PowerPoint Dos and Don’ts

Powerpoint Do’s and Don’ts


  • Use good contrast of letting and background.
  • Use font size of >32 point.
  • Keep text to a minimum.
  • Make it visually clean and easy to follow.
  • Make it visually interesting.
  • Use some graphics or pictures that help with the concepts.
  • If you can use white or light lettering on a dark background do this only for contrast and not too often; it is hard on the eyes.
  • Use lots of headers that describe what is to follow so that information is easy to find.
  • Label each set of slides with clear labels.
  • Follow the order of the slides when lecturing (or you lose your audience while they search for the right slide).
  • Have sufficient information on the Powerpoint presentation that students don’t have to madly write as you talk.
  • Make your Powerpoint slides available in advance or at least at the beginning of each class session.
  • Use lots and lots of examples.
  • Use vocal modulation and facial expressions as you talk.
  • Take pauses as you talk, allowing information to sink in and for students to ask questions. It can be helpful to stick in a slide with “???” on it or a summary slide every so often to remind everyone to breath and catch up.
  • Build in practice time between major points (e.g., after teaching about confrontation of clients, have student practice with each other; after showing a formula and its use, have students use the formula alone or in small groups).
  • Use the principle: I do it, we do it, you do it.


  • Put up word documents; they have too much writing on them.
  • Put too much text per slide.
  • Use text that does not contrast well with the background (e.g., medium blue text on pale blue background; yellow on red).
  • Make all your slides white or light lettering on a dark background; that gets visually exhausting.
  • Read your slides word for word.
  • Speak in monotone.
  • Change the order of the slides that students have already.



Too much writing per slide; font too small; too little contrast with black font on green background, visually uninteresting, presenter is likely to have to read each of the 11 points.