In the last few months at SlideRabbit, we’ve dealt with some pretty interesting display methods: the giant mega-screens at Jay-Z’s 4040 Club, large rear-projection screens in courtrooms, aged monitors and even personal computers. The truth is, even if intended for a certain venue, a presentation may hit several different display methods in its lifetime.
Here are a few failsafe precautions you can take to insure that the time and money you put into your final product isn’t wasted by a bad display.
Always pay attention to the size of your images. Image searching services like Shutterstock or Google Images list the pixel size, which can be easily converted to inches or centimeters. While a photo or icon may look fine on your monitor, once your presentation is on a larger screen, a low res image may not have enough detail information to look crisp and clear. When choosing an image size, err on the side of larger. A hi res image will look good on a smaller screen, but a low res image will look grainy and unprofessional on larger displays.
Size Set Up
As time and technology march on, more and more display screens have dimensions of 16:9. It’s important to know the dimensions of your display screen and design slide layouts accordingly. PowerPoint, Keynote and other presentation softwares allow the designer to change the slide canvas dimensions manually. Although there is a limit on how big you can go, setting the canvas to the largest equivalent dimension will allow you to design your slides for your screen, rather than hoping your content will scale up nicely.
Of course, 16:9 and 4:3 aren’t the only options. Page set up options also allow for custom canvas dimensions. Great for trade-shows or marketing events, producing a show in a non-standard size provides the chance to use an exciting or unexpected display method, adding interest for the audience.
Test, Test, Test
Go to your presentation venue and test the equipment there. Color balance, brightness and contrast settings can vary greatly; checking early and often insures that the design team can adjust to compensate for different displays.
If you’re sending a slideshow out, rather than presenting live, you may never now just how the final product looks. While you can’t control the display settings for a remote audience, you can do some due diligence. In advance of finalizing your presentation, test it out around the office. Play the show on multiple computers, large monitors, projectors and any other methods available.
Converting a slideshow to a video file is a great way to safeguard against non-standard font issues or hinky software version problems. If video isn’t an option, it may be important to click through the file on both a Mac and a PC. If permissible, send the file to a trusted friend or associate at another company to make sure that the fonts you’ve used are standard.
A lot of hard work, time and money go into producing strong presentations. Nothing is more disheartening than watching all that effort go up in smoke due to bad display. Splurge on high quality images, adjust page set-up settings to the display method and then test, test, test to make sure that your viewers get the full effect of all your hard work.