More Powerful Presentations

Presentation flow relates to how our eyes flow across the screen. People would use flow in different types of design art. We want to think about it in terms of our slides.

How do your eyes travel across slide below?

design flow demonstrated on a slide

What do you think contributed to how your eyes traveled? This sort of radial, ever-expanding gradients goes from concentrated to less concentrated. From a dark line with a lighter background, with more contrast, to lighter colors and less contrast. Our eyes want to lock in on that direction. If we wanted our eyes to go the other way, how would we change the slide?

poor slide design flow

Let’s try another one. How are your eyes traveling? These arrows are very high-contrast with the background. We lock in on those. If these were dark red, it would be harder for us to lock in on them. Because there is such contrast, it helps our eyes travel across the slide.

good design flow in presentation slide

Here’s another example. This is Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen. These stones are highly contrasted with the background color. Our eyes lock in on them. They decrease and feel like they’re going in a direction; our eyes want to go there too.

horrible flow on slide

Let’s try this one. After the initial shock, where did your eyes go? We can do an eye flow test on your presentation slides. Where do the eyes flow?  Is it where you want the eyes to look? If so, terrific.  If not, try using some other principles, like contrast and flow, to help people get to where we want.

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