Tips for a great Powerpoint presentation

I’ve seen too many crappy presentations. Here are some tips so your reader doesn’t fall asleep during your presentation. View the presentations at the bottom of the page for a better demonstration.

Key data only!

Try to only put key data on your presentation. You are presenting the data. The slides are to remind your readers about the specifics and to take notes.

They are NOT your cue cards and you shouldn’t be reading off the slides.


It stands for: Keep it simple stupid! You want your readers to read your slides!

  • One slide should not have more than 50 words in it.
  • Do not ever, have a whole essay on a slide. Everyone hates it and will definitely not read through it.
  • Keep it minimal!
  • If presenting a picture or graph, put it on it’s own slide, annotate it and explain it.

Present, don’t read

Don’t read off the Powerpoint – present the Powerpoint! If you just read a massive block of text, you just look unprofessional and boring.

  • Come prepared with cue cards of some sort and glance at it every now and then.
  • Make sure to only have key data on the slides.
  • Humor!

Layout and look

The golden rules of a good looking presentation:

  1. No scribbly motion path animations. You want the reader to read the text – not chase it randomly around the screen.
  2. Contrasting colors. Make sure you can actually read the text clearly. Black on white or Yellow on Black-Dark blue gradient is perfect.
  3. Consistency. Every slide layout should be consistent – only the content should be different.
  4. Fonts. Two fonts are the ideal number to use. One for the title page and titles. Another for content. Also, use readable fonts. Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica are some good examples. Some to avoid include; Comic Sans MS, any joined/block writing and Wingdings. Use really big fonts (no smaller than 18pt)

Because I’m such a nice guy, I compiled two Powerpoints, both with the same information. Which one is better?

How NOT to do a presentation

How to do a good presentation

2 thoughts on “Tips for a great Powerpoint presentation

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