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Study skills

Presentation skills

Tips for presenting effectively

PowerPoint presentations

When presenting academic information, there are many formats to choose from including PowerPoint or Sway presentations, posters and many more both in-person and stand-alone. Here are a few factors to consider.

These can be used to support a verbal presentation or as a stand-alone video with narration.


Keep text to a minimum, be concise;

  • Use title slide to introduce topic/idea
  • Limit each slide to between 3 and 5 bullet points
  • Try and keep each bullet to a single line of text
  • Use a combination of images and text
  • Avoid using a large amount of long quotes
  • Define your terms and acronyms
  • Short in text citations are required. For example, Jones et al, 2015
  • Add additional notes to the notes section in PowerPoint
  • Include a reference list on final slide


  • Font choice, quantity of text and size impact on readability;
  • Use a sans-serif font without 'tails' such as Arial
  • Make sure font is large enough. Generally, headings are around 36-45 points, main body of text and bullet point are around 22 points
  • Try to keep a minimum of 20% space on a slide
  • Keep number of colours to a minimum and avoid bright background colours to distract audience
  • Use the same formatting throughout the presentation


  • Keep a professional design across your slide presentation;
  • Use a design template to keep the same look
  • Use the same background design on all slides
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