• Design
  • 5 min

How to Design Presentations that Get You More Clients

  • Author
  • Ian Bower
  • Published
  • Mar 25, 2021
5 min

How to Design Presentations that Get You More Clients

 If you’re a small business owner, freelancer, or founder of a startup, there’s no doubt you’ll be familiar with this nerve-wrecking task: pitching your work to potential clients through presentations.

People often quote charisma as the key to a successful presentation, but the truth is it’s all about having an amazing visual presentation. Why? Because us humans are visual creatures – so visual, in fact, that we find business presentations with visual aids to be 43% more persuasive than those without.

So, how can you design a presentation that puts you ahead of your competition and gains you more clients? Keep reading, because we’re going to tell you how!

 

Plan your content and required visuals

The first step in any successful presentation is to take the time to plan it. Gather notes on what information you want to present to the potential client, and most importantly, think about how this will then be presented on your slides.

You’ll want to group relevant information and content together so your presentation flows well, makes sense, and is therefore most effective. Failing to order it in this way will only be confusing and off-putting for your audience.

Be sure to also ask yourself what visuals you will need to accompany your information. These might include:

  • Graphs
  • Tables
  • Maps
  • Charts
  • Diagrams

Think about what information you should present, and how, in order to drive the potential client towards taking the desired action – booking your services or purchasing your product.

 

Embrace visual hierarchy

Once you’ve planned the overall structure of your presentation, along with the visuals you require to effectively present your content, it’s time to plan the layout of each individual slide.

For this part, we recommend embracing visual hierarchy as a way to highlight the most important pieces of information through design. Remember, a client-winning presentation is all about making an impact, and visual hierarchy will allow you to convey your content in a way that is memorable.

When utilizing visual hierarchy, you’ll want to ask yourself:

  • What is the most important piece of information or visual on each slide?
  • What information is most likely to win-over the client?
  • What do they HAVE to know?

Then, embrace the following design principles to visually convey this to your potential client:

Color

When used effectively, color is a great way of drawing the viewer’s eye to the content you want them to notice first. It might be as simple as creating a red headline against a white background, while the rest of the text remains black. Additionally, a colorful graphic against an otherwise black and white slide is sure to capture attention too.

While this method of contrast is popular, don’t overlook the power of creating harmony among your slide’s visual elements with color too. Using the same or similar colors for sections communicates to the viewer that this information is grouped, and therefore, related.

Download our Presentation Templates for FREE to see Visual Hierarchy displayed correctly.

Size

Size is perhaps one of the most common design principles that comes to mind when thinking about visual hierarchy. This is because we’re wired to pay attention to things that are more obvious than others – big, bold headlines included. Of course, size doesn’t just relate to text either; after all, there’s nothing like a large photo or illustration to instantly catch our eye.

When designing your presentation, think about what content you want to instantly draw in the viewer, and make these the largest elements on the slide. Elements can then be sized in descending order, depending on their importance.

https://www.slideshare.net/ElodieAscenci/secrets-to-a-great-team

Alignment

When designing a presentation, it’s also helpful to think about how your client will read or visually scan your slide, and then how you can use this to your advantage when presenting your information.

Many Western readers, for example, are accustomed to reading from left to right. Therefore, it’s common to have slides which align the content to the left. We call this an F-pattern design.

Alternatively, a combination of left, center and right alignments takes advantage of another popular scanning method: the Z-pattern. This is when our eyes take in a design in a ‘Z’ fashion; that is, we glance from the top-left to the top-right to the middle, then to the bottom-left and bottom-right.

Alignment is beneficial to your presentations, as it embraces visual hierarchy and dictates what information your potential client will absorb, and the order in which they will absorb it.

https://www.slideshare.net/IpsosMORI/impact-of-poor-basic-skills-the-employer-perspective

Showcase your brand identity

Presentations are your big chance to visually convey what your business and brand is all about. After all, you’re trying to sell yourself to a potential client, so will want to use your slides to establish your brand identity and why you’re right for them.

