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Leveraging PowerPoint Design Ideas for Visually Impressive Slides

This video shows you how to leverage PowerPoint Design Ideas to create a visually impressive slide deck. Often the suggestions from PowerPoint Design Ideas are either great or less than impressive. I will reveal the one technique you can use to easily and quickly convert a plain, text heavy slide into a well-designed slide. Learn what PowerPoint Design Ideas is and see three examples of text heavy slides converted into visual slides with Design Ideas.

What is PowerPoint Design Ideas

powerpoint design ideas icon

Microsoft introduced the Design Ideas feature with the Microsoft 365 2016 Office release.  Also referred to as PowerPoint Designer. It uses basic AI or artificial intelligence to generate visual designs for a slide. An interesting feature to keep Microsoft more competitive. Particularly with new up and coming companies like beautiful.ai and slidesgo.com.

Side note: I want to say for the record that bad slide decks happen for the most part at the hand of the creator and not the software.

My Experience with Design Ideas

When I first played around with Design Ideas, I wasn’t all that impressed. And actually, I quit using it. The suggested designs weren’t all that good and they didn’t align with the intent or content of the slide. However, I started seeing well designed PowerPoint slide decks from people, who I personally know, wouldn’t be able to create those designs on their own.

When I asked what templates they used, they said they used the Design Ideas feature right in PowerPoint. So, I decided to give it another try. As I worked with the setting, I realized there was one strategy I used that generated the best suggestions. Let me show you what I did.

One Strategy for the Best Suggestions

This is a poorly designed slide deck which was only text. And lots of it. I pulled three slides and using Design Ideas they turned into this.

To do this, I applied the strategy of eliminating all unnecessary text on each slide. I made sure the heading was short and to the point. Any text in the body was only the key points I wanted to show the audience. Actually, this is a strategy I always use when designing a slide deck.

It wasn’t until I started trying out Design Ideas, did I realize it made a big different in the suggestions. Because Design Ideas is AI driven, a slide with lots of text confuses the algorithm. Resulting in not great results.

Examining Three Examples

Let’s take a closer look at each slide.

Project Goals slide

The heading for the Project Goals slide was fine but the body text was problematic. I condensed the text to include the main aspects of each goal. The resulting suggestion was a colorful yet clear representation of the content.

example of slide design

Customer Value slide

The customer value slide was problematic both with the heading and the body text. So, I pulled out the keywords and main points of that text to create a pared down slide. The suggestion produced both icons for visual representation along with reformatting the text.

example of slide design conversion

Process slide

The process slide was not too bad, but the text did need some trimming. I trimmed the sub-bulleted points and condensed some of the main points. A nice visual map was recommended show each step of the process. This suggestion surprised me. It was much more sophisticated than I expected. However, it solidified how important it is to have only the key terms and words on the slide.

example of slide design conversion

Conclusion

In conclusion, PowerPoint’s Design Ideas feature is not a magic wand that automatically makes you slides look great. The content and amount of text on a slide make a difference. The best way to leverage this setting is to make your text short and to the point. The AI component is better able to interpret the core message.

As always, I am curious to hear about your experiences. In the comments, share how you been able to get the most out of PowerPoint’s Design Ideas feature. What successes have you had?

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About the author 

Jennifer

Jennifer has 15+ years of public speaking experience - ranging from groups of 5 to 5000. She draws from her experience as an instructor, academic, and librarian to help others with their presentation skills. When not presenting she loves creating and designing online courses, video, images, slide decks, handouts, conference posters, and infographics.

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