Posted in presentations

PowerPoint Presentations: Keep Them Simple & Professional ~ 2013-0929


Just because you have it doesn’t mean you have to use it is a phrase I use often. It is most often used when someone has presented me with a PowerPoint full of noises, clip art, videos, movements, and garish colors. Despite the term ‘death by PowerPoint’ that many people know and quote often, I continue to see presentations full of elements that have nothing to do with the presentation.

The key to powerful presentations is to keep them simple and professional. An occasional video clip that is relevant to the presentation is acceptable, and some fun sounds or photos to send and return people from breaks show your casual side as long as you do not overdo them. An example, I use a countdown clock during breaks when talking to large groups so that people walking around the room know how much time they have until the presentation begins again.

When you are making a presentation, you dress well for it. You ensure your suit, shoes, accessories, hair, etc. are professional in appearance. Your PowerPoint should be professional as well. Keeping your PowerPoint presentations simple and professional keeps the audience’s attention where it should be – on you.

Steps to creating a professional PowerPoint presentation:

  1.  The title page should show the name of the presentation, the name of the presenter and if appropriate, the contact information for the presenter.
  2. There should only be one topic per each slide.
  3. A good rule is each slide should only have 6 lines per slide and 6 words per line.
  4. When presenting a small amount of numbers, use a simple table format to help you organize the data simply.
  5. Keep your color combinations complimentary and simple, usually no more than 2 per slide.
  6. The closing page should have a thank you term, your logo, your name, and your contact information, if appropriate.
  7. Follow the following formatting style:

First line of text

  • Second line of text
    – Third line of text
    ♦ Fourth line of text
  • Fifth line of text

(Six line of text)

That’s it. Follow these steps and you’re PowerPoint presentations will be a success.


Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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