10 Golden Rules For Creating Impactful PowerPoint Presentation

Dec 06, 2019

10 Golden Rules For Creating Impactful PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint users all around the globe are constantly putting in efforts to improve their PPT presentations. We are sure you are reading this article only because you want to avoid a death-by-PowerPoint situation. Most of you must be having your own predefined set rules like, Do not cross more than “X” slides in a presentation, Replace paragraphs to bullet points, Not more than “X” words per line, make it more pictorial v/s verbose. You are not wrong at all, you seem to be on the right track. The one advice we would want to give you here is, No rule in PPT is rigid. If your PPT is serious, it may not have colorful pictures. On the other hand, if your PPT is for casual use you would want to glorify it. The rules of PPT change as per the desired mood-setting goal of the presenter.

Below are 10 Golden Rules you must try following in order to design a successful PowerPoint presentation:

•KYC: The very first mistake most presentation generators do is that they miss out on the fact that who is going to sit through this presentation. Don’t forget your audience, as they are your ultimate customers. You need to understand that the same goofy animations and freakishly funny clip arts that you would use in a classroom full of young blood might make you look unprofessional in front of the corporates. A pinch of humor can lighten up a presentation, but if you used often your audience may think they got tickets for a stand-up comedy show. Knowing your audience, and tailoring your presentation to their tastes and expectations will help you convert higher.

•Slide word Limit: we often come across presentations with a large number of words on each slide. We recently received a PowerPoint presentation with 2,200 words on 22 slides – an average of over 100 words per page. Before we go to how many words aPPT slide should ideally have let’s spend some time on some cognitive facts. Did you know, an average adult has a maximum reading speed of between 200 and 300 words per minute?. Also, get this right that while the audience is reading your slides they are not listening to you i.e. the speaker. A good rule of thumb is less than 40 words per slide. This rule would enable the reader to absorb the text on the slide in approximately 12 seconds and then switch their undivided attention back to the speaker. If you still want to communicate much more than the text, try a picture. As we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it makes good sense to use picture v/s words. That brings us to the next golden rule: Images? From where?

•Do not use Google images: OMG, no google images? Then from where can you select pictures for your presentation? We at iDigitize recommend that you select images for your PPT presentation from a free stock photo bank like,, etc. Also, we do not encourage you to use cheesy/unprofessional images. A professional audience would not like to see Donald duck, nor would a group of children want to see Gandhiji’s image. So, Select your pictures keeping in mind your audience’s taste and age.

•Limit your on-page animation and slide transitions: A fact which will keep you thinking, “Too many animations on a slide is proved to be a major cause of distraction”. If your slide has 9 bullet points and each of them appears in a wacky and lively animation (Either, at entry or exit) you can start talking (as a presenter) after 5 seconds the slide is ideal. The audience needs time to register the animation and then they move towards reading it, and then you get the spotlight. You wasted so much time on just 1 bullet point, not even on an entire slide which is acceptable. Coming to Slide transition, limit your self with formal and acceptable transition patterns. Imagine a serious PPT on budgets and your next slide showing loss spins up to the screen? You can probably use it for a quarter where you have over-performing results. Do not overdo it? We know you are excited, do not show it to the audience through your PPt, instead demonstrate it in your speech occasionally.

•Choose readable colors and fonts: Text on your slide should be easy to read and pleasant to look at. Large font size and simple font styles have always proven to be the best bet. You need to define the best fonts styles and font colors as this can vary depending on your presentation setting. E.g. If you’re presenting in a large room? You may want to jack up the font size so that the backbenchers can read your slide with ease. Presenting with the lights on? You can consider using dark text color on a light slide background as this fits best for clear visibility in a well-lit room.

•Try different themes with different colors: It is very easy to fall into the monotony of making the same or similar type of presentation over and over again—for years. We recommend you use basic layouts and themes and then choose color schemes defining the mood of the presentation. Subtle colors for the corporate and bright for the young blood. Sometimes, using a well-designed theme can ignite the creative side of you. No ready-made design matches the creativity of a fully customized PPT slide design.

•Do not repeat slides or text, Reinforce them: Your time and the time of the audience needs to be respected. Repeating slides or text from the previous slides does no good but harm. If you need to repeat a statement, do not just copy-paste it from the previous slides instead, turn it into a reinforcement statement, which means the same. Maybe you started off your sales presentation as a sales pitch, we have these many products/services, features, pricing, etc. towards the end turn it around by explaining the need for your product/services. E.g. for a Digital Marketing agency, we would end our presentation with, “Your potential customers are looking for you on the web, Are you there?”. It means the same thing we started with, buy our services.

•Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint: This rule says you must not have more than 10 slides, wherein your presentation time must not exceed 20 minutes, and use fonts smaller than 30 points. This kind of rule is apt while you are making a presentation for your investors or to venture capitalists. This rule is considered to be a bold new standard for PowerPoint presentations. 

•Follow the 5/5/5 rule: Similar to the above rule of PowerPoint, here experts suggest not to exceed five words per line of text, five lines of text per slide, or five text-heavy slides in a row. This rule allows your powerpoint presentation to be readable to the audience. To keep your audience away from feeling overwhelmed, you should keep the text on each slide short and to the point as prescribed in this rule. This rule can be applied to any type of presentation.

•KISS rule: You need to understand that, if you want a kiss from the audience simplicity with great data works. So, do not jazz up with Powerpoint presentation if your data can do that. KISS rule: Keep it Simple Silly says, Simplicity is the new tool for sophistication. Let your data speak, not your design. The first tool where we will not say use it sparingly, we say use it unlimitedly. 

If you try to follow the above-mentioned rule, we assure you, you are in for some loud claps post your presentation. 



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