Isn’t something wrong with our way of life? I see how most of the business activities and presentations as well, are focusing only on producing and selling more. But where does this consumption focus and belief in ever-lasting growth lead us? Can’t we do better, to care about our planet not only about profit? What can I do as a presentation designer to help? Read on to learn a few slide design tips on how you can present various environmental care topics effectively.
I ask these questions a lot recently, where businesses and society are heading. Maybe it started with this eye-opening book “Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Harari. Fortunately, I also notice a slowly rising awareness of environmental issues. I work with more and more presentations that promote changes towards sustainability.
On the occasion of Earth Day, I’d like to share a few slide design tips on how you can present various environmental care topics better.
As a presentation consultant, I would like to support presenters that talk about green projects, ecology, or sustainability topics. To help them share their message with an impact. Therefore I put together a few design tips that will help you make your slides look professional and stunning.
1. Do proper data research before the presentation
If you are about to create a presentation from scratch, it’s worth having a sound ground for the facts you plan to present. Pick up your data carefully. Today in the era of fake news and distorted statistics data it is important to base your presentation on reliable sources. Information sources from recognized international institutions, academic research papers,s or a university group are usually more trustworthy than information from an article in a tabloid newspaper or a social media post.
We can learn from an academic area, how to work with information sources. State clearly a list of references, to be transparent on your data. Properly done research papers require to have a peer review by some independent scientist.
In the context of presentation slides, a good practice is to mention a source of your fact right on the slide. Add a year as well, to show your research is up to date.
2. Organize your facts to clear presentation structure
To ensure proper understanding and impact of your message, give your presentation a sound structure.
If you are going to have longer content, organize it into blocks. You can use a classical “hamburger” structure:
- Think about how to start to attract attention. For that choose an attractive title. Follow with a quote or facts.
- Then develop each point, analyze reasons and show impact.
- Finish with wrapping it up, summarize main facts, and present the next steps.
Here are examples of agenda and section slides. Such slides define the structure of a presentation, especially if it’s a long one.
3. Present the content visually on a slide, avoid long blocks of text
To keep the attention of your audience, avoid lengthy texts as much as you can.
I know lots of resources come from scientific papers. For example, a famous IPCC Report on Global Warming is a great source material but not in a very attractive form. To use those facts in a presentation you need to extract the essence and present it visually.
If you want to pass your message to the general population, you need to make it easier to understand. Add stories, examples, and illustrations people can relate to.
Below I show a few visualization ways you can use to replace text with visual.
Choosing a proper visual depends on your slide content. Take a minute, analyze what kind of information you present and then replace or enrich it with fitting graphics.
1st slide type: Text about a process? Show it by flowchart diagram.
It can be simple series of blocks and arrows or you can enhance it graphically.
2nd slide type: Set of arguments can be presented as a list diagram.
If you already have bullet points in your material, present them in a visual form instead.
3rd slide type: Presenting numbers as infographics
Try to replace data tables at least with a chart. To make it more attractive you can enrich it with additional illustrations. You can illustrate categories by icons, use colors associated with nature (green, yellow, orange). Keep in mind that clarity is important here. Every decoration supports the information, doesn’t distract too much.
4. Finish presentation with clear next steps
Once you presented the problem, supported it with facts, it’s time to wrap it up. Tell what shall we do about it. Be clear in presenting the next steps. Whether it’s a single action or specific project steps, show it on a separate slide. Underline this is a final takeaway that people should walk out from your presentation.
Make such a slide stand out from the rest. You can use a full slide photograph as a background or use reverted color for a slide – if your presentation used white slides, use the color background here or vice versa.
Inspiration materials on environment protection and sustainability
These are books, presentations, and movies I personally recommend. They made me see the world from a different perspective.
- A movie about human impact on nature: David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet recent movie
- On tackling Climate Change: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
- On Sustainability and GDP focus nonsense – TED talk by Leyla Acaroglu
- Documentary series Cosmos by Neil deGrasse Tyson, especially the Serie 2, Episode 12
- Amazing book about forest systems: The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben
- Book Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari
- Website of IPCC Report on Global Warming
Graphics resources for green presentations
With our team, we have designed several visual materials, which include design tips and pre-designed graphics that you can reuse to make your environmental protection call more appealing. Here is a list of-ecology related visuals our designers had created.
- Climate Change Information Deck (editable PPT template). Free for ecological NGOs
- Plastic Pollution Information Deck (editable PPT template)
- Ecology & Waste Presentation Icons
- Sustainability Concept Icons, free upon request.
If you need some of these resources reach out to us. We are also open to wider cooperation ideas promoting these topics.