Mrs. McNally’s Tips for
Making a PowerPoint/Slides Presentation

How to Create a Good Presentation to Get Your Point Across

Note: this presentation has been adapted from:,1,Making PowerPoint Slides

Tips to be Covered

  • Outline
  • Slide Structure
  • Fonts
  • Color
  • Background
  • Graphs/Images
  • Text & Quotes
  • Spelling & Grammar
  • Presentation Techniques
  • Conclusion
  • Questions/Contact


  • Make your 1st or 2nd slide an outline of your presentation, i.e.: the previous slide
  • Follow the order of your outline for the rest of the presentation
  • Only place main points on the outline slide

Ex: Use the titles of each slide as main points

Slide Structure – Good

  • Use 1-2 slides per minute of your presentation
  • Write in point form, not complete sentences
  • Include 4-5 points per slide
  • Avoid wordiness: use key words and phrases only

Slide Structure - Bad

This page contains too many words for a presentation slide. It is not written in point form, making it difficult both for your audience to read and for you to present each point. Although there are exactly the same number of points on this slide as the previous slide, it looks much more complicated. In short, your audience will spend too much time trying to read this paragraph instead of listening to you.

Slide Structure – Good

  • Show one point at a time:
    • Will help audience concentrate on what you are saying
    • Will prevent audience from reading ahead
    • Will help you keep your presentation focused

Slide Structure - Bad

Do not use distracting animation

Do not go overboard with the animation

Be consistent with the animation that you use

Fonts - Good

  • Use at least an 18-point font
  • Use different size fonts for main points and secondary points – this is 28-point
  • This subpoint font is 24-point and the title font is 36-point
  • Use a standard font like Verdana, Times New Roman, or Arial

Fonts - Bad

If you use a small font, your audience won’t be able to read what you have written


Don’t use a complicated font (it might not convert if using a different version)

Color - Good

  • Use a color of font that contrasts sharply with the background, i.e.: blue font on white background
  • Use color to emphasize a point; but, only use this occasionally
  • Best color combinations:

Yellow font on blue background

Blue font on yellow background

Color - Bad

  • Using a font color that does not contrast with the background color is hard to read
  • Using color for decoration is distracting and annoying.
  • Using a different color for each point is unnecessary
    • Using a different color for secondary points is also unnecessary
  • Trying to be creative can also be bad

Background - Good

  • Use backgrounds such as this one that are attractive but simple
  • Use the same background consistently throughout your presentation
  • If you use an image for a background, do not include text.
  • If you must include text, compliment the font color to the background color scheme.

Background – Bad

Avoid backgrounds that are distracting or difficult to read from

Always be consistent with the background that you use

Graphs & Images - Good

  • You do not have to include an image on every slide; if you do aim for one powerful image with minimal text
  • After inserting an image, do not distort the size
  • Be sure to cite the source of the image if you did not create it.
  • Use graphs rather than charts and words
    • Data in graphs is easier to comprehend
    • Trends are easier to visualize in graph form
    • Always title your graphs or images

Copyright and Images

  • Use copyright friendly images (Creative Commons licensed)
  • When in doubt, ask!
  • Consider your purpose and use of images - review the Copyright Guidelines section of the OHS Library website
  • Best practices for attribution: T / A / S / L

Title / Author / Source / License

Image - Good

Image obtained from

Image - Better

Pumbaa80. (2006, April 1). [Image of a smiley face]. Retrieved from


Image - Bad

Image - Really Bad

  • Madonna and Child
  • Vibrant colors

"Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and an Unidentified Male

Saint." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Feb. 2011. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.




Graphs - Good




Graphs - Better

Martin, John Bartlow. "Inside the Asylum Part Four: Psychiatrist at Work." The Saturday Evening Post 27 Oct. 1956: 79-83. Print.

Graphs - Bad

Spelling & Grammar

  • Proof your slides for:
    • speling mistakes
    • the use of of repeated words
    • grammatical errors you might have make

  • It’s always a good idea to have someone else review your presentation!

Text & Quotes

  • Try to paraphrase information from every source consulted
  • Remember to use bullet points
  • Limit the use of direct quotes
  • Be sure to include the citation at the bottom of the slide

Text & Quotes - Good

Scottsboro Boys Trial

  • Scottsboro, Alabama - 1931
  • Involved 9 African-American men (race case)
  • All accused of raping two white women
  • Faced execution
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Overturned in Powell v. Alabama

"Scottsboro Boys Case." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.

Text & Quotes - Bad

According to ABC-CLIO, nine African American youths, known as the Scottsboro Boys, were imprisoned in Scottsboro, Alabama, after being falsely accused of raping two white women in a freight car. The boys' convictions were overturned in Powell v. Alabama (1932), when the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the defendants, who had not been given adequate time to prepare a defense, were denied due process.

Presentation Techniques

  • Tone – so that the audience focuses on the information being shared
  • Volume – loud enough for everyone to hear
  • Pause – after an important point
  • Rate – slow enough to follow you, but not too slow to be bored
  • Eye contact – make eye contact
  • Facial expression – express your feelings and attitude
  • Gestures – feel free to move around, don’t pace/fidget
  • Posture – use good posture to convey confidence


  • Use an effective and strong closing - your audience is likely to remember your last words
  • Use a conclusion slide to:
    • Summarize the main points of your presentation
    • Suggest future avenues of research
  • Be sure to include a Bibliography slide if you consult sources
  • Remember that the point of your slides are to assist you in sharing your information - DON’T READ TO THE AUDIENCE!

Works Cited - Good

"Making PowerPoint Slides." N.d. PPT file. Conference handouts from

IASTED (Intergenerational Association of Science.


Pumbaa80. (2006, April 1). [Image of a smiley face]. Retrieved from


"Scottsboro Boys Case." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 27 Jan.


Works Cited - Bad

Gould, Cecil. Titian. London: Hamlyn, 1969. Print.

NICHOLS, TOM. “Titian.” Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. Ed. Jonathan Dewald. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004. Biography in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.

Titian. “The Assumption of the Virgin.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 2 Oct. 2014. <>.

“Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and an Unidentified Male Saint.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Feb. 2011. Web. 2 Oct. 2014. <,_Virgin_and_Child_with_St_John_the_Baptist_and_an_Unidentified_Male_Saint,_Oil_on_canvas,_transferred_from_wood,_1517-1520..jpg>.

“Titian.” The National Gallery. National Gallery, n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2014. <>.

Titian. “Sleeping Venus.” Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2014. <>.

Titian and Giovanni Bellini. “The Feast of the Gods.” Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2014. <>.

Questions / Contact

  • Include a simple question slide to:
    • Invite your audience to ask questions
    • Provide a visual aid during question period
    • Avoid ending a presentation abruptly
  • Include your contact information

Joanna McNally


Orange High School

Pepper Pike, OH 44124

(216) 831.8600 x2432

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