What makes TED Talks so effective? The TED presentations' success' secret is grounded in the speakers' talent to assemble relevant, accessible, audience-centric, story-driven slides before they get on stage. Our Keynote Presentation with 200+ slides will help you do just that–throw together a presentation that inspires, informs and entertains. The deck is fully animated and customizable. Plus, it includes insights from the "TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking" book.
Don't be too literal and cheesy with your choice of images. Use photos or illustrations that are simple but snappy, relevant to your keynote's concept and are not too complex and heavy in terms of design composition.
If you need to support your key points with charts and graphs, put a little extra effort into making them more appealing and accessible to your audience. This will help with consistency and control over visual elements.
Your last slide is your last chance to make a strong impression and persuade your audience to follow your call to action, so make it count. End with the powerful statement that is dramatic or humorous and back it up with aesthetic design.
Aaron Weyenberg, TED's in-house presentation expert, shared 10 tips for making presentations that really communicate your idea. Here they are:
- Weyenberg suggests thinking about slides last – "Building your slides should be the tail end of developing your presentation. Think about your main message, structure its supporting points, practice it and time it – and then start thinking about your slides," he says.
- The look and feel of your presentation should be consistent – Each slide of your deck should feel like part of the same story. This includes not only your verbal and textual content, but also typography, colors and imagery across your presentation.
- Be mindful of topic transitions, Weyenberg says – Consistency is important, but making each slide look exactly the same will make the presentation boring. "I like to create one style for the slides that are the meat of what I'm saying, and then another style for the transitions between topics," he shares.
- When it comes to text, less is more – Text-heavy slides will tire your audience out and divide their attention between what they're reading and what they're hearing. If you can't avoid including text-heavy slides, try to progressively reveal text.
- Photos should enhance the meaning of your slide – "I love using simple, punchy photos in presentations because they help what you're saying resonate in your audience's mind without pulling their attention from your spoken words. Look for photos that (1) speak strongly to the concept you're talking about and (2) aren't compositionally complex. Your photo could be a metaphor or something more literal, but it should be clear why the audience is looking at it, and why it's paired with what you're saying," Weyenberg says.
- Effects and transitions need to be smooth – Keynote slides offer many effects and transitions. But in Weyenberg's opinion, these effects "subtly suggest that the content of your slides is so uninteresting that a page flip or droplet transition will snap the audience out of their lethargy." To avoid this, use the most subtle options and ensure the effects are consistent throughout.
- Control your audience's attention – For example, if there is a need to highlight something in a photo, you could add a big arrow.
- Large images need to be panned – Weyenberg says: "Often, I want to show a screenshot of an entire web page in my presentations. There's a great Chrome extension to capture these—but these images are oftentimes much longer than the canvas size of the presentation. Rather than scaling the image to an illegible size, or cropping it, you can pan it vertically as you talk about it." In Keynote, this can be accomplished with a "Move" effect.
- Avoid autoplay in the video – It's super easy to insert video in Keynote by dragging and dropping a Quicktime file onto the slide. So set the video to "Click to play" to have more control over the video start time.
- Keep your charts and graphs simple – An image of a chart almost always disrupts the general feel of a deck, Weyenberg says, but if the graph data is not complex, there's a way to make it much easier on the eyes by redrawing it in the native presentation application. Despite the fact that this might sound like a needless extra step, it will help to make your presentation feel consistent and perfectly thought-through.