Content and Design Tips for PowerPoint

Incorrect and correct examples of PowerPoint presentation design.

Including a PowerPoint in your presentation allows your audience to connect visually with the content you share. Common mistakes while creating a PowerPoint presentation leads to disorganized or illegible information. Effective PowerPoints use the following principles:



  • Organize the information with titles, bullet points, or other lists. Follow the same rules for writing an outline for a paper.
  • Bullet points should include keywords instead of paragraphs of text. Slides are meant to be supplementary to the presentation, not the centerpiece.
  • To keep things concise, use the 7x7 rule: no more than 7 lines of text and 7 words per line.
  • PowerPoints are a visual aid, so include graphs, charts, and images to show the audience. 
  • Don’t add too much information to one slide. Create another slide if you need to talk about more of the same topic. 



  • Use a legible font. Fonts that are used in academic papers like Arial, Helvetica, and Times New Roman are a safe bet. 
  • Use one of the design layout templates provided by PowerPoint or Google Slides. Only spend time on a custom design if it's required or you have time. 
  • Avoid using an image for the entire background of a slide. This can make text hard to read because of the low contrast of colors. When inserting a picture into a slide, put it alongside the text or create a standalone slide for it.
  • Do not use more than two or three pictures per slide unless they are the focus.
  • Try not to use too many animations for text or slides. Animations can add visual interest, but only dissolving (or fading) would actually be recommended due to accessibility considerations. 


Article ID: 133041
Tue 6/8/21 9:41 AM
Thu 6/24/21 1:28 PM