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Presentations: PowerPoint and Beyond: Home

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Best Practices


  • Practice aloud!
  • Make sure your talking speed is easy to follow.
  • Move out from behind the podium.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Own the room by moving around (if you can).
  • Don't read off your slides or cards.
  • Use natural language rather than heavy jargon.
  • It's okay to be nervous - veteran speakers still get nervous when giving a presentation.
  • Avoid distracting gestures.
  • Use a varied and interesting voice.
  • Remember to breathe - and have water to hand - just in case!
  • Practice makes perfect!
    • Practice your presentation until you can say it without glancing at your notes often.
  • During your presentation, make sure that you: dress professionally, make eye contact with the audience, do not pace around the room and do not read from your slides or notes.

Slide Show (if using)

  • Keep each slide simple and make the content purposeful.
  • Lists or bullet points are best.
  • Check color contrast between text and background, both on your computer and when projected.
  • Make text and important visuals big enough to be read even from the back of the room.
  • Use an easy-to-read font, such as Arial.
  • Use pictures that communicate meaning.
  • Blank space on the slide makes it easier to read.
  • Highlight key information.
  • Keep effects and animations to a minimum.
  • Have a consistent layout for each slide.
  • Make supplemental materials, such as handouts, to make it easier for the audience to following along.
  • Add captions to audio or video content to make it fully accessible.
  • Provide citations for material you reference including quotes, images, and data.

Always have a back up plan (handouts, examples) just in case the technology fails on the day!

Auraria Library

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Auraria Library
1100 Lawrence St.
Denver, CO 80204
Subjects: **General Research