All About PowerPoint, Presentations & Life
Have you heard of the word Priming? More popularly used in psychology, it “refers to an increased sensitivity to certain stimuli due to prior experience.” After watching a scary movie alone at night, you become more sensitive and thus primed to slightest noises around you like creak of the bed and rustling of leaves outside the window!
Why are we talking about priming here? Your agenda slide serves the same purpose in your presentation. It positively primes your audience as to what they would be getting out of your talk- the key takeaways. So when you advance to further segments in your talk, the audience recall that it was second, third or fourth on your agenda list.
But first ask yourself- Do I really need an agenda slide in my presentation? Well yes, if you are presenting at a conference with many topics to cover, it’s advisable as well as expected that the audience have a little idea beforehand of what key areas you are going to throw light on. It’s like a little warm-up exercise for the audience. It also gives a structure to your talk, which otherwise can become a rambling affair.
If this part, however, is botched up with a chaotic slide that has way too many sections and subsections, you have lost your audience even before you could introduce yourself. You might have had great insights to share with your listeners but you scared them with “information overload”. So, ALWAYS include only the most important sections of the presentation in your agenda slide.
Say you have 6 main areas that you’ll be covering. Most presenters, for lack of ideas or other reasons, will tend to leave their agenda slide completely naked, except listing out the 6 items as bullet points! It’s bad priming: audience are only being predisposed to expect boring, ugly slides from there onwards.
Conversely, if you create an eye-catchy agenda slide, you’ll succeed in wetting their mental appetite. Here’s a re-designed agenda slide that you can create in a few minutes for your upcoming presentation:
Interested in knowing how we transformed the above slide in a matter of just 5 minutes? Let us show you step by step how to go about designing that slide:
Step 1: Cover the slide with striking visual
For an agenda slide, choose a visual that means serious business. If you are presenting in a boardroom, the meeting table can be a good idea. If you are presenting in a conference hall to hundreds or thousands in audience, the stage or the audience can be a good background image. Or you can simply go in for any business image showing professionals engaged in a brainstorming session, a wall clock showing time is of essence, a busy business desk etc.
You need not stress yourself out over the right visual since the image will be masked out and only used to set the tone for the presentation agenda. We chose a roundtable for our agenda slide. if you want to use the same, you can download it for free from Pixabay: an awesome free resource for professional images.
Step 2: Give Your Image a Wireframe Effect
One of the latest design trends on social media is using a faded image in the background. There is a reason why designers do this. They need to highlight the content- perhaps a quote, announcement, etc.- and not the visual. The visual is inserted to add value to the message, reinforce the words, and not draw complete attention to itself.
This visual effect- to be there and yet not be there- can also be achieved by the wireframe effect. This term is used in architecture and website development. Put simply, it’s a blueprint and this awesome effect can be applied on any image using the “Glow Edges” Artistic Effect in PowerPoint!
Here’s how to do this:
- Select the image
- Under the Format tab, click the Artistic Effects dropdown
- Select the last option Glow Edges (see the screenshot below)
Step 3: Add a Transparent Shape over the Visual
The effect looks cool but is still too attention grabbing. Any text placed over it will have a heavy contrast but look jarring. To mask it out further, follow these steps:
- Choose a rectangular box from the Shapes menu (under the Insert tab)
- Right click on the shape, click the Format Shape option
- Give it a solid fill (your brand color or a professional blue will look good)
- Set the transparency (between 10-20%) so that the image beneath the shape can be seen
Step 4: Place Text Tags over the Slide
Now comes the time for spelling out your business agenda, the most important thing in the slide. Rather than simply pasting the agenda as bullet points, we will place each agenda as tags on the slide. Have a look at the slide below to know what we mean:
It’s pretty simple to create these shapes on your own. All you have to do is:
- Click the Insert tab
- From the Shapes dropdown menu, under Rectangles, select the Round Same Side Corner Rectangle
- Drag to draw the rectangle on the slide
- Under the Format tab, click the Rotate dropdown menu
- Click Rotate Right 90 degree
- Select the rounded rectangle shape and drag the yellow dot on the rounded side (see screenshot below) to the center of that side
Duplicate the shape till you have six such tags. Lastly, rotate three to the left so that you have all tags facing each other. That leaves us with the last step.
Step 5: Insert Circle in each Tag and Add Icon for Each
It’s difficult to have an awesome slide without having small visual representations called icons. But first, insert a circle from the Shapes menu and place it on the rounded side of each rectangular tag. Give it a dark blue solid fill to create rich contrast.
Now, choose an icon for each of your agenda and place them inside the circles. We recommend you choose fully editable, vector icons so that you can change their color, size, etc. without having any effect on the quality of the icon. If you want the icons used above, you can simply download them from our website.
And that’s it, you have created one awesome agenda slide that will be hard to forget for your audience. Have a look at the final slide:
Need more design ideas for Agenda Slide?
The above layout was just one of the ways to list out your presentation agenda attractively. There are thousands of other ways you can re-design it. Check out these awesome agenda slide templates created by our PowerPoint Presentation Design Services team:
Agenda Template 1: Half Page Image Layout
Use the power of a visual to spell out your agenda. Half page layout dividing visual and textual content into 50:50 ratio lends a sophisticated look to your presentation. Icons further fuel visual interest and lend power to your agenda items. Check out this design below:
Download this agenda slide template if you would love to use it for your upcoming presentation.
Agenda Template 2: Variation of Half Page Image Layout
To add more color and vibrancy to the half page image template, shift the icons to the left such that they fall halfway on the image. Separate each agenda item with simple line separators for more emphasis.
Grab this cool Agenda PPT slide template and add it to your collection.
Agenda Template 3: Parallelogram Layout
We learnt about parallelogram in elementary school- a quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. Turns out it can be an interesting visual element for your presentations. Look how the parallelogram effect below gives a sophisticated look to your agenda slide.
This agenda presentation template is just a click away.
Agenda Template 4: Full Page Image Layout with Parallelogram Effect
A slight variation of the above template is to let the image cover the complete slide and place a parallelogram to highlight the agenda list. The agenda items can then be placed on the edges of the shape to create a unique design that looks professional and creative at the same time.
You can simply replace the content in the slide above by downloading our agenda template.
Alternatively, you can use steps of parallelograms to create a neat list of agenda points that oozes professionalism thoroughly. Here’s the template:
...and here’s the link to download the agenda slide design.
Agenda Template 5: Split Image Layout
Splitting image into multiple parts captures attention like none other. Here’s why: it forces the audience to fill the gaps and visualize the complete picture in their mind. It piques their curiosity and forces them to actively engage in understanding the slide rather than passively view it. You can then place each agenda on the split image to create a knockout agenda slide.
Download this PowerPoint template to use this design for your next presentation.
Agenda Template 6: Circular Diagram Layout with Icons
Simple shapes like arcs and arrows can create a beautiful effect that’s hard to ignore. Plot the agenda items along the arcs through their corresponding icons to showcase the progression of your presentation from start to finish.
Access this agenda slide template from our website by clicking here.
That’s it, folks! Hope you benefit from this hackathon and get inspiration to make your PowerPoint agenda slide look as impactful as any other slide. Consider this exercise as creating a mouth-watering menu that tempts viewers to order the items (listen to your ideas, we mean).
Did you miss our last three hackathons? Catch up now and brush up your PowerPoint skills:
Stay tuned for the next Hackathon. We are determined to make a rockstar presenter out of you!