We all know the importance of the client pitch. But if you don’t look slick, you’re already several points behind, because when you only had 60 minutes or less to impress, you have to look the part. Whilst we definitely don’t advocate style over substance, we do think that all your marketing collateral, be it documents or decks, should and could look great. Tuesday resident Creative Director and ‘gun for hire’ Bryce Groves gives the rundown on his major Powerpoint presentation design bugbear and offers up one simple solution to fix it.
Have you ever noticed the gray or black bars down each side of the screen when viewing a Powerpoint slide deck? I certainly have, and it bugs the hell out of me.
Now let’s put aside my obvious bias towards design aesthetics and talk about ‘real estate’ – why wouldn’t you want a presentation that uses all of the screen space? It’s an easy fix – just delve into Powerpoint’s page setup and change from the default 4:3 aspect ratio.
In the western world, there’s very little left that uses 4:3. If you’re thinking about showing something exclusively on an older projector then it could be worth sticking with that, but given how many presentations are done by shared-screen or on a plasma TV, I’d err on what’s known as 16:9* or widescreen setting. Phones, laptops, monitors and televisions are now all ‘widescreen’. Of modern devices, only the iPad, for some reason, is still 4:3.
So, quite simply, go to File>Page Setup>Slides sized for and select from the dropdown options. You’ll even have the option of 16:10 for MacBooks and some older PC laptops.
That’s it! No more bad Powerpoint presentation design = no more grumpy marketers, wasted space or unimpressed clients. Have a happy slide deck day.