PowerPoint guidelines
What makes a PowerPoint presentation effective? When to use PowerPoint Presentations
What makes a PowerPoint effective?
  • Create a presentation outline to ensure a logical flow from beginning to end
  • Design should direct attention, not distract
  • Use consistency of design from slide to slide
  • Prepare no more than 3 slides per minute for oral presentations
  • Avoid listing important information at the bottom of the screen
Footers (Branding)
  • Place at bottom of page
  • Use to identify or credit sources of information  
  • [Examples: presenter's contact information, copyright, notations, website links]
  • Learn how to create footers using this online tutorial
  • Use a "7/7 Rule" -- no more than 7 words per line and no more than 7 lines or points per page
  • Limit punctuation
  • Avoid abbreviations, acronyms and slang
  • Use heading font size of 36 to 48   [Note: depends on font type]
  • Use body/text font size of 24 to 30   [Note: depends on font type]
  • Avoid serif fonts and italics
  • Use clean, easy-to-read fonts  [Examples: Arial, ArialMT, Verdana]
  • Use fonts uniformly throughout slide show
Font style
  • Select a font color darker than the background color
  • Avoid underlining – it suggests a hyperlink
  • Avoid distracting ‘word art’
  • Use upper and lower case letters   [Note: Words in all capitals are harder to read]

Use of color
  • Use simple background colors
  • Use light backgrounds with dark text for ease of reading
  • Consider color blind viewers
  • Use color to highlight important phrases
  • Be aware that colors convey moods  [Example: dark colors create somber mood]

Transition effects
  • Use simple and quick transition effects consistently
  • Utilize to enhance learning rather than provide entertainment
  • Avoid using multiple and distracting transition effects
  • Insert no more than 2 images per slide
  • Consider visual balance when inserting images
  • Ensure that images are appropriately sized for participants to see
  • Avoid distracting animations
  • Avoid using graphics as backgrounds for slides
  • Limit to 1 audio or video clip per slide
  • Use short audio and video clips
  • Ensure that audio and video clips enhance the presentation content
  • Use audio and video clips to capture listeners' attention and enhance themes
  • Avoid using sounds with slide transition
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 When to use PowerPoint Presentations
 Questions to consider
  • Would a PowerPoint enhance your presentation?
  • Is PowerPoint the best delivery method for this topic?
  • Is the presentation location suitable for a PowerPoint presentation? If not, can the location be changed or can the location be altered?
  • Would a PowerPoint handout be helpful for participants (audience) to take notes?
  • Should I use PowerPoint to create an effective presentation handout without actually using the PowerPoint slide show?
  • Would audio or video files enhance your PowerPoint presentation?

Types of PowerPoint presentations:
Stand-alone Slide Show
  • Slide show runs independently without an oral presentation
  • Slide show content conveys entire message
  • Graphs, charts and images are clearly labeled
  • Can be set to loop for repeated playing
Oral Presentation with Slide Show
  • Slides list items you will discuss in your presentation, not word-for-word what you will be saying
  • Think of slides as similar to note cards
  • Make sure you have interesting things to say about each item listed
Speech with Background Slide Show
  • Information will be in your speech, not the slides
  • Slides will be background only
  • Images can provide emotional appeal
  • Avoid attention-grabbers: audience should be listening to the speech
  • Presenter does not refer to slide show
  • Slide show may be running concurrently with but independent of the speech
Speech with Limited Reference to Slide Show
  • Total emphasis is on the speech
  • Slides are only used as needed for isolated image, audio, or video material
  • Every other slide is black or blank
  • Slide show projects a black or blank slide as speech begins, is clicked to introduce material when needed, then clicked to black or blank for continuation of the speech
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