Slideshow Standards and Tips

If done correctly, a slideshow can be a powerful visual component of your presentation. Below, you’ll find the three requirements that apply to all annual and regional conference slideshows and a list of tips to keep in mind as you create your slideshow.


Focus on the Education

Your slideshow and any handouts should focus on the subject of the presentation and should not contain promotional content. Promotion of projects or services is not permitted during educational sessions.

Learning Outcomes

Early in your slideshow, you must include your session’s learning outcomes. This is a requirement of the continuing education organizations we provide credit for, but it’s important even if your session does not provide continuing education.

Your learning outcomes do more than describe the goals of your session. They are a contract between you and your audience. They set your audience’s expectations of how they will benefit from attending your session. Reviewing your learning outcomes at the beginning of your session reassures your audience that you aim to fulfill those expectations.

Use of Your Institutional or Corporate Logo

The logo of your college or university, or corporate firm may be used on the first and last slide only on a slideshow. The educational slides between your introductory slide and your final slide must be clear of any institutional or corporate logos.

Slideshow Template and Size

Feel free to use this template (PPT) or create your own. All slides must be formatted in 16:9 aspect ratio.

Resources and Tips for Concurrent Sessions and Workshops

“Getting an Audience to Remember Your Presentation” Harvard Business Review

“7 Common Public Speaking Tips You Should Ignore” Fast Company

“The Best Presentations are Tailored to the Audience” Harvard Business Review

“Steal This Presentation” Jesse Desjardins

“You Suck at Powerpoint: 5 Design Mistakes You Need to Avoid” Jesse Desjardins

“How to Give a Killer Presentation” Harvard Business Review

Prevent “Death by PowerPoint!” Presentation consultant Alexei Katerev shows you how in this engaging slideshow.

Title slide. Create a title slide that contains the title of your presentation and your name, title, and affiliation.

Show, not tell. Use slides to provide visual aids, to illustrate points, or provide back-up. Do not read your presentation off the slide or recap each bullet point.

Font size. A font of at least 24 points can be easily read by everyone in the room. This rule of thumb applies to all graph fonts as well.

Graphs and tables. Graphs and tables follow the same rules as all other slides. If the font is too small or the information too detailed no one will be able to interpret the data. It is much better to include highly detailed information in handout format.

Brevity. Keep the content simple and concise; use a different slide for each primary idea. Using five or fewer words for each title and 20 or fewer words per slide enhances readability.

Reader-friendly colors. A light background will help make the slide legible from the back of the room and also make any slide print-outs easier to read. Black (or dark-colored) words are the easiest to read; red and yellow may be difficult to see for individuals who are color-blind or who are sitting in the back of the room.

Reader-friendly fonts. DO NOT USE ALL CAPITALS or a complicated font, which may be difficult to read.

Copyright. Be aware of, and adhere to, copyright laws. If you would like to use slides or images from someone else’s slideshow, you must get permission from the creator of the slideshow.

Pique interest. A slide does not have to be self-explanatory. It may be more effective if it is not clearly understood until the presenter explains it.

Organization. Make sure visuals are in the proper sequence. If you need to refer to the same slide at different points in the presentation, make a duplicate slide.