Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Power point presentation: What is it and How to use it

Power Point is a software program to enhance  oral presentations and to keep the audience focused on the subject. It operates like an old-fashioned slide show, but uses modern technology in the form of computers and digital projectors rather than a slide projector of old. 

Here I show you tips I found really interesting for effective PowerPoint presentation.


§        Select sans-serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica.  Avoid serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Palatino as they are sometimes more difficult to read.
§        Use no font size smaller than 24 point.
§        Clearly label each screen.  Use a larger font (35-45 points) or different color for the title.
§        Use a single sans-serif font for most of the presentation.  Use different colors, sizes and styles (bold, underline) for impact.
§        Avoid italicized fonts as they are difficult to read quickly.
§        No more than 6-8 words per line
§        For bullet points, use the 6 x 6 Rule.  One thought per line with no more than 6 words per line and no more than 6 lines per slide
§        Use dark text on light background or light text on dark background.  However, dark backgrounds sometimes make it difficult for some people to read the text. 
§        Do not use all caps except for titles.

To test the font, stand back six feet from the monitor and see if you can read the slide.

Graphics and Design

§        Keep the background consistent and subtle.
§        Use only enough text when using charts or graphs to explain clearly label the graphic.
§        Keep the design clean and uncluttered.  Leave empty space around the text and graphics
§        Use quality clipart and use it sparingly.  The graphic should relate to and enhance the topic of the slide.
§        Try to use the same style graphics throughout the presentation (e.g. cartoon, photographs)
§        Limit the number of graphics on each slide.
§        Check all graphics on a projection screen before the actual presentation.
§        Avoid flashy graphics and noisy animation effects unless they relate directly to the slide. 
§        Limit the number of transitions used.  It is often better to use only one so the audience knows what to expect.


§        Limit the number of colors on a single screen.
§        Bright colors make small objects and thin lines stand out.  However, some vibrant colors are difficult to read when projected.
§        Use no more than four colors on one chart.
§        Check all colors on a projection screen before the actual presentation.  They may project differently than what appears on the monitor.

General Presentation

§        Check the spelling and grammar.
§        Do not read the presentation.  Practice the presentation so you can speak from bullet points.  The text should be a cue for the presenter rather than a message for the viewer.
§        Give a brief overview at the start.  Then present the information.  Finally review important points.
§        It is often more effective to have bulleted points appear one at a time so the audience listens to the presenter rather than reading the screen.
§        Use a wireless mouse or pick up the wired mouse so you can move around as you speak.
§        If sound effects are used, wait until the sound has finished to speak.
§        If the content is complex, print out the slides so the audience can take notes.
§        Do not turn your back on the audience.  Try to position the monitor so you can speak from it.

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