How to Set up Effective Powerpoint Presentation for Business Purposes

Your PowerPoint slideshow should be vivid and easy to read.
Your PowerPoint slideshow should be vivid and easy to read. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you're pitching to a potential client, holding a training seminar for new employees or presenting your product at a tradeshow, you want to create a PowerPoint presentation that easily communicates your point to the audience. Use the PowerPoint as your backdrop for reinforcing ideas instead making it the entire show so that the audience is transfixed on you instead of trying to make sense of the text on the screen behind you.

Stick to simple, professional themes and use contrasting colors between the text and the slide background color. Don't get overly creative with colors and text; these should be clear and easy to read, especially for people who may be sitting in the back of the room. Make all slides easy to read with large fonts. The smallest font should be no smaller than 18-point and the largest font should be no more than 48-point. Times New Roman, Arial and Verdana are all acceptable business font styles.

Don't overwhelm the slide with text. Have no more than six words per line and use key points instead of an entire block of text. Remember, less is more. If each slide has too much information, the audience will spend their time trying to decipher it, reading the slide instead of listening to you. Use the slides to summarize key elements and move on. Don't use paragraphs.

Use images and video to highlight main points to break up the text and draw audience attention.

Stick with the same slide transition between slides.

Proofread the PowerPoint presentation for spelling and grammar errors. Practice the presentation several times to ensure that it smoothly transitions from slide to slide and that you aren't missing any essential points.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start off your presentation with an outline of your key points so that the audience can easily follow along and know what to expect. This can also help you organize your thoughts.

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