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Guidelines for Powerpoint Design
Ambiguous language (sentence fragments, passive voice, unclear defnitions) weaken important material.
Clipart has no content in it and won’t get any points across.
Never read aloud from slides
Do not paste whole paragraphs on the slides.
Printed handouts are better.
Creating a new slide
Click on the “new slide” button in the top toolbar
A dropdown menu should appear where you can pick the basic layout you would like to use.
Changing colors, designs, and formats
Click on the “design” button in the top toolbar
A menu should appear with many different designs.
Do not use any designs with:
Use backgrounds that have light colors. This will make them seem cleaner
Do not use bold color schemes. Use muted ones so it does not distract from your text.
To add images
Go to “Insert” --> “Picture” --> “from file…” and select your image.
Powerpoint’s strong point is displaying graphics while you give your talk, not showing you what you should say.
Adding your own shapes
Go to “insert” --> “picture” --> “autoshapes”
Select the type of shape you want, usually under “basic shapes”
Click and drag the area you want the shape covering
Double click on the shape to change the color and border
Limit your animations to circles to emphasize either anomalies in data, curiosities, or your main target.
Click on the part you wish to animate
Go to “slideshow” --> “custom animation”
In the new menu, go to “add effect” --> “entrance” --> “more effects” --> “appear”
Avoid leaving orphan words: words that, though are part of a sentence, are alone on a line.
^ exactly like that.
Sans serif fonts are good for titles
Oldstyle fonts are good for content
Keep your fonts and sizes consistent throughout the presentation
Use tables if your data is simple enough.
Graphs are alright as long as you don’t make them too confusing (no 3-d graphs)
If you have tables that don’t fit on the slide, include them in your handout.
Go to “Insert” --> “Chart” or “Insert” --> “Table” depending on what you want.
Use muted colors. This way they don’t distract from the background, but still say that you put more thought into this than the last minute.
To change the color scheme, go to the design menu and click on “color schemes.
To customize them, click on “edit color schemes” at the bottom.
Make sure the colors don’t clash and it does not hurt your audience’s eyes.
Bullet lists are typically too generic. They can communicate only three logical relationships: priority, sequence or simple membership in a set (however nature of the relationship remains unnamed)
They leave out critical parts of a plan and simplify what should be a complex bit of information into a brief list with not a lot to say.
Using multiple hierarchies of bullet lists makes the content extremely choppy and non-narrative.
Templates are also available: