Basic Tips for Better Presentations

Basic Tips for Better Presentations

PowerPoint may be ubiquitous but good a presentation requires more than just laptop and an audience. This tip sheet has some basic tips for making a better presentation.

General Presentation Guidelines

Plan your presentation in an outline format. This will make it easier for your audience to follow along.

Create a title slide for each main point on the outline. This will give your audience reference points throughout the presentation.

Summarize all the main points at the end of your presentation.

Projector Screen

Use only the subtle animation schemes to reveal each new bullet point. Animation that is too energetic will only be distracting and become tiresome when repeated again and again.

If you put too much text on a slide your audience will be reading your slide instead of listening to you.

Be brief not boring! Leave them wanting to hear more.

Consider your audience's knowledge and interest in the subject and adjust your presentation accordingly.

Text and Formatting

Try to limit the number of lines of text to six to eight lines per slide. Anything more than that will require you to make the text too small to be easily read. Instead cramming everything into one slide, consider how to spread the same information over several slides. Not only will this allow you to keep the text at a reasonable font size, it will also help the audience to better comprehend the material presented on each slide rather than overwhelm them with one massive slide.

Slides can be made more readable with an ample amount of spacing between the lines and paragraphs. Add extra line spacing when you have a large block of text to make it easier to read.

It is better to reduce the font size by a point or two than to reduce the line or paragraph spacing to less than normal.

Don't allow your text to flow to the very edge of the slide. Allow about a 1 inch margin around the edges of the slide.

Make your bullets offset from your text by adjusting the indents on the ruler. Push the bottom indent to the right to keep your text from wrapping underneath the bullets. If your ruler is not visible, turn it on by going to the View menu and then select "Ruler".

Use subtle drop shadows to make the text pop out giving it a more three dimensional look and making it easier to read.

Use mixed upper and lower case text. For example:

  • Use Mixed Case for Titles
  • Use sentence case for body text.

Colors and Backgrounds

Choose colors that are easy to read and pleasing to the eye.

Limit the number of colors in a slide to two or three that work well together.

Keep the background the same or very similar for each slide in your presentation.

Maintain good contrast between the text and the background. Use a dark background with light text or a light background with dark text.

Keep the background simple. A flashy background will draw attention away from you and your message as well as making it difficult to read the slide.

Use a background with a solid color, subtle texture, or a gradient of a medium to darker version of the same color.

Additional Resources

Get a jump start on your presentation by using one of our PowerPoint on-screen presentation templates.

Have one of our professional graphic designers create a custom PowerPoint template for your next meeting. Please contact us 1-2 weeks prior to your presentation.

If you need additional information please call or email us.



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Last Updated: 11-14-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.