Just follow the following rules and guidelines for one of your most successful Powerpoint presentations ever.
You probably use Powerpoint to support your presentation , not to hold it for you.
Too much content on the pages moves the focus of your audience away from you to reading something on a slide. And since our brain can only do one cognitive thing at a time… – you do the math.
Just understand that technicians will not be able to “adjust” or “repair” any of these “transgressions” on site (and definitely not quickly)
- 16:9: make sure your Powerpoint or graphic has a 16:9 format or produce graphics in HD 1920×1080 (72px resolution) Screens today usually have that aspect ratio. (4:3 is really old)
- Limit bulletpoints and text: Max 10 lines or bullets of text per slide. (see also fonts and sizes further down)
- Lines and line charts: Avoid using graphics that are difficult to read. For example, bright colors and thin lines on a white background and a small font make a graph hard to
read. It would be very difficult to see, especially in the back of the room.
Lines, grids or guides should not be smaller than 3 or 4 pixels wide or thick
- Graphic color contrast: Don’t use light grey in front of white, or yellow in front of green, or purple on blue. Make the foreground and background “pop” by making them contrast each other.
- Fonts and sizes: Make your font readable also from far behind. No text smaller than 18 point.
A good test is, if yoou prepare the graphic, if you step back from your computer-screen about 4m.
If you can still read it then, your font will be fine. And make sure, if you have to present on a different computer, to bring the fonts as well.
- Don’t fill your slide: Please in order for technicians to be able to fit your graphic nicely on the large screen, allow 5% of “non-content”-border as an “action-safe”-area
- Don’t use animations or effects: Please consider the use of animations that only make you look cheesy. If it does not enhance the content, just don’t use them, they are completely outdated.
For your “inspiration” or as a guide on how not to prepare Powerpoint-slides please visit the Facebook group: The worst Powerpoint slide