40+ Tips for Awesome PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint. Whether you love it or hate it, we’ve all had to use it before. 

I personally think it’s a great tool. It’s easy to use and I love starting with a blank slide and creating my own masterpiece. You can even link slides and shapes and make really cool branched scenarios. Creating visually appealing PowerPoint presentations is definitely possible.

So, if you need to create a PowerPoint presentation and you’ve decided you want it to be great, check out the 40 tips below and you will be well on your way!

Structure

  • Decide on your goal – what is it this presentation is going to achieve?
  • Select a structure for your presentation
  • Divide your content into small sections
  • Include an introduction, content and a summary/ending
  • Add an agenda or outline slide, to let everyone know what to expect
  • End your presentation with a question slide

Design

  • Use a template or master slides
  • Check out Note & Point for tons of PowerPoint design inspiration
  • Choose a colour theme of 2 (maximum 3) complimentary colours and stick to it
  • Design a presentation that is basic, simple and clear
  • Select contrasting colours that go well together
  • Don’t overdo the corporate branding
  • Avoid excessive animations and slide transitions, text transition
  • Leave some white space on your slides – don’t clutter

Text Content

  • Write your script out in advance
  • Check (and double-check) your spelling and grammar
  • Re-order and re-organize your content sequentially
  • Use short sentences, not long paragraphs
  • Don’t use more than 4-6 bullets per slide
  • Incorporate only key phrases and essential information
  • Bring bullets or points on the slide one at a time
  • Don’t overload the screen with too much information at once
  • Align text either left or right (centered text is harder to read)

Fonts

  • Use the same size font on every slide
  • Stick to a maximum of two fonts throughout the entire presentation
  • Do not use more than one decorative font (usually for titles – not body text)
  • Avoid overly fancy fonts that are difficult to read
  • Try to avoid using serif fonts
  • Use a sans-serif font for body text
  • Choose a font colour that contrasts strongly against background (black text on white background = good, yellow text on light blue background = bad)
  • Use a font size larger enough that everyone in your audience can read easily

Visuals

  • Don’t overload slides with logos and decorative bars
  • Use pie charts and create graphics for your data to convey important information
  • Use well-selected photos or graphics that convey the message appropriately
  • Only incorporate images that add value
  • Choose either photos or graphics and stick with one or the other throughout
  • Include multimedia (video clips, animated movies)
  • Use photos that have good quality resolution
  • Resize and compress your photos before adding to the presentation
  • Choose graphics, clipart and photos that are consistent in style
  • Use animations sparingly, only to draw attention or to focus on something important

Since you’ve made it all the way to the end, maybe you should subscribe!

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6 Comments on “40+ Tips for Awesome PowerPoint Presentations”

  1. Troy says:

    Great blog Nicole!

  2. These are great tips and a wonderful blog! Thank you.

  3. [...] 40+ Tips for awesome PowerPoint presentations — This is a useful checklist for all presentations, not just PowerPoint. [...]

  4. Great post Nicole! Some of the tips you’ve provided here are essential for creating great PP presentations. I think all instructors should put together a checklist of tips such as this to review before beginning a new project. Thanks, and keep up the great advice!


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