not recognize uncommon abbreviations.
  • Keep the file name simple – When saving your resume, use a simple file name. You could use the word “resume” for example. This makes it easier for the ATS and hiring managers to identify and organize your file.

Pro Tip : Use Jobscan’s free resume templates to start building your resume. All our templates are ATS-friendly and easy to customize.

5 tips for writing a resume that will get you interviews

Here are some additional tips that will help you create an effective resume:

Tailor each resume to the job you are applying for

Don’t make the mistake of sending out the exact same resume with every application. Yes, it’s easy. It’s also ineffective.

Instead, read the job description to find out which skills and qualifications are most important. Then try to include those skills on your resume.

When you use the same language on your resume that’s found in the job description, you increase your chances of getting an interview.

Highlight achievements as well as responsibilities

While it’s important to list your job responsibilities on your resume, you also want to highlight accomplishments .

Responsibilities are what you did. Accomplishments are how well you did it.

For example, if you increased sales or reduced costs, be sure to mention these accomplishments.

Use action verbs

Action verbs paint a clearer picture of your qualifications. They increase the overall impact of your resume.

Instead of simply stating that you were “responsible for” a certain task or project, explain how you took charge and made it happen.

For example, you could say that you “spearheaded a new initiative” or “coordinated a complex team effort.”

Use numbers

Try to use numbers whenever possible. Numbers show the true scope of your accomplishments to hiring managers.

Instead of saying that you “Created marketing campaigns” you could say that you “Created 10 successful marketing campaigns that generated a 20% increase in leads.”

Use active voice, not passive

Always try to use active voice instead of passive voice when writing your resume. Active voice is more direct, concise, and easier to read.

In active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing the verb. In passive voice, the subject is being acted upon by the verb.

If you’re not sure whether your resume is using active or passive voice, try running it through the Hemingway editor . It’s free and will tell you if you’re using passive voice.

Additional resume resources

Selecting the right resume format is the first step to creating an impactful resume. To learn more about how to create a resume that will stand out, check out these additional resources:

  • How to Write a Resume That Recruiters Will Really Love – This step-by-step resume guide will teach you how to write a resume that stands out.
  • How to Add Work Experience to Your Resume – Learn how to create a work experience section that will grab the attention of hiring managers.
  • 8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – Here’s everything you need to know about ATS. What they are, how they work, and especially how you can “beat” them!
  • How to Write a Strong Resume Skills Section – Here are the top resume skills employers are looking for. Learn how to list them on your resume.
  • Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills – Learn the difference between hard and soft skills and why you need both on your resume.
  • Free Professional Resume Templates – These ATS-friendly resume templates feature sleek, minimalist designs.

FAQs about resume formats

What does ats-friendly resume format mean.

An ATS-friendly resume format is one that can be read by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Employers use these systems to manage and filter large volumes of resumes.

When you use an ATS-friendly format , it increases the chances that a hiring manager will find your resume.

Is a resume format the same as a resume template?

No, they are two different things.

Resume format refers to the structure and organization of the content in a resume. A resume template refers to a pre-designed layout you can use to create a resume.

Is there a separate student resume format?

There isn’t a specific “student resume format” per se. Students generally use the same resume formats as other job seekers. But they may emphasize different sections or information.

A student’s resume highlights coursework, internships, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, and academic achievements.

What is the best resume format for 2023?

The best resume format for you depends on your specific circumstances. This includes your work experience, career goals, and the industry you’re targeting.

Having said that, we like the hybrid resume format .

Employers are looking for job candidates who have the right skills. And the hybrid resume features skills right at the top of the resume. Employers also want to see a work experience section on a resume. The hybrid has that as well.

This powerful combination of skills and experiences makes the hybrid resume our top choice for 2023 and beyond.

Free Professional Resume Templates

Jobscan’s free Microsoft Word compatible resume templates feature sleek, minimalist designs and are formatted for the applicant tracking systems that virtually all major companies use.

Computer with resume

Explore more resume resources


How to write a resume


Resume Templates


Resume Examples


Resume Builder


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