16 Powerpoint Presentation Guidelines For Beginners

Modern work-life is incomplete without presentations. Here are 16 powerpoint presentation guidelines that will help you.

Call them PPT, powerpoints, or slides. Modern work-life is incomplete without them. Here are 16 PowerPoint presentation guidelines that will help you.

16 simple powerpoint presentation guidelines

If you are a beginner or an expert, it is always a good time to brush up on your skills. If you are a woman returning to work, or a young woman starting out, it is always advisable to utilise every resource you get and learn tips to make your life easier.

Here are some pointers to make your next presentation stand out.

  • Use the slide master feature to create a consistent and simple design template.  It is fine to vary the content presentation (i.e. bulleted list, 2-column text, text & image), but be consistent with other elements such as font, colours, and background.
  • Simplify and limit the number of words on each screen.  Use key phrases and include only essential information.
  • Limit punctuation and avoid putting words in all capital letters. Empty space on the slide will enhance readability.
  • Use contrasting colours for text and background. Dark text on a light background is best. Patterned backgrounds can reduce the readability of text.
  • Avoid the use of flashy transitions, such as text fly-ins. These features may seem impressive at first, but are distracting.
  • Overuse of special effects such as animation and sounds may make your presentation “cutesy” and could negatively impact your credibility.
  • Use good-quality images that reinforce and complement your message. Ensure that your images maintain their impact and resolution when projected on a larger screen.
  • Limit the number of slides.  Presenters who constantly “flip” to the next slide are likely to lose their audience. A good rule of thumb is one slide per minute.
  • Learn to navigate your presentation in a non-linear fashion. PowerPoint allows the presenter to jump ahead or back without having to page through all the interim slides.
  • Know how to practice moving forward and backwards within your presentation.  Audiences often ask to see the previous screen again.
  • If possible, view your slides on the screen you’ll be using for your presentation.  Make sure they are readable from the back row seats. Text and graphics should be large enough to read, but not so large as to appear “loud.”
  • Have a Plan B in the event of technical difficulties. Remember that transparencies and handouts will not show animation or other special effects.
  • Practice with someone who has never seen your presentation. Ask them for honest feedback about colours, content, colour effects or graphics you’ve included.
  • Do not read from your slides. The content of your slides is for the audience, not for the presenter.
  • Do not speak to your slides. Many presenters face the direction of their presentation rather than their audience.

What are you waiting for? Start implementing these tips today!

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Image source: CanvaPro

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About the Author


Neelam Saxena Chandra is an Engineering graduate from VNIT and has done her Post Graduation Diploma in IM&HRD and also in Finance. She has completed a summer course in Finance from London School of read more...

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