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Step 1: Designing PowerPoint slides

There are a number of features to consider when designing effective PowerPoint slides. The guidelines given below will ensure you create slides that will be easy for your audience to read and understand.

Using colour

  • Be consistent. Ensure that all of your slides have the same or similar background images and colour schemes. PowerPoint's design templates can be used for this.
  • Prepare slides that use a bold colour contrast, e.g. black or deep blue text on a cream background (black and white can be too glaring for the audience).
  • Avoid using red or green for text or highlighting as it can be difficult to read.

Using text

  • Avoid using too much text. A useful guideline is the six-by-six rule (slides should have no more than six bullet points and each bullet point should be no more than six words long).
  • Create bullet points which are clear summaries of key points. It is not necessary for bullet points to be complete sentences.
  • Don't mix up your fonts and font sizes. Too many variations in font size and type can be visually confusing.
  • Ensure that your text is at least 24pt otherwise it may be difficult to read on screen.
  • Choose left align for all text to make it easier to read.
  • Avoid multiple columns of text on a single slide as they can be difficult to follow on screen.
  • Use bold for a clear and simple form of emphasis and headings rather than UPPER CASE, italics or underlining.
  • Set clear hierarchies for type size to help your audience distinguish between headings, main text and other types of text.