6 design styles to help your next presentation really stand out

No matter how interesting a topic, if it’s presented in a boring way it can suddenly seem like the most mundane thing on earth. People are clueing into this, making their presentations more visually appealing with clean designs, well-placed images, and eye-catching color schemes

There are tons of online design tools that can help you take your deck from blah to wow with just a couple of clicks, but you can’t deny that they stick to a certain style. Yes, they look great — sleek, professional, and business-oriented. But when you’re at a conference and sit through ten presentations in a row that were clearly put together with the same online design tool… the novelty wears off pretty quickly

We want to show you six original design styles that will set you apart and help you deliver a memorable presentation. With different templates that you can use right now, depending on which one best reflects your goals, brand, and audience. 

  1. Hand-drawn style
  2. Illustrated-style
  3. Vintage style
  4. Photo background
  5. Bold color
  6. Mimicking the “real world”

Hand-drawn style

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It’s not easy to draw in PowerPoint or Google Slides — they’re much more focused on text and .jpg images. Can you remember the last time you saw a hand-drawn presentation? They’re not very common!

That means it’s a great way to make your slides stand out. Using a hand-drawn style can really add a personal touch, and is especially great for small audiences with whom you want to make a genuine connection. You want it to look almost like you sketched each slide by hand before scanning them into the computer.

While that’s certainly one way to do it, our hand-drawn style presentation templates remove all that hassle for you. They’re fun and friendly, and work everywhere from boardrooms to auditoriums. If you’re trying to give your presentation an injection of young energy or just a hand-made touch, these are the way to go. 

You can easily change the background and theme colors to suit your brand, and add in as many of your own images as you need. While it obviously can be adapted for any industry, a hand-drawn template is a great choice if you’re a creative, or presenting on something in the education world.


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Block-color backgrounds can be so snooze-worthy, especially if you’re presenting in a more casual setting. Leave behind the taupes and navy color schemes and move onto a more expressive style for your presentations. 

Illustration-style presentations always invoke positive surprise from audiences, as it’s still not something we see that often. You can go for something more subtle, like floral borders or silhouette illustrations to spice up your slides. 

Or go all-in with full-on illustrations and graphic renderings! It’s all about finding a style that matches your content –– and we’ve got plenty of illustrated templates for you to choose from. 

This type of visually-appealing slide design is most often used for presenting to children, because they’re so attention-grabbing. But we believe they’re suitable for all ages, and anything that’ll help captivate and maintain attention is surely a good thing.

Again, you can fully customize the colors of your illustrations to match your brand, to make it more of an impactful use of drawings. We’ve also got some great seasonal options for you to try out if they suit, like Christmas and Halloween.

Vintage style

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Vintage style slides really take you on a trip back through time. With them, we’re embracing the design style of decades past, which somehow just seem that little bit more distinguished. 

Vintage-looking presentations appeal to the emotions of your audience without them even realizing, and convey an overall sense of quality and nostalgia. If you’re going for a vintage style, you should embrace a warm color scheme and some classic old-timey fonts. Serif fonts or Hand-drawn lettering is usually the way to go for titles.

As for backgrounds, you could go for an earth-toned block color, or a texture that looks like old parchment or newspaper. A popular template of ours utilizes an old world map for a touch of history.

While this style mightn’t be appropriate for presentations on modern innovations, it’s great for history, geography, literature, or art classes, or anything related to vintage nostalgia. 

Photo background

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One of the main tips we often hear for creating eye-catching presentations is to prioritize images over text. A picture does paint a thousand words, after all, and it’s so much easier for audiences to digest a visual than a big block of text. 

But often, that’s easier said than done — don’t worry, we get it! Finding the right images to fit your messaging can be hard, but we promise you that it’s worth it. 

Go big with your images, instead of letting them take up half the slide, make them your background. This will force you to use minimal text. While that may feel uncomfortable at first, it’ll help ensure that your audience’s attention is really with you and what you’re saying, they’re not getting bogged down in the words on-screen.

Even though we all know the importance of image-driven slides, it’s not something we see all that often in practice. 

Of course, you’ve also got to make sure that you’re using the right images, not just random stock pictures. We’ve got you covered: here’s our essential guide for picking the perfect background for your presentation slides

Bold color

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Color really is key. Even the most fascinating of subjects can easily be dulled down with a stock-standard white-with-a-touch-of-navy design scheme. 

Remember that you’re here to get your audience’s attention, so you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. Using bold colors is an excellent way to do this — color can have such a huge impact on our moods and emotions

You can go with a vivid color scheme that sticks to one tone, or you can opt for contrasting colors that clash and create tension. Honestly, when it comes to colors, your options are literally endless. But unless you’ve got an eye for art and design, it can be tricky to know which shades best go together. 

It’s important to have one dominant color, a similar secondary color, and a contrasting accent color. Have a read through our handy guide that’ll help you pick the best colors for your presentation, complete with ten combinations to get you started. 

Mimicking the “real world”

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These are presentations that bring real, unfiltered “behind-the-scenes” images into your slides. Kind of like the hand-drawn style, this approach will help make your presentations seem more open and relatable. 

Instead of using stock images, vector graphics, or computer-generated charts to illustrate your presentation, incorporate real-world objects. Photos of your hand-written notes, your post-its and whiteboards, you and your team working on the project…go wild!

This will bring the audience into your process, helping them feel like a part of the world you’re building. By showing them your day-to-day and personal method of working, they’ll feel more receptive and inclined to connect with your presentation.

Are you looking for an easy way to make your next presentation shine?

At SlidesCarnival we’ve got a huge array of professionally-designed templates that have been put together with the best presentation techniques in mind. Check out our free presentation templates library, then use your favorite to create a killer deck that you can tailor to suit your needs.

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