How to Make Attractive and Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Microsoft PowerPoint has dramatically changed the way in which academic and business presentations are made. This article outlines few tips on making more effective and attractive PowerPoint presentations.


  • Keep the wording clear and simple. Use active, visual language. Cut unnecessary words ? a good rule of thumb is to cut paragraphs down to sentences, sentences into phrases, and phrases into key words.
  • Limit the number of words and lines per slide. Try the Rule of Five - five words per line, five lines per slide. If too much text appears on one slide, use the AutoFit feature to split it between two slides. Click within the placeholder to display the AutoFit Options button (its symbol is two horizontal lines with arrows above and below), then click on the button and choose Split Text Between Two Slides from the submenu.
  • Font size for titles should be at least 36 to 40, while the text body should not be smaller than 24.
  • Use only two font styles per slide - one for the title and the other for the text. Choose two fonts that visually contrast with each other. Garamond Medium Condensed and Impact are good for titles, while Garamond or Tempus Sans can be used for the text body.
  • Embed the fonts in your presentation, if you are not sure whether the fonts used in the presentation are present in the computer that will be used for the presentation. To embed the fonts: (1) On the File menu, click Save As. (2) On the toolbar, click Tools, click Save Options, select the Embed TrueType Fonts check box, and then select Embed characters in use only.
  • Use colors sparingly; two to three at most. You may use one color for all the titles and another for the text body. Be consistent from slide to slide. Choose a font color that contrasts well with the background.
  • Capitalizing the first letter of each word is good for the title of slides and suggests a more formal situation than having just the first letter of the first word capitalized. In bullet point lines, capitalize the first word and no other words unless they normally appear capped. Upper and lower case lettering is more readable than all capital letters. Moreover, current styles indicate that using all capital letters means you are shouting. If you have text that is in the wrong case, select the text, and then click Shift+F3 until it changes to the case style that you like. Clicking Shift+F3 toggles the text case between ALL CAPS, lower case, and Initial Capital styles.
  • Use bold or italic typeface for emphasis. Avoid underlining, it clutters up the presentation.
  • Don't center bulleted lists or text. It is confusing to read. Left align unless you have a good reason not to.
  • Run "spell check" on your show when finished.


  • Keep the background consistent. Simple, light textured backgrounds work well. Complicated textures make the content hard to read.
  • If you are planning to use many clips in your slides, select a white background. If the venue of your presentation is not adequately light-proof, select a dark-colored background and use any light color for text.
  • Minimize the use of "bells and whistles" such as sound effects, "flying words" and multiple transitions.
  • Don't use red in any fonts or backgrounds. It is an emotionally overwhelming color that is difficult to see and read.
  • Many free templates are available for download at and .


  • Animations are best used subtly; too much flash and motion can distract and annoy viewers.
  • Do not rely too heavily on those images that were originally loaded on your computer with the rest of Office. You can easily find appropriate clips on any topic through Google Images. While searching for images, do not use long search phrases as is usually done while searching the web - use specific words.
  • When importing pictures, make sure that they are smaller than two megabytes and are in a .jpg format. Larger files can slow down your show.
  • Keep graphs, charts and diagrams simple, if possible.
  • Use bar graphs and pie charts instead of tables of data. The audience can then immediately pick up the relationships.


  • If you want your presentation to directly open in the slide show view, save it as a slide show file using the following steps.
  • Open the presentation you want to save as a slide show.
  • On the File menu, click Save As.
  • In the Save as type list, click PowerPoint Show. Your slide show file will be saved with a .pps file extension.
  • When you double-click on this file, it will automatically start your presentation in slide show view. When you're done, PowerPoint automatically closes and you return to the desktop. If you want to edit the slide show file, you can always open it from PowerPoint by clicking Open on the File menu.
  • Look at the audience, not at the slides, whenever possible.
  • If using a laser pointer, don't move it too fast. For example, if circling a number on the slide, do it slowly. Never point the laser at the audience.
  • Black out the screen (use "B" on the keyboard) after the point has been made, to put the focus on you. Press the key again to continue your presentation.
  • You can use the shortcut command [Ctrl]P to access the Pen tool during a slide show. Click with your mouse and drag to use the Pen tool to draw during your slide show. To erase everything you've drawn, press the E key. To turn off the Pen tool, press [Esc] once.


