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Presentation tips - Making PowerPoint Slides

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PowerPoint Presentation

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Bad SlidesMaking PowerPoint Slides


Tips to be CoveredOutlinesSlide StructureFontsColorBackgroundGraphsSpelling and GrammarConclusionsQuestions

OutlineMake your 1st or 2nd slide an outline of your presentationExample: previous slideFollow the order of your outline for the rest of the presentationOnly place main points on the outline slideExample: Use the titles of each slide as main points

Slide Structure GoodUse 1-2 slides per minute of your presentationWrite in point form, not complete sentencesInclude 4-5 points per slideAvoid wordiness: use key words and phrases only

Slide Structure - BadThis page contains too many words for a presentation slide. It is not written in point form, making it difficult both for your audience to read and for you to present each point. Although there are exactly the same number of points on this slide as the previous slide, it looks much more complicated. In short, your audience will spend too much time trying to read this paragraph instead of listening to you.

Slide Structure GoodShow one point at a time:

Will help audience concentrate on what you are saying

Will prevent audience from reading ahead

Will help you keep your presentation focused

Slide Structure - BadDo not use distracting animation

Do not go overboard with the animation

Be consistent with the animation that you use

Fonts - GoodUse at least an 18-point fontUse different size fonts for main points and secondary pointsthis font is 24-point, the main point font is 28-point, and the title font is 36-pointUse a standard font like Times New Roman or Arial

Fonts - BadIf you use a small font, (under 18 pts), your audience wont be able to read what you have written


Dont use a complicated, heavy or cramped font for the body of your text

Color - GoodUse a color of font that contrasts sharply with the backgroundExample: blue font on white backgroundUse color to reinforce the logic of your structureExample: light blue title and dark blue textUse color to emphasize a pointBut only use this occasionally

Color - BadUsing a font color that does not contrast with the background color is hard to read Using color for decoration is distracting and annoying.Using a different color for each point is unnecessaryUsing a different color for secondary points is also unnecessaryTrying to be creative can be unprofessional

Background - GoodUse backgrounds such as this one that are attractive but simple

Use backgrounds with good contrast. White is always acceptable.

Use the same background consistently throughout your presentation

Background BadAvoid backgrounds that are distracting or difficult to read fromAlways be consistent with the background that you use

Graphs - GoodUse graphs rather than just charts and wordsData in graphs is easier to comprehend & retain than is raw dataTrends are easier to visualize in graph form

Always title your graphs

Graphs - Bad

Graphs - Good

Graphs - Bad

Graphs - BadMinor gridlines are unnecessaryFont is too smallColors are illogicalTitle is missingShading is distracting

Spelling and GrammarProof your slides for:speling mistakesthe use of of repeated wordsgrammatical errors you might have make

If English is not your first language, please have someone else check your presentation!

ConclusionUse an effective and strong closing- Your audience is likely to remember your last wordsAdd a website link for emphasisUse a conclusion slide to:Summarize the main points of your presentationSuggest future avenues of research

Questions??End your presentation with a simple question slide to:Invite your audience to ask questionsProvide a visual aid during question periodAvoid ending a presentation abruptly

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