Presentation Tips

  • Test your PowerPoint file in the Speaker Ready Room. Walk through the presentation and look for slides that are out of sequence or with graphics that did not load. Time yourself. Know which slides you can skip and/or remove if the presentation runs long.
  • If using PowerPoint, place a shortcut of your file on the desktop to prevent searching for your file.
  • Press "B" to blackout your PowerPoint presentation until you are ready to begin. Press "B" again to reveal the screen.
  • Disable the laptop's screen saver to prevent "drop out" during discussions. Disable the power saver to prevent the screen from blacking out—it also prevents a slowed response when your hard drive goes into sleep mode.
  • Hide the pointer (Pointer Options) if you're not going to use it during shows.
  • Use your laptop as your monitor—avoid looking at the overhead screen. Stay focused on the audience.
  • Arrive at the assigned room in time to verify that the appropriate AV equipment has been delivered. 

PowerPoint Preparation Tips

  • Color slides are more effective than black and white.
  • Dark backgrounds are better than black on white; a yellow background and black lettering is considered the most readable.
  • What looks good on your screen may not look good on LCD projectors—be prepared to adjust the color. Also, keep in mind that 10% of audience members have difficulty with reds and greens.
  • Limit each slide to 15 to 20 words.
  • Make sure the font is large enough: 1-in. letters are readable from 10 ft.; 2-in. letters are readable from 20 ft. 72-point fonts work well for large audience presentations. Narrow fonts (such as Times and Arial) are difficult to read from 10 ft.
  • Leave space—at least the height of a capital letter—between lines.
  • Use titles to supplement, not duplicate, slide data.
  • Use several simple slides rather than one complicated slide.
  • Use duplicates if you need to refer to the same slide at different times in your talk.