Master Slide Set-Up:
The "master slide" will allow you to make changes that are reflected on every slide in your presentation. You can change fonts, colors, backgrounds, headers, and footers at the "master slide" level.

  • First, go to the "View" menu.
  • Pull down the "Master" menu.
  • Select the "slide master" menu.
  • You may now make changes at this level that meet your presentation needs.

    Preparing the Handout:
    In PowerPoint, choose File | Send To | Microsoft Word. In the Send To Microsoft Word dialog box, choose Outline only to create a text-only document, and click on OK. Minor modifications on this document will give you a handout that can be distributed to the audience.

    Create visually appealing slides by adhering to these tips, to ensure that the audience is not distracted from the points you have to make.

    Dr. Shahul Ameen, M.D. is a Psychiatrist based in Ranchi, India. He edits a portal with information on mental health and Psychiatry, and a directory of Indian websites on mental health.

    Microsoft Great Plains 8.0 Brazilian Version ? Overview For International Consultant

    Microsoft Great Plains has substantial mid-market share in the USA plus due to the ... Read More

    C++ Function Templates

    C++ Function templates are those functions which can handle different data types without separate code... Read More

    S is for Spying, Surveillance -- and for Software as Well

    Words we choose to describe things and phenomena often show our attitude towards what we... Read More

    Microsoft Great Plains Furniture & Fixtures ? Implementation & Customization Highlights

    Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Software Dynamics / eEnterprise was introduced in 1993 as... Read More

    Software Automation Helps Increase your Bottom Line

    When you own a small business, time is money. And every time a task that... Read More

    Microsoft Great Plains Upgrade ? Things to Consider and FAQ

    If you have Microsoft Great Plains and support it for your company then you need... Read More

    Lotus Notes Domino and Microsoft CRM Integration

    Well, even if the combination might look very unusual, we see the coexistence of these... Read More

    The Truth: Netzero 3G

    We've all seen the ads on TV for Netzero 3G. You know the ones, "speeds... Read More

    Manufacturing Solutions for Microsoft Great Plains ? Overview for Consultant

    Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains has full-featured manufacturing set of modules. In this small article... Read More

    Choose your Java Wisely

    Java has come along a long way. Many would agree with this. I did not... Read More

    Scrap Booking Online: Word Perfect or Corel Graphics Suite?

    Scrapbooks are very popular these days. I think that almost everyone wanted... Read More

    Microsoft Navision Customization Upgrade ? Tips For Programmer/IT Specialist

    Currently Microsoft Business Solutions is on the way of creating so-called suites: Microsoft Financials, Microsoft... Read More

    Microsoft Great Plains Implementation for Large Corporation ? Overview for VP IT

    Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains was historically designed to serve mid-market first and then with... Read More

    How to Upgrade Dexterity Customization ? Tips for IT Manager

    If you have Microsoft Great Plains and support it for your company and have... Read More

    Device Driver Basics

    Most people understand that the "hardware" part of their computer is the real physical parts,... Read More

    An Easy Way to Develop JAVA Enterprise Applications

    Research bears that less than 70 percent of development projects are actually completed, and more... Read More

    Causes of ERP Failures

    ERP is the acronym of Enterprise Resource Planning. Multi-module ERP software integrates business activities across... Read More

    PHP On-The-Fly!

    IntroductionPHP can be used for a lot of different things, and is one of the... Read More

    eConnect: eCommerce Development for Microsoft Great Plains

    Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains has several options to enable web ordering. Traditionally Great Plains... Read More

    Four Desktop Tools To Drastically Increase Your Productivity

    Sticky Notes StickyNote 9.0, you can create beautiful 3D notes on your desktop or send... Read More

    10 Steps To Secure And Manage Your Passwords

    Passwords protect your most sensitive personal, financial and business information. They are the key to... Read More

    Software For Your Hard-Drive

    All your software is stored on a hard-drive. But how about software FOR your hard-drive... Read More

