Eszter's Slide Presentation Tips and Tricks Page

>> Don't start a slide show without it! <<

The following are tips to make your slide presentations - e.g. PowerPoint slides - better in the future by making them more readable.

Tips for making slides better

  • Use dark background with light text. (Although note that if you are presenting in a bright room, it may be easier to see a slide with a light background. Thanks to Lorrie Cranor for pointing this out to me.)
  • Use sans serif font such as Arial or Helvetica. (For example, do not use Times, it's harder to read in a distance.)
  • Use large font, never as little as 12 point.
  • When displaying data (findings via numbers or quotes) consider using a different font, e.g. Courier bold, for emphasis. And although Courier is not sans-serif, it is big and bulky and can be read from afar.
  • If you can barely fit it on the slide then it's too much material. Unless everyone in the room can see all the details, get rid of some of the information. You don't want people to be distracted by squiting and trying to guess what's on your slides.
  • Minimize distractions. Do not display too many graphics and be very selective with the use of animations.
  • Remember the importance of white space, or perhaps we should just call it "blank space". Leaving some space on the slide blank is very important to making it an accessible slide.
  • If you have a lot to say, consider writing bullet point words instead of sentences or split up the slide's content into two slides.

    Compare the following:

    Back to Eszter Hargittai's Homepage

    Last updated: Summer, 2006