When it comes to creating effective PowerPoint presentations for work, my reach still exceeds my grasp.

I know a lot of important concepts, including the following:

  1. The slide deck is a visual aid, not the presentation
  2. Focus on one idea per slide
  3. Focus on very few visual elements/focus points per slide (e.g., five or six, maximum)
  4. Light text on a dark background is easier on the eye

Unfortunately, when I try to apply those ideas, I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. All of my slides look completely conventional: no better than those I created many years ago. I think they are effective, but they are ugly and boring. It does not help that I have to present on topics that are dry and technical in nature. I also feel hamstrung by my company’s PowerPoint template, which is quite busy, focuses attention on the wrong areas of the slide (i.e., the title and the footer), and has (almost completely) black text on a white background.

I think I need to invent a visual style that I can get away with on at least some of my slides:

  • Full-bleed images that cover the entire slide, and obviate the need for titles or footers on my slides.
  • Text boxes that float over the images, or captions that fill in the top title area that is already part of our PowerPoint template.

I just hope, if I do these things, my slides won’t end up looking like tired internet memes.