- Use font size no smaller than 24 point.
- Clearly label each screen. Use a larger font (35-45 points) or different color for the title.
- Avoid italicized fonts as they are difficult to read quickly.
- No more than 6-8 words per line
- For bullet points, use the “6 x 6 Rule.” One thought per line, with no more than 6 words per line and no more than 6 lines per slide
- Use dark text on light background or light text on dark background. However, dark backgrounds sometimes make it difficult for some people to read the text.
- Do not use all caps (except for titles).
- To test the font, stand back six feet from the monitor and see if you can read the slide.
Graphics and Design
- Keep the background consistent and subtle.
- Use only enough text when using charts or graphs to explain the concept.
- Clearly label the graphic.
- Keep the design clean and uncluttered. Leave empty space around the text and graphics.
- Use quality clipart and use it sparingly. The graphic should relate to and enhance the topic of the slide.
- Try to use the same style graphics throughout the presentation (e.g., cartoons, photographs)
- Limit the number of graphics on each slide.
- Avoid flashy graphics and noisy animation effects unless they relate directly to the slide.
- Limit the number of colors on a single screen.
- Use no more than four colors on one chart.
- Check the spelling and grammar.
- Do not read the presentation. Practice the presentation so you can speak from bullet points. The text should be a cue for the presenter rather than a message for the viewer.
- It is often more effective to have bulleted points appear one at a time so the audience listens to the presenter rather than reading the screen.
- Do not turn your back on the audience. Try to position the monitor so you can speak from it.
Presentation Practice Room
The library has a presentation specifically designed to help you practice your individual or group presentations! To learn more and to reserve the room, which includes a green screen for background editing, please visit the Presentation Room Guide.
Bankerd, Kathy. “How to Optimize Projection Technology: Using Fonts, Graphics, and Color to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Presentation.” Syllabus. November/December 1997.
Bird, Linda. “Avoid the Mistakes of PowerPoint Rookies.” Smart Computing. January 2001.
Brown, David G. “PowerPoint-Induced Sleep.” Syllabus. January 2001.