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Writing Center: Tips For Creating PowerPoints

A guide to information to help you research and write more effectively.

Tips for Creating PowerPoints

Text

  • Use professional and easy to read fonts, such as Arial or Helvetica
  • Be consistent in font size and style for body text as well as headlines
  • Avoid using more than four fonts in the entire presentation 
  • Use larger fonts, bold, color, sizes, or styles to indicate the importance of certain information 
  • Avoid italicized fonts as these styles are difficult to read
  • Only use all caps for headlines

Visual Aids

  • Use good-quality images that are easy to see
    • Check that your images maintain their resolution when you present
  • Use the same formatting for images throughout the presentation 
  • Avoid using flashy transitions 
    • These transitions can take away from the presentation and distract the audience 
  • Avoid overusing special effects, such as animation and sounds
  • Place repeating elements, such as page numbers, in the same location of each slide
  • Ensure that all the colors used are easy to see and read
  • Utilize an appropriate theme for the presentation that is appealing to the audience
  • Only use accurate and relevant charts and graphs

Content

  • Limit the amount of text that appears on each slide 
    • Slides should usually not contain large paragraphs and amounts of texts 
    • Use key phrases and include only the most important information 
    • Empty space enhances readability 
  • Provide a brief overview of the presentation at the start and a quick summary of the information at the end
  • Ensure text is free of grammatical errors
  • Clearly label each slide with a headline 
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms

Oral Presentation 

  • Face the audience as you speak, rather than the computer or slideshow
  • Avoid reading from your slides
    • Your slides should act as your cues for what you will say to the audience
  • Practice moving forward and backward during your presentation 
    • Your audience may ask to see the previous slides
  • Speak clearly, confidently, and enthusiastically   
  • Print the slides for the audience to read if appropriate 
  • Wait until the sound has finished if sound effects are used
  • Rehearse timing and practice with a timer multiple times before giving the final presentation