Q-CTRL presentation templates and guidelines

Getting Started

1. Open the presentation templates that have already been created.

We have created two templates that can be used depending on the type of presentation.

Standard - This is to be used for general presentations and read ahead documents.
Large - This is to only be used when presenting on projectors to a larger audience when large text is needed to ensure legibility.

Always use the template as your starting point when creating a new presentation to ensure consistency and that you’re using the latest version.

2. Create a variety of slides for different purposes.

You don’t want to present the same exact slide, just with different content on it. This would bore your audience. Ensure that you create multiple variations, accommodating some of the common uses for slides.

At minimum, you’ll need:

  • A title cover slide with presentation title.
  • An agenda or table of contents slide.
  • A slide that introduces the speaker (when presenting externally).
  • A section title slide (page breaker).
  • Various content slides (create different layouts considering what kind of information and multimedia you’ll present).
  • Avoid using the same repetitive slides. Alternate your layout, use a different background colour every few slides.

3. Use the Duplicate Slides feature to save you time.

There’s no reason to create these designs over and over again. You can simply duplicate them before inputting your content.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. On the left pane, right click the thumbnail of the slide you want to duplicate. Choose Duplicate slide from the pop-up menu.

How to

  1. This will automatically add a copy of this slide to the presentation. From there, you can customize it for your needs.

  2. To create a new fresh slide, right click on the panel on the left. Choose New slide from the pop up menu and choose a layout from the list available.

4. Use the placeholder text and images as your guide

We have created them to help you create your slides and to ensure consistent and on-brand presentation.

  1. Click on a text box to update its content with your content.
  2. For consistency, always use the same formatting (font size, font type) throughout the slides.

Check out presentation guidelines.

  1. Right click on an image placeholder, select Replace image to update it with a new image.

How to

  1. Right click on a background, select Change background to update it with a new background colour or image.

How to

Avoid changing its layout unless it is necessary to ensure a cohesive look.

5. Use the “Q-CTRL presentation” theme already have been created for you

We have created color variations in the Q-CTRL presentation to help you design your slides with a cohesive look.

To choose from these pre-built colours, click on the text box that you want to update, select Text colour from the navigation bar to bring up the drop down menu and select the colour to choose.

How to

6. Keep Slides Short

When it comes to making great presentations, it’s important to remember that your slide deck is a helpful tool that highlights the main points of your presentation and serves as a visual representation of the data and facts you’re sharing.

Avoid boring your audience and losing their interest by keeping your slides short.

7. Run your presentation.

It’s always good to do a trial run to ensure that your slides are set up properly and your animations fire the way you expect them to.

To present your slides, click Present on the top right corner. The slide will cover your whole screen, This is so your audience (in this case, you for the trial run) is solely focused on the visual elements of your presentation.

Designing a presentation

1. Keep it simple

Your content should be simple and concise. You don’t want your audience to read your presentation word for word. So use slides to emphasize the main points of your presentation and display supplementary graphics and visuals.

Too much going on
Keep it simple
Keep it simple

Don’t be afraid to break your content down into a few slides.

2. Hierarchy creates organisation

Hierarchy is usually something we think about when describing ranking in a business, or organizations. It’s a system in which people or things are arranged according to their importance.

In design, hierarchy creates a visual organisation to a design and gives the reader an idea of where to begin and finish reading. Each element that is part of the design can be given a ranking of priority.

  1. Headline
  2. Subhead
  3. Image
  4. Call to action
  5. Body Copy

You can then make decisions around position, size, contrast, colour etc. to ensure that the desired hierarchy is achieved.

No hierarchy
With hierarchy

Always keep in mind how a person might absorb the information onscreen. Getting visual hierarchy right in your presentation is really important.

3. Don’t be afraid of white space

White space can make your message stand out above the clutter found in many slides. It breaks down information presented to more digestible pieces to reduce cognitive overload and allows you to convey a more direct message. White space can also serve as a form of contrast.

Not enough white space
The right amount of white space

The most common presentation design mistake is to fill every inch of every slide with information and various visual elements.

4. Typography and legibility

Having the right amount of characters on each line is key to the readability of your text. The optimal line length for your body text is considered to be between 50-60 characters per line, including spaces.

Too wide – if a line of text is too long the reader’s eyes will have a hard time focusing on the text. This is because the line length makes it difficult to gauge where the line starts and ends. Furthermore it can be difficult to continue onto the correct line in large blocks of text.

Too narrow – if a line is too short the eye will have to travel back too often, breaking the reader’s rhythm. Too short lines also tend to stress readers, making them begin on the next line before finishing the current one (hence skipping potentially important words).