This is where your brand profile comes in handy, so you’ll want to ensure you have it on-hand. A brand profile or style guide is how you systematize your brand’s visual image to ensure that your brand voice is always present across all your content channels. If you haven’t created one for your business already, check out our guide on How to Create a Brand Profile to Supercharge Your Designs where you can also download our free brand profile worksheet. 

https://dribbble.com/shots/4461221-Bestow-Brand-Guide

So, what exactly is your brand identity? It’s the visible elements of your brand that represents your company’s values, services, ideas, and personality. In other words, it’s the collection of design elements you use to portray the right image to your target customer.

These elements include things such as your:

  • Logo
  • Color palette
  • Imagery
  • Typography

Be sure to include these elements in the design of your presentation to keep it inline with who you are as a brand. When you’re clear on your visual identity, it creates a stronger and more favorable impression in the eyes of the client. 

 

Images are worth a thousand words

On-brand and high-quality visuals are extremely important for creating a client-converting presentation, as they can be used to capture and hold a viewer’s attention. Additionally, they’re perfect for supplementing your written content, particularly when they illustrate or back-up your claims.

Perhaps the most important visuals you can include in a presentation, however, as those which demonstrate the benefits of your offering – whether it’s the product or service in action or the desired end result.

The saying “show, don’t tell” applies to business presentations. If you can visually prove why a client should utilize your products or services, rather than simply tell them, then you can dramatically improve your chances of success.

Use color wisely

Trust us, you should never underestimate the power of color. Why? Because color isn’t just for representing your branding. It can also be cleverly used to influence the mood of your presentation, affect your potential client’s perception, and drive their actions.

This ties in with color psychology, which attributes particular emotions and thoughts to each color. Here are some of the most popular ones below.

  • Red: love, passion, energy, aggression, danger
  • Orange: warmth, flamboyance, fun, frustrated, warning
  • Yellow: positivity, happiness, creativity, friendliness, hazard
  • Purple: luxury, wealth, wisdom, quality, arrogance
  • Brown: reliable, earthiness, simplicity, dullness, dirt
  • Black: glamor, sophistication, security, mourning, fear
  • Grey: neutrality, respect, wisdom, pollution, blandness
  • White: purity, hope, simplicity, light, emptiness
  • Green: nature, peace, eco-friendly, envy, corruption
  • Blue: tranquillity, professionalism, intelligence, coldness, depression
  • Pink: femininity, love, health, sweetness, sympathy

While your presentation’s color palette should tie in with your branding, it also doesn’t hurt to think about what it is you want your audience to feel, then use color accordingly throughout your slides.

Download our Presentation Template for FREE to see how to use color properly.

 

Make sure your slides aren’t too busy

While the design of your presentation plays a pivotal role in your success with clients, it’s important not to get carried away. Ensure your slides aren’t too busy, otherwise they will only distract the potential client from what you’re saying.

Instead, focus on creating presentation slides which support your arguments, offer supplementary information to reinforce your claims, and ultimately, draw the client in. You’ll then be converting clients in no time!  

Got a question about presentation design or need assistance creating your own client converting business presentations? Get in touch today, because our experienced graphic designers would love to help!



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  • Ian Bower
  • Ian is the owner of Graphic Rhythm as well as other businesses that revolve around design, copywriting and Amazon marketplace selling. He's an expert in communicating persuasively and loves helping business owners and digital agencies breathe life into their projects and ideas.

    He values generosity and attention to detail and strives to make sure these values are apparent in the services he provides and the businesses he owns.

    When Ian isn't working, you can find him outside hiking, camping and spending time with his wife and children

  • Ian is the owner of Graphic Rhythm as well as other businesses that revolve around design, copywriting and Amazon marketplace selling. He's an expert in communicating persuasively and loves helping business owners and digital agencies breathe life into their projects and ideas.

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