Evolution of presentations. Part 2.

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It's impossible to make a great presentation in 2020 without new tools and modern design.

This is the second part of the article: "Evolution of Presentations", and it is about trends, new tools, tricks for working with design and content.

In the first part, we talked about presentation software that has influenced continuous changes and updates in presentations.

Let's take a closer look at the three pillars of a successful presentation:

  1. Content of the Presentation
  1. Presentation Design Guidelines
  1. Presentation Trends

Working with content

Presentations for performance and presentations for sending via email are not the same.

It is common to think that you can prepare one standard presentation, which will be suitable for mailing and performing at once, but it's not true. There are few exceptions, but in general, there is no such thing as standard presentation. There are two types of them and the main difference is the amount of text on slides.

During the performance, presentation slides should complement the speaker. Moreover, if you have a lot of text, people will read it faster than you present, and will not pay attention to what you say.

Presentations for mailing should have enough text to be complete and understandable. After all, the speaker will not be around and he will not be able to explain unclear details.

Common presentation mistakes: put the whole text on the slides, which you are going to tell, or which has nothing to do with the speech.

Slides should complement, not overlap with the speaker's presentation. If the text on the slides goes off the topic, it should be cut. For instance, the speaker talks about Newton's laws of motion, and slides show his biography. Speaker didn't plan to talk about it during the presentation but put it there just in case.

Write shorter

There is a leading book for copywriters — "Пиши, Сокращай" (the book is in Russian only). Lessons from the book are also practical for presentations. Main advice — write short, simple, and understandable. Such phrases as "team of professionals", "experts in their field", "comprehensive innovative solutions for customers" are no longer in fashion.

Presentation Design Guidelines


Colors usage in presentations is surely not a trend itself. People used them for years. The main mistake is using colors that have no meaning, which happens regularly.

Use colors meaningfully!

A mistake, when colors don't carry out any functions.
It's good to highlight the main points with color.

If you are not a designer, use specific websites to choose colors. You can find a list of these websites in our article about resources for presentations.

An example of coolors.co website, where you can easily choose the color scheme for your presentation. You can find RGB code beneath (turn on this function in the settings on the website) and copy it to PowerPoint.


Text in the presentation is one of the fundamental things. It goes without saying. You can make text engaging and readable simply by using a few techniques. The well-designed text keeps your presentation in trend and gives respect to the audience.

Poorly designed text does not highlight jewelry and makes the slide visually cheap.
This text, along with the graphics, makes the right impression about the product.

Basic techniques for working with text

Use contrast fonts, adjust interline spacing, align the text to the left. In PowerPoint, alignment results in different spaces between words and this worsens the readability.

Read more about safe fonts and contrasts in our article.

In the examples below, we show how to work with typography.

There are serif fonts, sans serif fonts, and other decorative fonts. There are many more types of fonts, but remembering these three is essential.
First two types are suitable for all levels of text, decorative — only for headings (not always)
Use fonts from different groups for different levels of text. For example, you can notice a contrast on the left where the title is in serif type, and the main text is in sans—serif type. On the right, both the title and the main text are typed with serif fonts, which are also different (Georgia + Times New Roman). The contrast is not visible, and it looks worse.
Line spacing affects readability. In PowerPoint, the default height is 1. For many fonts, the optimal number is 1.2 or 1.3, so you should manually adjust the height to improve the text readability.
Long lines are hard to read. Do not justify text on the whole slide. The readability is better with shorter lines and aligning to the left.
If you compare the two texts, you will see how our eyes catch different forms of letters. The readability deteriorates if everything is in the capital.
An example, where all the rules of working with text are broken.


The main trend is to use high-quality emotional images.

Do not use stock staged photos.
Use live and engaging photos.

There are several resources (unsplash.com, pixabay.com) where you can find free high-quality pictures for your presentations.

You should avoid pictures of white men. They are like a virus that has spread all over the world and has flooded all the slides in all corners of the planet. They are unemotional and meaningless.

Never use them! Please!

Example of the slide with famous white men.
Example of the slide with more interesting graphics

Gif & Video

We all love to scroll through Facebook or Instagram, like funny gifs and videos with cats. Dynamic objects attract much more attention than static images. In presentations, it's better to choose a relevant video or GIF than just a picture. Gifs evoke emotions from the audience and make the performance more interesting. The main thing is not to overdo with gifs and consider the target audience.

Another thing. If gif repeats several times ( more than 3), it annoys and distracts the audience.

Trends of 2020 in presentations

Hand-drawn presetations

We have several projects with hand-drawn presentations and the results were amazing. The audience responds with excitement and curiosity. There is no need to be an artist or draw professionally. You can easily make silly figures and audience will like it. Such presentations can be even used for company presentations or important speeches in front of a big audience.

Just take a look at the style of Tim Urban's presentation during his wonderful performance at TED. This style lets him talk with humor about procrastination. Overall, the speech itself is memorable with bright illustrations. Tim regularly uses such illustrations on his WaitButWhy blog.

Of course, if you draw professionally, it will also look cool. The advantage of this approach is in creating necessary pictures from scratch without spending hours on finding the right one on the Internet.

A few slides from the presentation that Reprezent made for the presentation of Sergey Hivrich, Proffstore brand manager at the European Business Association.


Storytelling skills are the trend of the 21st century. You can include characters in your speeches and presentations. It is interesting to follow the characters, they excite, draw attention, help to remember new information.

Stories can be used as a way to entertain and explain serious business processes.

Read how to use stories in presentations in our article "Statistics vs stories".

Presentation made by Reprezent for speakers at the Playing With The Brain event organized by the European Business Association. The main presentation idea was to introduce hand-drawn characters to link the psychological concepts the speaker told about.

Animated Presentations

Smooth neat animation is still in trend and remains one of the most spectacular visual solutions.

Animation helps to tell a story smoothly, control the audience, and surprise it.

You can find some examples of animated presentations made by Reprezent team below. Check out how animation helps you to achieve different goals.

With the help of an animation, you can "control the look of the audience" and display information in portions.
You can show "Before" and "After" with the help of animation.

3D objects

As people are still getting used to 3D objects, you can surprise them during the presentation.

You can insert a model of your product into the presentation, rotate it at different angles using Morph, and dynamically show the characteristics. This creates an experience of personal product usage.

For more information on using the tool, see the "3D in PowerPoint" article.

3D usage example for product presentation

Text and graphic masks

In 2020, designers will continue to create compositions with hiding images and text. Here is one of the examples of how this can be below.

Image masking with text is easy in PowerPoint

Linear elements

This is a minimalistic, simplified illustration style. It is perfect for the transmission of concepts and ideas. It looks plain, classy, and discreet. It is one of the trends in graphic design in 2020.

In a presentation, linear elements can be part of a background, complex graphics, or diagrams. You can also create nice compositions mixing them with pictures.

An example of linear elements usage in a presentation

Learn how to work with the Morph transition, explore the latest tools, optimize your presentation work, and you will have the coolest presentations in 2020.

Evolution of presentations. Part 1.

From release of PowerPoint to using AI in presentations

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