I like to make cards and I make them for many reasons: birthdays, weddings, condolence, get-well soon, and congratulations. Compared to other crafts, card making is nice in that you can create a card, start-to-finish, in a single sitting. I share the finished product with someone else rather than adding to the clutter of my home.
Card-making also helps me better perform my job. When I make cards, I practice the skills needed to create an eye-pleasing PowerPoint deck. The principles are the same and I can safely say that all I really need to know about PowerPoint I learned while making cards.
Here are some of those principles:
Color theory: Show some restraint with colors. Choose 2 focus colors and then add a neutral color for definition (e.g. orange and blue + black). Certain colors work well together and others do not. Analogous colors are those that are next to one another on a color wheel. Complementary colors sit opposite one another on a color wheel. Choose analogous or complementary color combinations when creating a PowerPoint deck.
Balance: Make sure to balance your design elements. If you have a bulleted list then you might add a small graphic to the bottom right to balance things out. When choosing how many design elements to include know that odd numbers tend to create a more dynamic layout.
Style: Every card and every PowerPoint presentation has a style. When I create cards I choose from many styles ranging from cute to elegant, funny to serious. In the workplace I do my best to comply with the corporate branding guidelines. Doing so ensures that my presentations are a recognizable work product coming out of SAP.
Layout: Have a single focal point. Leave some white space and make sure that the white space draws attention to the focal point. Poorly executed white space can actually become the focal point – don’t let this happen! Consider grounding your design elements; this keeps your pictures or words from floating around and helps with readability.
In making a card I tend to use a stamp or picture as my primary design element (focal point). At work I find the most effective slides leverage visualized data. Simplifying and distilling data into a meaningful chart has not always been easy. My choices used to be limited by built-in graphic templates; however, visualization software such as SAP Lumira has enabled me to become a visual storyteller.
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Do you have PowerPoint tips? If so, please share them in the comments. I'm always on the hunt for new PowerPoint tips and tricks!