PowerPoint Slide Elements: Best Practices and Tips

PowerPoint Slide Elements: Best Practices and Tips


The Learning Hour* – Week 11 : PowerPoint Slide Elements

Posted by Ashish Agarwal

A PowerPoint slide is the fundamental building block of a Presentation. A PowerPoint presentation is simply a collection of different slides arranged in a logical manner to effectively communicate a story.

So then, what are the main components of building a slide? We look at the 5 most important elements which needs to be there on any slide.

1. Slide Title

Always start creating a powerpoint slide with the Slide Title. Think of it as the key message or insight that you would like to present on the slide. Ideally, there should be only 1 main message on each slide. The slide title should be crisp and concise to effectively communicate the key message. It should be written in a powerful way such that the audience understands the message without having to read the main content of the slide. The slide title should present the slide synthesis of the main so what from the content on the slide. Remember, not a summary regurgitating the same facts which are on the slide but helping the audience move from facts to the most important so what from that single slide.

2. Charts/Graphs

There are a number of data related PowerPoint charts that is in-built to represent numerical information. Use them extensively to illustrate numbers and quantitative information. You can choose from a number of chart options like Line Chart, Pie Chart, Waterfall chart, Bubble Chart, etc. Be careful to use the right chart for the right data. Using the right charts for financial data helps to enhance the visual communication of the powerpoint slide. 

3. TEXT 

Gone are the days where you would use a PowerPoint slide to put lots of text on it. No one reads those slides anymore. Instead, use TEXT comments sparingly to only indicate the main point. Choose a big font size of at least 24 to ensure your audience can easily read the slides. If you must use bullets, not more than 3-5 bullets on a slide. You can also use Smart-Arts to represent text based information on the slide. Ensure you follow basic presentation tips that will make the reader engaged with reading the information on your slide.

4. Images/Icons

Use Images and Icons to reinforce a point and not just to jazz up the powerpoint slide. Images are a great way to capture the attention and effectively communicate with the audience. There are a number of websites that allow you to download high quality images and icons. So, make the most of them. Sometimes you many need a paid subscription to access these images but there are lots of free websites as well that will allow you stock images for free. 

5. Footnotes/Source:

Be sure to add any important footnotes or source on the slide. Footnotes and source complete a slide with any extra information that the audience should be aware of. If there is a source of information that you would want to call out on a slide, footnotes are the best place to put it. They serve to improve the authenticity of the presentation with the right attribution provided.

So as you can see, the above 5 elements are extremely crucial to make a slide in PowerPoint. These 5 elements are part of any slide and if we do each of them well, the overall slide looks compelling and helps us to convey the right piece of information to the audience.

What else do you use? Put your thoughts in the comments below.

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13 thoughts on “PowerPoint Slide Elements: Best Practices and Tips”

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