10 tips to make presentation slides more readable?

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Using slides that are nothing more than text blocks and bullet points is a surefire way to overwhelm your audience. Your attendees won’t need you for a presentation if your slides are effectively read as a transcript of the meeting. Adding visuals to your slides can help viewers focus on understanding the content without feeling tempted to ‘read ahead’. To ensure an impactful, informative presentation, use these 10 tips to make sure visuals play a big part in telling your story.

PowerPoint presentations have the potential to deliver a message and engage an audience. That is why it is so important to make sure your presentation design is well-crafted and effective. Keep reading for 10 expert tips on how to optimize your PowerPoint presentation for maximum impact.

 1- Keep it short

PowerPoint is an invaluable tool for conveying any presentation. As a presenter, it’s essential to remember to avoid displaying verbatim information on the slides—keep your bullets concise and focused on the core message. Doing this enables the audience to concentrate more on the story you are telling, rather than being distracted by what’s on the screen.

2- Select the right font

When setting up text for a presentation, it’s advisable to use a classic font instead of an untested one. With the right choice, you can make your pieces easier to read and potentially compatible with the computer you are presenting. To be on the safe side, select from timeless options like Verdana, Calibri, and Helvetica; these fonts are guaranteed to be installed on virtually every computer.


Select the right size

The ideal font size for every medium should be taken into account when picking the correct one. The general rule of thumb is that titles should have a minimum size of 20pt, while body text needs to at least be 18pt. This ensures clear legibility for all audiences, whether on laptops, computers, tablets, or projectors.


3- Make use of mock-ups!

When designing a presentation, it’s best to avoid including diagrams, schemes, or screenshots. They tend to add too much detail and clutter to slides, even though the information presented may be important. A simple solution is to include the diagram or screenshot inside an image of something like an iPad, laptop, beamer, or computer. This can help create more visually appealing presentations without sacrificing the necessary content.



Many presenters adhere to the principle that the number of words on each slide should never exceed six and that each bullet point should have no more than six words. While this helps keep presentations succinct and organized, this structure can be distracting to an audience if they need to read through a large amount of information. An effective alternative is taking advantage of PowerPoint Smart Art capabilities, as seen in Figure 1. Through the use of visual cues and animations, you can convey your point without sacrificing comprehension or visual appeal for your audience. Additionally, these visuals can help complement your speech through staggered delivery; each point will appear at the exact moment you’re discussing it.




Rather than relying on an overused template, you can create a custom design to captivate your audience. It doesn’t have to be complicated or involved–just something that stands out from the crowd. Alternatively, if you’re part of a larger organization, check with your marketing or branding department to see if there are any corporate-specific options available. See the example in Figure 3: The left-hand slide is a standard template and lackluster, while the right-hand side offers a unique and engaging design to draw attention to the presentation. You could even use similar illustrations like this one throughout the content slides.



For those of us in the accounting and finance space, visual presentations are a common way to display data. Excel spreadsheets can be used to quickly generate graphs, but this default output may not be ideal. To make your presentation more impactful, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Think about the most important elements of the graph – that should stand out in some form. For example, take a look at Figure 4: further adjustment was necessary to effectively communicate the message of this graph – grid lines were removed, other lines were lightened, and labels reformatted to create a simpler overall look. This is much easier for audience members to read quickly.

The second set of slides illustrates the use of a chart to showcase the performance for the Custom line. By increasing its size and adjusting the colors, the eye is immediately drawn to it. Additionally, 3D-style charts should be avoided. Since they present a distorted data view, it is difficult to determine their correct values. Take Figure 5 for example; when converted from a 3D bar chart to 2D, the value for Standard in 2014 changes from less than 4 to greater than 4.



White space or negative space is the area between the various elements within your slide, including at the slide margins. An example of this can be seen in Figure 6; a bit of white space has been added between each bar for increased readability and to reduce any sense of crowding. This addition helps make the chart more visually pleasing and accessible.


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