How to make a slide deck with Canva

I make a fair number of slide decks in my line of work. I live in Silicon Valley, and I’m a designer. This means I work in tech and with startups. Startups and tech companies are always presenting, and they always need designers to make their decks look…. Not terrible.

And let me tell you, some of the slide decks I’ve re-designed looked SUPER terrible. Because I’m a PC user ( I know, I know, I’m the only PC using designer I know too) I used to use PowerPoint. But I was never EVER fully satisfied with my PowerPoint decks - they were just… kind of ugly and bland.

Then I found out that you can make slide decks in Canva. And let me tell you - it is a massive improvement. So I’ve created a video tutorial to show you how I make a slide deck in Canva!

How to make a slide deck with Canva by Making Something Rad

If you’ve ever tried to use PowerPoint to make a presentation, you know that it’s pretty annoying to use. It’s not very intuitive. There are a lot of tools and options for editing, but they are arranged in an irritating way, and they can be hard to find. Also, I feel like the design choices are ugly. Even if you use a professionally made template, the results are less than idea.

I’ve never created a presentation I completely loved in PowerPoint.

As I mentioned, I make a fair amount of presentations for startups and tech companies. Most of the time, I’m redesigning a presentation that an engineer or manager put together, and it’s all weirdly squished  icons, clashing colors, and miles of tiny text. Usually the direction I get is to “make it look better.” I need to make it look so good, and make it so easy to read, that it influences someone to greenlight an expensive project or sign a paycheck. Whew!

I find that even with a professional PowerPoint template, presentations can come out looking a little too - corporate artwork. They aren’t really inspiring. And often times, the template will have a lot of page options that have crazy visuals, but those aren’t realistically usable in a presentation going to a VC or CEO. It’s like - they are both too basic and too crazy at the same time.

Then I noticed that Canva had a Presentation template option… and my life changed forever y’all.

The presentation templates in Canva are all stunning. They look SO professional, and modern too. There are a ton of options to choose from.

Each template has a number of different pages which are variations of the overall design. Some templates have more page style options than others - the range being around 5 - 10 different styles of pages. Like all Canva templates, they are fully editable and customizable. I’ve found them stunningly easy to use. It’s quite simple to switch the colors and fonts, add your own images, and create a beautiful, professional and cohesive slide deck in a very short time.

I’ve made a video tutorial to show you how I make a slide deck in Canva. For this tutorial, I’m using information pulled from a blog post I already created. 

I made this tutorial quickly before I had to head out to work. If I missed anything or you would like more info, please let me know in comments!

And here is the slide deck I created! It's really pretty basic, as this is an example. But you can see that even though it's a simple slide deck, it looks super profesh.

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind, to make your slide deck easy to read and great looking.

Be Consistent.

Use a cohesive design. This is easy in Canva, since the templates are designed so well. However, make sure you use a limited number of fonts and colors in your deck, to keep the deck looking good from start to finish. Using too many fonts and colors can make a deck look too busy.

Use Less Words.

On slides, less text is better. Break up your information into easy-to-read sections of text - no more than a paragraph or so on each slide. Make sure you use titles and sub-titles as well. And if you have multiple sections, break them up with a cover page for each section.

Don't Forget to Introduce Your Topic.

Don’t forget an intro and outro page! Include your title, your name, and your contact info. Canva’s templates have these already, so you can just plug in your information.

Viewers Like Pictures

Use images to illustrate your point! A presentation is always more interesting with images, and it helps the viewer understand your point better. Canva’s templates have plenty of options for pages with images, so take advantage of these. You can use Canva’s large gallery of free stock photos and illustrations in your slide deck.

Use an Outline

I find it helpful to have my content written up in a blog post or on a Google doc, so I can just copy and paste my information into the slide deck.

No matter what you need to make a slide deck or presentation for, I know you will have a great result with Canva’s presentation templates. You might not need to make presentations for startups like I do. Maybe you just want to create a presentation for your event, your project or blog post. Maybe you want to create a nice presentation for your team at work. Well, don’t bother to open PowerPoint. Just go straight to Canva and I promise you it will be about a billion times easier and nicer looking.

You can download your Canva slide deck as a PDF, which makes it easy to send and share. You can also use them as a nice visual for your blog, business, or on your LinkedIn profile. I like to make slide decks for some of my blog posts. I never share my client’s presentations online, but I upload my personal slide decks to my online portfolio, my LinkedIn page, and on Slideshare as well. Slide decks can be a great way to share information on social media, too.

I’d love to see the slide decks you make! Please leave me a link in the comments or share them on the Making Something Rad Facebook page! And please share this post or my tutorial with your friends as well!