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PowerPoint Design Tips

Some useful design tips to keep in mind when designing your PowerPoint presentation:


·       Use a standard font such as Arial, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, or Verdana with a minimum font size of 20 pt

·       DO NOT USE ALL BLOCK CAPITALS (It’s shouting in online parlance)

·       Avoid using red or green fonts (colour blindness)

·       Limit boldface, italics and underlining.   In fact avoid underlining—it’s too close to hyperlinks.



  • Use graphics appropriately to illustrate key items
  • Ensure that diagrams are clear and easily read.  You may have to re-format or re-draw
  • Use cartoons, animations, sound or transitions sparingly, where you are comfortable with them, and sparingly
  • Ensure that you have proper permissions for the images that you use (patient consent, copyright, etc)

Slide Design

  • Ensure that the text is in contrast to the background
  • Use maximum of 3 colours
  • Avoid vivid patterns in background and use a solid background if possible
  • Do not place text or images up against each other or against the edge of the slide - use spacing instead
  • White space is always good
  • Contrast text strongly with background colour.   NOTE:   innovations in projection no longer require dark backgrounds with light text; however using PowerPoint slides in teleconferencing may require this convention.

Slide Layout

  • Focus on one main idea per slide    
  • Plan for 2 minutes of talk per slide, if possible
  • Use point form, where possible
  • Select approximately 3-6 lines per slide and leave room for white space
  • Always have a slide title
  • Use organizers such as titles, sub-titles or key questions to signal your audience where you are in your outline.  Be consistent with terminology from slide to slide
  • Check spelling and grammar