Ted slide design tips: Simple is better

In presentations use these Ted slide design tips

TED slide Design tips from their top presentations.

Using simplicity, San-Serif fonts and contrast for powerful presentations

1. Keep it simple

PowerPoint is supposed to visually augment your message. Your audience wants to be moved, inspired, persuaded … not be bored to death with data dumps and cluttered slides. Don’t let your message and your stories get lost amongst slides that are over-complicated, busy, or full of “irrelevance”. Your slides should have plenty of negative space to help the image or text pop. Don’t feel you have to fill empty space on your slide with unnecessary images or text. Limit animations too, one can be powerful, but if you have one on every slide they loose their power and can become irritating. Always ask yourself … “Does this slide augment my message or distract my audience?” 

The simpler your slides, the more powerful your message becomes. Top Ted slide design tip.

2. Make your slides easy to readTed slide design

Serif fonts, like Times new Roman, have detail at the end of each letter stroke. Serif works better in printed text, where lines of text continue on for pages. They are not as easy to read on projected mediums, specially with headings. San-Serif fonts, such as Arial, are easier to read on a screen. Using the same font set through your entire presentation helps to create a congruent style template, which looks more professional. Always ensure all text can be read from the back of the room (keep age and vision in mind). A rule of thumb is around double the age of the oldest member of the audience.  For printed text size 12 works well, but is far too small to read on the screen. Larger sizes work even better for headings (such as size 96), it also forces you to use less words.

Ted slide design tips: Simple is better

3. Use high contrast colours

Ensure colours are high-contrast, not all projectors display colours perfectly accurately. The colours on the screen may seem different to those on your laptop. Green and red can be difficult for those who are colour blind to see (almost 1 in 10 people).  The lighting in the room can also make some colours harder to see.  Using a dark colour with a light colour makes the text easier to see. In a dark room preferably use a dark background (dark blue, black, etc.) with white or light text. In a well lit room, a white background with black or dark text may work much better.

The slide below has a size 96 Arial font heading with high contrast colours.Visual TED Slide design tips infographic.png

OCM Presentation skills logo Ted slide design

 Get help from a professional to design your slides

If you really want to get your presentations right, consider hiring a professional presentation consultant to help. A professional can help you get perspective about what’s important, help you protect your brand and deliver clear powerful visuals which augment your message. If you need help with  Ted slide design contact us today.


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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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