Skip to Main Content

Social Work PowerPoint: Presentation Design

Presentation Design

PowerPoint for Presentations

Presentation Design

    * Don’t overload your slides with too much text or data.

    * FOCUS. In general, using a few powerful slides is the aim.

    * Let the picture or graphic tell the story. Avoid too much text.

    * Type key words in the PowerPoint Notes area listing what to say when displaying the slide. The notes are printable.

    * Number your slides and give them a title.

    * Use the “summary slide” feature in slide sorter view to prepare an Agenda or Table of Contents slide.

        * Keep “like” topics together

    * Strive for similar line lengths for text.

Visual elements

    * A font size of 28 to 34 with a bold font is recommended for subtitles. The title default size is 44. Use a san serif font for titles.

    * Use clear, simple visuals. Don’t confuse the audience.

    * Use contrast: light on dark or dark on light.

    * Graphics should make a key concept clearer.

    * Place your graphics in a similar location within each screen.

    * To temporarily clear the screen press W or B during the presentation. Press Enter to resume the presentation.


    * Font size must be large enough to be easily read. Size 28 to 34 with a bold font is recommended.

    * It is distracting if you use too wide a variety of fonts.

    * Overuse of text is a common mistake.

          - Too much text makes the slide unreadable. You may just as well show a blank slide. Stick to a few key words.

          - If your audience is reading the slides they are not paying attention to you. If possible, make your point with graphics instead of text.

          -You can use Word Art, or a clip art image of a sign, to convey text in a more interesting way.


    * Charts need to be clearly labeled. You can make more interesting charts by adding elements from the drawing toolbar.

    * Numbers in tables are both hard to see and to understand. There is usually a better way to present your numerical data than with columns and rows of numbers. Get creative!

    * PowerPoint deletes portions of charts and worksheets that are imported from Excel, keeping only the leftmost 5.5 inches. Plan ahead.


    * Backgrounds should never distract from the presentation.

    * Using the default white background is hard on the viewer’s eyes. You can easily add a design style or a color to the background.

    * Backgrounds that are light colored with dark text, or vice versa, look good. A dark background with white font reduces glare.

    * Colors appear lighter when projected. Pale colors often appear as white.

    * Consistent backgrounds add to a professional appearance.

    * For a long presentation, you may want to change background designs when shifting to a new topic.


    * Sounds and transition effects can be annoying. Use sparingly.

    * Animation effects can be interesting when used in moderation.

          - Too much animation is distracting.

          -Consider using animated clip art

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
David Brown
Library 142