Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations


Clear content and fluid design are what make an effective PowerPoint presentation. Once you have developed your main message content and structured the supporting content, it is then time to think about your presentation slide design.

The presentation needs to stand on its own; slide designs should only enhance the listening and viewing experience. They shouldn’t fill the role of the presenter. Here are a few tips to designing an effective PowerPoint presentation.



Keep Text Simple

A Powerpoint is meant to supplement a presentation, not to be the ultimate source of content. It is only a visual representation of a speech. The speaker presenting should be the main focus.

Avoid using complicated slides with a lot of text, especially if it is only repeating what the speaker is saying aloud. Having a lot of text divides the attention of the audience and will only hurt your message. The same goes for bullet points. People think by using bullet points to outline the important parts of their message is easier to read than a wall of text, but sometimes a long list of bullet points is just as distracting as using multiple paragraphs on a slide.

Don’t be afraid of having white or negative space on a slide. The less clutter you have, the more powerful your visual message will become. If you must show a lot of text or bullet points on one slide consider progressively revealing the text so you can show the text as you need it.

Limit Effects and Transitions

Microsoft® PowerPoint and similar programs come with the ability to create a lot of interesting effects and transitions. However sometimes this can suggest that your content is so tedious that you need something to snap your audience out of their disinterest. It is best to use these effects very subtilely, as they often do little to enhance the audience experience. Subtlety and consistency are key with slide animations and transitions.

Use Quality Photography and Graphics

Simple, punchy photographs are great for presentations. They help support what you are saying without drawing focus away from your words. Your photos can be metaphorical or something more literal, but it should be clear as to why the audience is looking at it, and why it’s paired with what you’re saying. You can take your own or use stock photos but be mindful of their size. Never stretch a small, low-resolution photo to make it fit your layout. Stretched or pixelated images will make your slides look unprofessional. Also, it is generally best to avoid PowerPoint Clip Art and other cartoonish line art.

Create a Consistent Look and Feel

You need to have a consistent visual theme throughout your presentation. Most templates included in PowerPoint have been seen by your audience countless times and often times are not that attractive to begin with.

Creating a new slide template that reflects your company’s current collateral look is a good place to start. Make sure you use related typography, colors, and imagery treatments thoughout your slides. But be careful though, too much consistency can be boring. You don’t want every slide to be identical. Using topic transition slides is a good way to break up the monotony. They can feel part of the same family but also give the presentation texture and are great for giving the audience visual cues. 

Use Appropriate Charts

When using charts try to keep them consistent with the look you’ve created throughout your presentation. Dropping in a chart that doesn’t match the look of your presentation can disrupt the look and feel. Consider recreating charts to match the colors, typography, and style of your slides. You can also take that time to simplify a chart to its clearest form. That way there is nothing extra shown that will take away from what you are saying.


Look At The Slides as a Whole

Spend time in the slide sorter. Viewing your presentation all together will show you how it flows. In this view you may decide to break up or condense slides to create a more natural and logical flow. You might notice some extraneous pieces of data that can be removed to increase clarity and improve communication.


There is a lot of thought that goes into creating an effective PowerPoint. Our portfolio has some great examples of PowerPoint slide designs to inspire you. Contact Digital Canvas today, we’d be happy to guide you though the process.

Development of Trade Show Graphics


Development of Trade Show Graphics

5 things you need to consider when creating a successful a trade show booth design…

1. AVAILABLE VIEWING AREA. Will there be a table or podium blocking any portion of the banner? Should the content go the entire way to the floor? Being mindful of what might be in front of your display is important so that all your content can be seen by potential customers and clients.

2. FOCUS ON PRODUCTS, NOT THE BACKGROUND. Consider if you need to display actual products over the background design. If this is the case, a simple background would work better than a busy one. There should be a balance of product, text and graphics and hierarchy can be used to convey your brand and overall messaging.

3. HAVE AN INVITING AND CLEAR MESSAGE. If someone is standing 20 feet away from your booth, will your message still be readable and invite them to come closer? Sizing and distance should be considered when it comes to text and image.

4. CREATE A LASTING IMPRESSION. How can you make sure that someone will REMEMBER being at your booth? Effective visuals are very important but take-away items such as brochures or products with your name on them can create a lasting impression and keep your brand in the minds of customers long after the trade show ends. When our designers at Digital Canvas create trade show booth displays, we often allow for areas to hold brochures and hand-outs for visitors to easily access and take with them.

5. PLAN IT OUT – VISUALLY. In the graphic design world, we work in 2D mode most of our day. Because of this fact, it is VERY helpful, even MANDATORY in most cases, that we create a 3D looking visual of where these final pieces will exist in real space. Sometimes a design can look wonderful when you are looking at one piece of the puzzle alone. But when you show all the trade show booth design pieces together in a mock-up presentation, both designer and client can more easily visualize whether or not the design will work to successfully get the message across to the viewer.

Below are a few examples showing various stages of our design process, used to build successful trade show booth designs…

Initial Sketches






Mock-Up (flat)


Mock-Up (3D examples)




Final Booth Designs









View our graphic design portfolio, including more trade show graphics here!

5 Steps to Creating a Successful Trade Show Display


Over the years Digital Canvas has created the graphics for a lot of successful trade show displays and we have learned quite a bit about what makes them successful. Here are some tips that break down the process and help ensure your next booth is eye-catching and effective.


5 Steps to Creating a Successful Trade Show Display:


1. Planning ahead is key.
Determine your reason for exhibiting at the trade show, your goals for what you hope to accomplish and your target audience.

2. Figure out exactly what you want before you begin.
This will save on design costs and help your designer to fully understand your vision and needs.
Some information to consider- size and dimensions of display, the overall look (most often matching your other marketing materials helps reinforce your brand), what your main focal point should be, and finally what your overall and secondary messaging should portray (providing specific copy that matches your brand verbiage is always helpful).


Size and Layout Information for a Trade Show Booth

3. Stand out- The best way to accomplish your goals is to first attract potential business to your display.
The use of unique color schemes, target marketing and social media strategy will attract people to your booth.

Booth Mock-up

Booth Mock-up

4. Point out your coolest feature.
New and interesting features grab people’s attention and that’s the point of exhibiting at a tradeshow.

Example of Tradeshow Display

Example of Tradeshow Display

5. Remember that clarity trumps persuasion.
Besides the cool feature, you need to be to be clear when showing your audience why they should work with you. Be simple. Be specific.


Mock-up of a Simple Kiosk Showing Products

See more of our past Tradeshow Booth Designs here.

Partial content adapted from the Forbes article: 17 Skills For Highly Effective Tradeshow Events.