What’s a superposition? That’s a state in which a qubit cannot be purely described as being 1 or 0, but rather some complex combination. In our graphical representation, a state on the equator of the Bloch sphere is actually an equal superposition of 0 and 1.

Too narrow

What’s a superposition? That’s a state in which a qubit cannot be purely described as being 1 or 0, but rather some complex combination. In our graphical representation, a state on the equator of the Bloch sphere is actually an equal superposition of 0 and 1.

Just right

What’s a superposition? That’s a state in which a qubit cannot be purely described as being 1 or 0, but rather some complex combination. In our graphical representation, a state on the equator of the Bloch sphere is actually an equal superposition of 0 and 1.

Too Wide

Remember: The optimal line length for your body text is considered to be between 50-60 characters per line, including spaces.

5. Balance provides stability and structure to a design, either through symmetry or tension of elements.

Balance is the weight distributed on the page by the placement of elements. At its simplest, symmetrical balance can be created with an invisible centre line where the weight of the elements on both halves of the page is even.

Symetrical balance
Balance between all elements

Balance makes our brains happy. If your presentation looks balanced, you’ll make your audience happy. That will open them up to your message.

6. Don’t put everything on one slide

Only put the essence down. Start with creating the slides you want and then go back and edit them - remove all non-essential information, remove unnecessary words, and take out slides you can live without. Cut your presentation by as much as half to get to the core if it.

  1. Keep it simple. Never flood a slide with blocks of text.
  2. Take a step back and see what you can leave out.

Most presentations are just a visual aid; if you overload them, the audience will end up trying to read the slides and not paying attention to you.

7. Don’t overuse transitions and animations

These effects are meant to be used scarcely, to increase the impact of one idea. They can become a distraction very quickly. It may leave your audience feeling irritated and often confused.

Always keep your message front and center and only add subtle transitions or animations at the end if necessary.

8. Don’t get bogged down by charts and graphs

Less is also more when it comes to data visualization. Keep any charts or graphs streamlined. When building them, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do I want the audience to take away from my infographic?
  2. Why is it important for them to know this?
  3. How does it tie into my overall story or message?

You may need to highlight key numbers or data points by using color, bolding, enlarging or some other visual treatment that makes them pop.

Too much going on
Keep it simple

Always think about the audience when presenting your charts and graphs.

9. Alignment creates a sharper more unified design

Alignment is one of the most basic, but most important principles of design, as it allows our eyes to see order, which is quite comforting to a reader. Aligning elements on the page will make your slide look organized and make it easier to read.

Out of alignment
In alignment

Combining headlines and body text

Pair centred headlines with centred paragraphs and left aligned headlines with left aligned paragraphs. Follow these rules and you can’t go far wrong. If it’s easy to read, more people will read it

Out of alignment
In alignment
Out of alignment
In alignment

When you combine a centred headline with a left aligned paragraph, the unsymmetrical line lengths of the paragraph will make the headline appear slightly off-center.

Similarly a left aligned heading, will lose the symmetrical appearance of a paragraph with centred text.

Alignment used in text paragraphs.

Left aligned
Center aligned
Right aligned
  • Left aligned: Do you notice that the left aligned text is easier to read compared to the other two in the image above? This is because the user’s eyes don’t have to work as hard to find where the line starts each time.
  • Center aligned: This text can work for just one or two lines, such as headings or captions. This only requires limited eye movement to scan, without slowing down the reader too much.
  • Right aligned: Please avoid using right-aligned text as it forces the reader to work harder to continue reading. It slows down reading, when completing each line.

Alignment for Numerical Figures

Scan the prices in the sample invoice image below.

Left aligned: out of alignment
Right aligned: in alignment

Observe how the invoice on the left is easy to scan. This is because we can easily make out the cents figures from the dollars. Amount figures are right-aligned because the units, tens, and hundreds must align to create easily scannable lists. Even the decimals need to be aligned to create a better readability.

We start getting confused with the decimals while trying to scan through the invoice on the right.

Make Readability Your Top Priority. No matter what slides you’re working on, its message must be easy to read.

10. Using great visuals helps you catch your audience’s attention

  • Avoid clipart – Don’t use cheesy clipart in a professional presentation. It’s a contradiction in your message.
  • Use images that inspire – Use professional stock photos from our brand library.
  • Useful data – Graphs and charts have to make a major point in your presentation if they are shown. They must also be designed well.

Reach out to the design team if you need help in sourching new images for your presentation.

Questions and feedback

Send the Design Team a message on Slack if you have any questions or feedback.


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