Designing Effective PowerPoint Slides

In BNI and Business Networking, Business Presentations, Communication, exective coaching, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, sales, Uncategorized on March 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

PowerPoint can be a tremendous visual aid or it can be a tremendous sleep aid.

Many audiences blame PowerPoint for being boring but that is like blaming a car for driving too fast ad swerving.PowerPoint is a tool and it is up to the user to determine how well it is used.

Here are some guidelines to help you be a skilled user.

General guidelines

  • Each slide should contain only 1 message
  • Replace words with images wherever possible
  • Eliminate distracting items from photos
  • Use a descriptive title
  • Use a black “safety slide” at the beginning and end of your show

Text slides

  • Limit slides to six (or fewer) lines of six (or fewer) words
  • Progressively disclose new information
  • Use a sans serif font that is at least 30 points
  • Display ideas – not sentences
  • Check your spelling

Keep charts and tables simple

  • Limit
    • tables to 5 rows/columns
    • bar graphs to 5 bars
    • line graphs to 3 lines
    • Pie graphs to as few slices as needed
  • Include only needed information (Eliminate redundant subtitles, grid lines and tick marks)
  • Use labels instead of keys
  • Place numbers directly on or by bars
  • Emphasize key elements with features, not a laser pointer


  • Select a background that matches or enhances your message
  • Mix it up – use a variety of backgrounds
  • Avoid using your logo on every slide


  • Fill your screen with the photo
  • Use one photo per screen

Many of us have developed a disdain for PowerPoint. The truth is PowerPoint is a great tool -it is just tends to be used improperly.

Use these simple guidelines to help you. If you have questions, contact iSpeakEASY or call to arrange for a PowerPoint skills workshop at your office.

© 2013 iSpeakEASY All Rights Reserved

  1. Reblogged this on Anrah's Blog and commented:
    You and I have been for far too long subjected to over-busy slides full of text. Plenty have writing that cannot possibly be read because it’s too small. And they draw our eyes away from the presenter. Indeed too many stages are designed lighting to illuminate the screen and NOT the presenter! And yet it’s the presenter who engages with their audience will be the most persuasive.

    Every presentation needs to persuade the audience to change the way they think or feel and take some action. To do that, the audience must be inspired to identify with and connect with the message. To influence your audience effectively, it’ll be how you build the relationship and manage that engagement that will determine whether you get them to take the action you want. No one developed a relationship with a PP slide!

  2. […] Designing Effective PowerPoint Slides […]

  3. […] Designing Effective PowerPoint Slides […]

  4. […] Designing Effective PowerPoint Slides […]

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