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Presentation Tips

At Media Services, we are often asked what to do to make presentations look good. As a result we've developed this resource to offer some suggestions gathered in working with instructors, our own research and professional training, and our experience in supporting campus classroom instruction over the years.

Below are some general tips for visual presentations. For PowerPoint specifically, a great deal of information is available by doing some searching on the Internet. We will also be adding to this page periodically, so please look back here again for more on such topics as microphone tips, advice for student presentations, and other suggestions.

When showing text, have a limit of 3-5 bullet points on the screen

Showing too much text is difficult to read. If more than 5 ideas are listed. Often it is better to cover detail in handouts rather than via projection on the screen.

Plan for a screen resolution of 1024 by 768

When connecting a laptop, a higher resolution than 1024 by 768 may be used. The success of displaying at higher resolution varies depending on the particular laptop used.

Use colors for text and background that contrast with one another

Color schemes for slides work best when there is a strong contrast between the background color and the color used for text. It is important to check all colors on a projection screen before the actual presentation. The colors may project differently than what appears on your monitor.

Stick with two or three different fonts and styles

Combining a lot of different font types and sizes can be confusing to the reader.

Use a font that is large enough for people to see from the back of the room

When necessary, change the font size in your application. In most browsers, this can be done by going to the View menu and selecting Text Size.

Use san serif fonts

Refrain from using fancy fonts because they tend to be harder to read. Some suggested fonts styles are Arial or Helvetica. Avoid serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Palatino as they are sometimes more difficult to read when projected.



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