    What You Must Know About Spyware Right Now

    Spyware is like the new technological nuclear weapon on the internet. Spyware can not only... Read More

    Great Plains Bill of Materials Setup & Customization for Process Manufacturing ? Overview

    Microsoft Great Plains has full-featured Manufacturing suite of modules: Capacity Requirements Planning, Job Costing, Master... Read More

    Ukraine: a Prospective Player on the World Software Outsourcing Market

    The destruction of the Soviet Union about 15 years ago, made a huge country with... Read More

    Troubleshoot Windows with Task Manager

    Task Manager is a Windows system utility that displays thetasks or processes currently running on... Read More

    Lotus Notes Domino and Web: Application Development ? Tips for Programmers

    Beginning with Domino version R4 it has integration with the Web, and the server itself... Read More

    Groupware and Online Collaboration: Collaboration Series #4

    This article is the fourth of a series of articles exploring specific aspects of groupware.... Read More

    New Web-Based HR Tool is Max From NAS, Hannibal, and InfoLink

    Three highly respected names in Human Resources have joined forces to provide companies with a... Read More

    Adware and Spyware

    What is 'adware'?Adware is basically software or scripts that are hidden on your computer, that... Read More

    Great Plains Dexterity: Customizations & Source Code Programming

    Great Plains Software Dynamics, Dynamics C/S+, eEnterprise were written on GPS proprietary programming language and... Read More

    Microsoft Great Plains Customization Recovery & Upgrade for Large Corporation

    At the end of XX century, in the late 1990th Great Plains Software eEnterprise was... Read More

    Story Development Software: Good or Evil?

    In the early days of the personal computer, we're talking the mid-'80s here, there was... Read More

    Reporting Tools for Microsoft Great Plains ? Overview For Developers

    Looks like Microsoft Great Plains becomes more and more popular, partly because of Microsoft muscles... Read More

    Off The Record - Tips For Picking Recording Software

    Need software to record your voice, streaming audio or musical instruments? There are dozens of... Read More

    Microsoft Great Plains Installation ? Overview for IT Director/Controller

    Microsoft Great Plains is main mid-market application from Microsoft Business Solutions. This is short article,... Read More

    CRM 101: Customer Relationship Management for Beginners

    Customer Relationship Management, abbreviated "CRM," is the term for a business strategy that is designed... Read More

    ERP Remote Support: Microsoft Great Plains Analysis ? Pluses & Minuses

    Former Great Plains Software Dynamics/eEnterprise and currently Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains serves midsize and... Read More

    Razzle Dazzle Them

    Once upon a time not so long ago, there was a little boy who went... Read More

    Destination: Desktop for Google

    First we had the original Google search that evolved into the leader in its class.... Read More

    Make or Break Factors - When Considering Estimating Software

    Make-or-Break Factors in Success and ProfitabilityFor quick printers, estimating can prove to be a major... Read More

    Marketing Your WinRunner Team

    It won't matter how effective your WinRunner Team is if no-one outside your immediate organization... Read More

    Perfectly New Database Query Tool - Foxy SQL Pro Released

    Are you a database professional? Do you work with a lot of ... Read More

    Microsoft CRM Data Import FAQ

    Microsoft CRM has built-in conversion tool, however you should probably first try third party conversion... Read More

    Microsoft Great Plains - Typical Problems And Fixes ? Overview For IT Administrators

    How to delete the user? This is the first problem you encounter - when user... Read More

    Running a Program on a Remote Server Using SSH

    How do you run a program on a remote server using ssh?For this example we'll... Read More

    Microsoft Business Solutions Products Selection: ERP, CRM, Retail Management

    Let's first look at your ERP system selection (without Retail Solution). Your options are:Microsoft Great... Read More

    Unwanted Files

    A LOT OF UNWANTED FILES.When you uninstall an item of software, there are generally a... Read More

    QuarkXpress Tips: How to Move Content Between Print and Web Layouts

    Since its release in 1987, QuarkXpress had made an immediate impact to computer enthusiasts. QuarkXPress... Read More

    History of Java

    The java programming language is becoming more and more popular each day. It is the... Read More