Powerpoint: Presentation Tips

PowerPoint slideshows should enhance your presentation, not detract from it. Here are a few simple tips to start you on the right track.
See also: PowerPoint: Basic Slideshows & Image Capture

A. Presentation structure:


  • Title of presentation, date, presenter name


  1. Main points of what you will talk about
  2. Then follow the structure you’ve laid out
  3. Start broad, finish specific
  4. Rank Information (What NEEDS to go on the slide)
  5. Simplify


  1. Cover detailed information based on your outline
  2. As many slides as you need, as many as 1-2 per minute
  3. Remember Powerpoint is more visual than verbal: “a picture is worth a thousand words”


  1. Audience will likely take away the last thing you say
  2. So make a point to have the last slide be meaningful
    • provide contact information for followup?
    • pose a question for discussion?
    • finish with a joke/or light hearted conclusion?
  3. At the very least put a blank slide at the end
    • provides a non-distracting placeholder for discussion
    • prevents clicking through back to Powerpoint application

5. Slide types:

  1. Highlight your presentation, don’t create a substitute for it
  2. Bullet points, not complete sentences
  3. 4-6 points per page
  4. No large blocks of text, audience stops listening, and reads
  5. Consider showing one point at a time, using animation
    • helps the audience focus on what you are saying


  1. Avoid clip art… everyone has seen it before, lacks emphasis
  2. Images should be good: not pixilated, out of focus, too dark
  3. Cropped to remove distractions


  1. Make them as simple as possible
  2. To be grasped in just a few moments, not studied at length

8. Design issues:

  1. Use a consistent background and layout for all slides
  2. The template sets the tone of your presentation
  3. choose it carefully
  4. Avoid really bright backgrounds, or cluttered layouts


  1. Choose two at most, nothing cursive or ornamental
  2. Stick to sans-serif fonts, for legibility
  3. Minimum of 18 point, 20 to 24 is better
  4. Main points/titles bigger than subpoints/content


10. COLOR:

  1. High contrast dark on light, or light on dark
  2. Use color with care, to emphasize your talk
  3. Avoid extremely bright colors, hot pink, neon orange, acid green
  4. Do not combine red/green, yellow/purple, or blue/orange


  1. Use sparingly, and be consistent
  2. Avoid distracting or annoying sound effects

12. How to Embed YouTube Videos Directly into PowerPoint

  1. “This is the easiest approach and recommended if are sure that the presentation venue will have great connectivity. Download the YouTube Wizard plug-in from skp.mvps.org and upon installation, this will add a new “Insert YouTube Video” command to your PowerPoint Toolbar.”
  2. Extract the contents of the zip to a folder.
  3. Launch PowerPoint.
  4. Click on Office Button | PowerPoint Options.
  5. In the PowerPoint Options dialog, select the Add-ins tab.
  6. Select ‘PowerPoint Add-ins’ from the Manage drop down and click ‘Go…’
  7. On the Add-ins dialog, click ‘Add New…’ .
  8. Navigate to the folder where the contents of the zip file was extracted and select ‘YouTubeVideo2k7.ppa’ and click on OK.
  9. You might be prompted with the macro virus warning. Enable the macros. When the Add-in is properly loaded, it will display a checkmark against the add-in name.
  10. Under Insert tab
    a new slide, click on the new YouTube add-in button,  and follow the wizard prompts.

13. Check your work carefully:

  1. Check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
  2. Check for logic and the flow of information
  3. Try to test your presentation in the room before your talk
    • you may need to adjust the colors/templates/font size for the room/equipment
  4. Be prepared to give your talk without a PowerPoint slideshow
    • technical glitches do happen

B. Presentation hints :

  1. Practice your presentation
  2. Make eye contact with your audience
  3. Do not read the slides to your audience
  4. Leave time for Q&A at the end
  5. Don’t forget to summarize your main points
  6. Use Powerpoint to enhance your talk
  7. (NEVER the reverse)



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