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Microsoft PowerPoint is the leading software for creating presentations throughout the world. Millions upon millions of PowerPoint presentations are given every year. However, It is important not to open PowerPoint until you have planned the flow and logic of your presentation.

Here are a few guidelines to help your presentation stand out from the rest:

  1. Force yourself to use a font size of 30 or greater: This will make your presentation more accessible, will keep your audience interested and most importantly will improve clarity.
  2. Use a simple and consistent colour scheme: By choosing two or three colours and using them consistently throughout your presentation, you can create a visual theme.
  3. Use high quality images. Microsoft clip art is used a lot and will make your point in a generic way. However, it is free! Alternatively, use stock photographs from websites like (free) or (commercial).
  4. Use custom themes: avoid the standard PowerPoint themes, your audience will have seen them before. Instead download a free template from a website like (free), buy one from a website like (commercial) or create one through the use of consistent colours described above.

Some things to avoid:

  1. Avoid PowerPoint Karaoke i.e. Do not read out your slides, particularly if they have a lot of text. Your audience can read quicker than you can speak.
  2. Dodge the Bullets: Avoid too many bullets as well – it makes the information dull for the audience.
  3. Avoid animations: Avoid PowerPoint animations which do not add to the goal of your presentation. They can be annoying.

Finally, remember your presentation should simply be a support. You are the main focus of the presentation, not your slides. In an ideal world, you should be able to deliver an equally interesting presentation should the projector or computer break down - a not unlikely possibility.

Useful resources

For a great range resources on giving presentations, in a variety of formats, Click here to enrol the SLD Blackboard module.