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Creating a PowerPoint presentation can be an effective way to clearly communicate your ideas. The purpose of a PowerPoint is to complement and reinforce the information in your presentation. The screen should not take the focus away from you. Please keep in mind a few basic tips for making your presentation interesting and effective:

Helpful Tips:

  1. More Images, Less Text - Don't make your audience choose between reading a lot of text on the screen and listening to what you have to say. Images are nice to look at, engaging and can support the point you are making.
  2. Make One Point Per Slide - Focus on one thing at a time. Allow your audience to digest it and then move on to the next point.
  3. Keep it Simple - Avoid extraneous information.
  • Using an MMSD PowerPoint template is an easy way to include the MMSD logo in your presentation.
  • Each template has a title slide and various content slide layouts to accommodate different types of content.
  • Keep it short - if your audience gets bored and stops paying attention, the presentation loses its effectiveness.
  • Keep a consistent design to your slides. Don't use a different color scheme or font for each slide. Make each slide look like it belongs in your presentation.
  • Support the headline with graphic elements. Pictures or graphs can be so much more effective in supporting your ideas than just bulleted text.
  • When using graphs and charts remember that the simpler and bigger the graph, the better.
  • Put the big ideas on the screen with as few words as possible. The details should go in the handout materials you provide to your audience.

Click on the image to download a sample PowerPoint presentation

Creating an effective PowerPoint presentation

Overall presentation

  • Plan carefully
  • Do your research
  • Know your audience
  • Time your presentation
  • Practice your presentation
  • Speak comfortably and clearly

Effective PowerPoint Slides

  • Use design templates
  • Standardize position, colors and styles
  • Include only necessary information
  • Limit the information to essentials
  • Content should be self-evident
  • Use colors that contrast
  • Be consistent with effects, transitions and animation
  • Too many slides can lose your audience

Text guidelines

  • Generally no more than 6 words a line
  • Generally no more than 6 lines a slide
  • Avoid long sentences
  • Larger font indicates more important information
  • Font size generally ranges from 18 to 48 point
  • Be sure text contrasts with background
  • Fancy fonts can be hard to read
  • Words in all capital letters are hard to read
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms
  • Limit punctuation marks

Clip Art and graphics

  • Should balance the slide
  • Should enhance and complement the text, not overwhelm
  • No more than two graphics per slide

Note: PowerPoint presentations can also be saved in HTML format and inserted into a web page.

Do you have questions about the toolkit? Contact the Communications Department

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