The Complete Guide to Nailing a Successful PowerPoint Presentation

The main goal of any presentation is to convey the idea so that it is remembered. However, this is not easy at all. You need a perfect combination of colors, fonts, animation effects, illustrations, and text. To help you prepare for the presentation and create impressive PowerPoint slides, we collected valuable tips and recommendations.

1. Font

When choosing a font, the key point is its “readability.” Note the sans-serif fonts, for example, Arial, Helvetica, and Calibri. In addition, the font should reflect the image of the company and correspond to the theme of the presentation. The font size should be large enough so that the audience can easily read your ideas. For the main text, the font size is 24 or more, 36-44 should be used for headings. Separate in italics only single words or phrases, but not voluminous fragments of the text.

2. Color

Correctly chosen colors will increase the interest of the audience and improve the perception of information. To draw attention, use contrasts, but not more than 3-4 colors.

Dark text on a light background looks much better than a light text on a dark background.

According to scientific research, about 5-8% of the audience do not distinguish some colors. The most common form of so-called color blindness is the inability to distinguish between red and green colors. Try to limit the use of these contrasting matches.

3. Text

  • Remember the rule of “6×6” and try to stick to it whenever possible: on the slide — 6 lines, in the line — 6 words.
  • Prefer short, clear sentences and bulleted lists. Do not overload the presentation with textual information.
  • Do not abuse punctuation. It is better to omit punctuation at the end of the headers and list elements.

 4. Design and graphics

  • Leave enough “free space” on the slides. An excessive number of images can interfere with the perception of information.
  • Create charts, charts, tables. Bright elements perfectly convey quantitative data. However, use them cautiously, sometimes they distract the audience from the main idea.
  • Instead of plain text, use visual elements that are related to the subject of the message. Select only high-quality illustrations and graphics.

5. General recommendations


  • Reduce the number of slides in the presentation to keep the audience’s attention. Please note that the duration of human concentration is no more than 15 minutes on average.
  • Pay attention to the sequence of slides — build a logical structure convenient for perception.
  • The presentation on the big screen can be displayed differently. Before the presentation, check that the size of the text and the color scale look as attractive as on the computer.


Bonus- The Most Common Mistakes


  • Fonts. Don’t use standard templates even when you don’t have time. It is better to take simple white font than to use 10000 times used templates offered by the MS Office. They look arcane, like you’ve used a time machine and brought your audience back in time into 90’s.
  • No Goal. Your presentation should have a goal and you should know it from the very beginning. Otherwise, it will be a presentation about nothing in particular. Your goal should be formulated in one or two sentences and should be proactive. It means that you should know exactly what you want your audience to do after your presentation.
  • Colors. You should not use more than 5 colors in the entire presentation. As it was mentioned, it is better if you use 3-4 colors. Make sure to choose the matching colors, but don’t get stuck with it.
  • Tables. Not even one person in the room will read the table which is given in the PowerPoint slide. It is a law of nature and you can’t fight it. If you need to present extended tables with numerical data, please, print them separately and spread it among your listeners.
  • Robotic style. You are not a robot, and your listeners are not either. You should speak livelily, make some jokes when applicable and give real-life examples. Read your presentation speech loud and make sure you always have enough air in your lungs to finish one sentence.


Use these simple practical tips to make a compelling PowerPoint presentation and impress the audience!

This guest post was written by Alex Buffet. Photo by Jason Wong. 

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