PowerPoint Do’s & Don’ts

So, you have a big presentation or public speaking gig coming up and you’d like to prepare a PowerPoint Presentation to go along with it – great!  A lot of people enjoy a visual aspect to any type of speech.  But before you dive right in, here are some do’s and don’ts for when it comes to preparing a PowerPoint to ENHANCE your presentation….it should not BE your presentation!


  • Use pictures to stir emotion and illustrate stories and analogies.
  • Be sure to stand to the left of your screen (from the audience perspective). Folks read from left to right, they simply like you more when you stand to the left.
  • Create margin notes to trigger stories.
  • Limit your slides to 3 or 4 lines.
  • Use large fonts.
  • Less is more!
  • Remember the left / right rule when doing comparisons left side of screen is for your “before” right side is for your “after” left bad, right good. In commercials the hero product is always on the right side of the screen.
  • Human is better than perfect…keep things conversational!
  • Rehearse SEVERAL times OUT LOUD the entire way through prior to your actual presentation.
  • Practice a strong open and a strong closing. Remember, pilots practice both take offs and landings because they are the most important parts of the journey.
  • If the room will be darkened for your PowerPoint Screen, be sure that you also have a spotlight (or light source) on you as well because you must be the main focus of the presentation NOT your PowerPoint.


  • Don’t read from your slides, they should be there to support what you are saying, to reinforce what you are saying.
  • Don’t confuse creating your slides with rehearsing – this is not rehearsing!
  • Don’t get so caught up in the organization of your slides and the structuring of your presentation that you end up with no time to rehearse your presentation “out loud’ SEVERAL times before your presentation.
  • Don’t jam pack your slides with small print and graphs. Slides should read more like “flash cards” not a novel or pharmaceutical insert page.

Here’s to increased Calmfidence® when it comes to PowerPoint & Public Speaking!


About The Author

Patricia Stark works on both sides of the camera & stage as a Media Trainer, Public Speaking Trainer, and Certified Body Language Specialist. She appears regularly as a Guest TV Communication Expert & Lifestyle Expert and sought after keynote speaker. To book an engagement with Patricia contact us here.

Our Mission