When creating a slidedoc, you must give your presentation audience a clear typographic system to follow that will help them digest your presentation clearly.
Your layouts help readers make a whole host of choices—what they should read first, where the main message is, what text goes with the diagram, what’s extra reading that they can skip for now, and the list goes on… That means you have to curate the copy, and that’s why it’s important to make your text consistent. Consistent doesn’t mean repetitive.
Of course, you’re going to want some variation in the way your presentation slides look. But giving people an idea of what to expect makes the content more accessible.
The most effective way to stay consistent is to establish a text hierarchy. A text hierarchy is a set of rules that govern how individual text elements will look.
For example, you may decide that the slide’s title will always be in ALL CAPS in the upper left hand corner, footnotes will always be in italics, and subtitles will always be bright blue. You will need to establish your own text hierarchy. These are the decisions that will make it easier for you to keep a consistent feel to your slidedoc, and for your readers to easily navigate your information.
You should establish your text hierarchy before you start laying out your copy. It’s much easier to edit your prose using a predefined set of rules than it is to make it up as you go and continually back track if you change your mind about fonts or colors. It’s okay to test and update your text hierarchy as you lay out your slidedoc. In fact, it’s a must. That said, take some time to think about the basics before you start.