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Skills needed to be a PowerPoint designer

Posted by Stinson / May 28th, 2016
Young artist drawing something on graphic tablet at the home office

Young artist drawing something on graphic tablet at the home office

Contrary to what many people believe, it takes a lot of effort in honing your skills to be a professional PowerPoint designer. Designing an impactful presentation is not just limited to the usage of graphics but includes the proper alignment of images, text and the right usage of words. PowerPoint designing is indeed a mixture of art and science, which combines creative and intellectual skills. Not only that, but PowerPoint presentations require extensive amounts of storyboarding and content editing in order to maximize the impact of your message.

Understand all the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint

To be successful as a PowerPoint designer, an individual should be familiar with all the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint. Without a firm grasp of how the tools function, a designer will not be able to maximize the usage of these tools. For starters, a budding PowerPoint designer should go through each and every tool and practice using it to improve his skills in that area. We recommend you take online PowerPoint courses on Lynda.com, it’s easy and comprehensive.

Match graphics to the intent of the presentation


A PowerPoint presentation is not appealing if it lacks the necessary graphics. Adding graphics to a presentation does not mean bombarding it with images. It is important to find images that relate to the text and the context of the presentation. For example, if you are designing a presentation for an investor presentation, you should include images that implement confidence or that relate to your product. Hence, a professional PowerPoint designer should have the basic knowledge of which images to use in every situation while keeping them impactful.

Aside from images, a designer should be well-versed in animations and special effects. We are slowly but surely moving away from the era of 2D to 3D. So, a designer should be on par with the technological advancements and enhance the quality of a presentation by adding innovative and creative stuff to the deck of slides. There are times when a designer will have to resort to third party tools to create an impressive deck of slides because the necessary tools are not found on Microsoft PowerPoint application. So, a designer should be familiar with the tools outside of the PowerPoint domain too.

Get the content right

There are many elements that go into making a powerful presentation. Apart from the images, text also plays an important role in conveying the intended message to your audience. A designer should ensure that the content on a slide is succinct and captivating. Coming up with catchy phrases that stick in the minds of the audience is an art by itself. It takes a lot of practice and constant exposure to advertisements to reach a stage where you can come up with amazing words in the snap of a finger. This is why all PowerPoint designers should have advances copywriting skills or have professional copywriters on their team.

No one is interested in reading endless number of words on a slide. So, it is the responsibility of the designer to ensure that the audience gets the gist of the content without boring them to death. This is possible by focusing the attention of the audience on keywords. A professional PowerPoint designer should have the skill to fully understand the embedded message in a slide, create a set of targeted and relevant keywords and make an impact on the audience by using subtle animation to emphasize on these keywords.

Step into the shoes of a psychologist

Sometimes, PowerPoint designers have to become psychologists to understand how the mind of the audience works. Color psychology is definitely one area that a designer has to look into to make a powerful presentation. A professional PowerPoint designer should have a good understanding of the impact of different colors on the moods and emotions of the audience. This is especially important when a background color for the slides is being selected.Colors fall into two domains – cool colors and warm colors. If a designer is preparing slides for a travel agency, it is ideal to use cool colors like light blue and white so that potential tourists feel relaxed even before visiting the destination.


So, it is important to understand the message you want to convey to the audience and use the right hues and colors to make a point. Apart from the colors, how you align the text also makes an impact on your audience. If it is a client meeting and you want to show that the organization is methodical in its approach, you may want to align the text neatly, in a symmetrical manner. On the other hand, if you are preparing a deck of slides for a marketing pitch you may decide to follow some specific graphic design guidelines and less classic text alignments.

Maintain consistency

For any presentation, a PowerPoint designer needs to maintain consistency. For example, if a designer is making slides for a business meeting, he has to ensure that the font and size of the text is constant throughout. This makes a presentation appear professional. To maintain consistency, you need to be meticulous and even a perfectionist for that matter. In addition, a designer should never use more than 4 colors in his presentation. You need to bear in mind that a presentation is not a coloring book, where you add all the colors in the universe. You need to choose colors that will create the right impact and stick with them.

Ensure a smooth transition

Many times, designers fail to create smooth transitions between slides. This is because they do not see the big picture, failing to understand the gist of the presentation. To ensure that the transition between slides is smooth, designers need to weave a story in their presentation. The first slide should be linked to the second slide and the second slide should be linked to the third and so on. Creating a story is an important skill that needs to be cultivated over time. To ensure that the audience is glued to your presentation, you need to avoid abrupt transitions.


Just like how an interesting movie keeps you glued to the television screen, you need to work your magic on the audience in a similar way. Many elements go into making a powerful presentation and a professional PowerPoint designer needs to be a master of PowerPoint tools, graphics and content to make it big in the industry. If you need help feel free to contact us.