Visual Hierarchy

Creating visual hierarchy in presentations helps to guide the audience’s attention and make the information more easily understood. Think of visual hierarchy as the arrangement of elements on a slide, such as text, images, and graphics, in order of importance.

One way to create visual hierarchy is through the use of graphic size, with larger elements drawing more attention than smaller ones. Another way to create visual hierarchy is through the use of color, where contrasting colors can be used to draw attention to specific elements, such as different color slices of a pie chart.

Typography is also a powerful tool for creating visual hierarchy. The use of different font sizes, weights, and styles can be used to create a hierarchy of information, with headings being larger and more prominent than body text. No more than two type styles should appear on a slide or the attention will focus more on each typeface and less on the presenter’s face!

It’s also important to make sure that the text is easy to read, but not in the form of full sentences or wrapping bullets, as the reading effort will detract from the delivery. Avoid italics or handwriting fonts as non-native language readers may have difficulty understanding “fancier” shapes in the lettering.

Alignment is also an important aspect of visual hierarchy. When elements are aligned, it creates a sense of order and organization, making it easier for the audience to follow along. Using a grid system can be a useful tool in achieving alignment and creating a cohesive design.

Overall, think of your design elements as guiding the eye of the audience to the most important point in the shortest amount of time, so that the speaker can add value with voice and action.

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