12 PowerPoint Presentation Tips To Know

A dozen PowerPoint slide show tips

Creating an effective and engaging PowerPoint presentation takes time, effort, and a bit of know-how. Follow these 12 guidelines to create a polished and professional slideshow.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010, PowerPoint for Mac, and PowerPoint for Microsoft 365.

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Choose an Appropriate Template

Choose a suitable template

Beginning with a fresh, sophisticated, or elegant template improves the overall appearance of your presentation. You'll find Microsoft templates in PowerPoint.

  1. Go to File.
  2. Select New.
  3. Browse by category or search for a specific type of template.
  4. Choose the template you want to use and select Create.
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Display PowerPoint Shows in Widescreen

Widescreen slides in PowerPoint

Widescreen monitors, laptops, televisions, and projectors are the norm. You can easily change the size of your PowerPoint slides.

In PowerPoint on a PC:

  1. Go to Design.
  2. Select Slide Size in the Customize group.
  3. Choose Widescreen (16:9).

In PowerPoint for Mac:

  1. Go to File.
  2. Select Page Setup.
  3. In the Page Setup dialog box, choose Widescreen (16:9) under Slides Sized For.
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Limit Fonts

Limit fonts in PowerPoint

Stick with two attractive, complementary fonts throughout your slideshow. Use one font for all of the titles and the other font for all the bullet points or other content. This gives your presentation a cohesive and refined appearance.

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Insert Quality Images

Choose quality images over clip art

Always add professional stock photos, high-resolution pictures you took yourself, or other high-quality graphics to your PowerPoint slides. Cartoonish drawings or fuzzy photos cause your presentation to appear unprofessional.

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Go Easy on the Animations

Limit animations in a PowerPoint presentation

An animated transition or a zooming object can add emphasis or grab your audience's attention during a slideshow presentation. However, too many animations are distracting.

When adding animations to your slides, remember that less is more. When you do incorporate them, stick one or two simple animations, such as Zoom or Fade.

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Show and Tell

Don't overwhelm your audience

Try not to overwhelm your audience with too much information at one time. Cover a single point on a slide. Make sure that the slide title reflects the point you want to make, add bullet points to clarify your message, and add media to support the information.

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Resume Your PowerPoint Show After a Pause

At times, it is necessary to stop the presentation and resume after a short break. Fortunately, you can pause and resume a slideshow with ease.

  1. Press B to pause with a black screen or press W to pause with a white screen.
  2. Press B or W again to resume the presentation.
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Offer Handouts

Create handouts from your presentation

Email a presentation to people who are unable to attend or print the slideshow to allow participants to take their own notes. There are several ways to convert a PowerPoint presentation to a Word document that can be sent in an email or provided as a printed document.

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Rehearse Your Presentation

Rehearse your presentation

Before you present your slideshow to an audience, rehearse and time the delivery.

  1. Go to Slide Show.
  2. Select Rehearse Timings.
  3. Select Next, click on the slide, or press the Right Arrow key to go to the next slide or activate the next animation.
  4. Select Pause to pause the recording or Resume Recording to resume.
  5. When you get to the end of the slideshow, select Yes to save the slide timings.
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Create an Obvious Ending

Credits slide in PowerPoint

Make it apparent to your audience that the presentation is over. Create a slide with rolling credits or a message informing them that the slideshow has finished.

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Duplicate the Final Slide

Duplicate a PowerPoint slide

Avoid clicking away from the last slide accidentally by duplicating the final slide.

  1. Right-click the slide in the Slide pane on the left.
  2. Select Duplicate Slide.
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Start Another Presenter's Slide Show Seamlessly

Link to another slideshow

If someone else is following you with another presentation or if you want to connect two smaller slideshows, link from one PowerPoint presentation to another.

  1. Select text or an object on the final slide of the first presentation. You will click on this to go to the next slideshow.
  2. Go to Insert.
  3. Select Link or Hyperlink to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  4. Choose Existing File or Web Page.
  5. Navigate to the presentation file you want to link to.
  6. Select Bookmark and choose the title of the slide that you want to link to.
  7. Select OK.
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