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Effective Presentation Design & Delivery

Best Practices & Considerations

Size & Amount

You should be conveying most of the information for your presentation, not your slides. Your slides should highlight only the most important information. If the information doesn't fit, then it's probably too long! A good rule of thumb is no more than 6 words a line nor 6 lines a slide.

Also make sure you are using a font size that is large enough for an audience member to see, regardless of where he or she may be sitting.

 Don't cram too much text on slides Make sure your text is large enough to read


Color and color contrast are very powerful tools, but you have to be careful about how you use them, especially with text. Avoid using complementary colors (red/green, blue/orange, purple/yellow) as text and background colors. It is much easier on the eyes to use light text on a dark background, or vice versa. This difference has implications for accessibility. Online contrast checker tools can be used to check the accessibility of background/ foreground combinations. Consider using the above checker tools for your presentations, but defiantly if you are putting your presentation on the web. 

 white text on a blue background which reads, easy to read green text on a red background reading, hard to read

Color is useful for emphasizing and focusing your viewer's attention. In the slides below, one's eye is immediately drawn to the colored text and the color photo first.

Slide with improper contrast text and image Slide with proper contrasting image and text


It is important that you stay consistent with your fonts. Use the same fonts for your title and body text throughout your presentation. And don't use more than 3 fonts!

slide with hard to read fonts

Use fonts that will be legible when projected on a screen. Your audience needs to be able to read your text whether they are sitting close or far away. Also, use text that is appropriate to your subject matter. "Comic Sans" is almost never a good choice for a serious presentation.

slide with easier to read font


Many designs, in web and print, are structured along a grid system. Use the rows and columns of a grid to align objects and maintain unity from slide to slide.

slide with grid layout

Other Considerations

Slide with outdated clip art

slide with a lot of bullet points

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