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Is there a good minimum font size for PowerPoint slides?


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spinningjennie's Avatar
spinningjennie spinningjennie is offline
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01-Jun-2002, 02:25 AM #1
Is there a good minimum font size for PowerPoint slides?
Q. Is there a good minimum font size for PowerPoint slides?

Issues:
1) what can be seen in room with 25 people say 6m from screen?
2) how many lines of text per slide advisable?

Thanks for any tips!

Spinningjennie
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Bonniec Bonniec is offline
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02-Jun-2002, 12:26 AM #2
My textbook says that the title text should be at least 36 and the body text should be at least 20. I can't find where it states a recommendation on the number of lines, but I never go more than 11 or 12 (including title).
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spinningjennie spinningjennie is offline
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02-Jun-2002, 01:21 AM #3
Thanks so much for your reply Bonniec!

You're confirming my guess as to what seems about right.

Spinningjennie
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02-Jun-2002, 06:32 AM #4
Hi, Jen. Though I don't have much *real* PowerPoint stuff up yet, check out:

http://www.thewordexpert.com/powerpoint.htm

On my *Recommendeds* page, I've got:

http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/
http://www.bitbetter.com/powertips.htm
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spinningjennie spinningjennie is offline
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03-Jun-2002, 07:39 AM #5
Good on you, yet again Dreamboat!
Excellent sites!

Thanks from Spinningjennie
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03-Jun-2002, 07:44 AM #6
We aim to please!!

Anytime, Jen!
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Dan Mc Dan Mc is offline
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04-Jun-2002, 09:59 AM #7
Well, let me say that this is MY perspective and the way I use Power Point and any other visual aids.

I teach at the university and spent a 27 year career in the military both attending hundreds of classes and doing hundreds of presentation (but don't hold me to spell check!)

1. Generally, fonts should be large enough to be easily read from the back wall of the room.

2. Research shows that a light color on dark background is more easily seen (white on black is demonstrated to be recalled better than any other contrast, but it is a bit boring...white on blue, yellow on blue, white on red, etc. are all good).

3. Most of the recommendations suggest no more than four or five single lines on a slide (anything more becomes too difficult to see and muddles the slide).

4. "Bullet" type lines work best. There is hardly ever a need for a complete sentence in a slide presentation!

5. Hide (animate) text so that YOU control what your audience sees at any given time (they will read ahead of you and miss a significant part of your presentation if the information is viewable in the screen!)

6. Use slide transitions! (Remember the old overhead slide thing? Changing slides was supposed to be done by slipping the new slide over the current one to avoid "white out"...that bright, blank sceren)

7. I like to use sounds to emphasize main or important points and to make slide transitions from one topic or point to another...it attracts attention and focuses interest...shock factor for the dozing or day dreaming student!

8. A good attention getter is an opening slide with perhaps a musical background theme (I use a desert theme with slides (with transitions and timed as closely to the musical crescendos, etc. as I can) of the Grand Canyon, New Mexico, etc. and have Sting's "Desert Rose" as the music as students settle into the room before I begin the presentation...I post credit for the music on the slides!) Yeah, it's a "gee-wow-oooohhhh" thing, but it gets a room ready for the presentation and motivates them a bit, I think.

9. You can use the speakers notes function in Power Point to stay on track...usually, a speaker nows the subject and presentation well enough to avoid that.

10. Reherse your presentation and know what the slides contain! If you set a presentation up well, it will keep the audience awake, enthralled with your wizardry in power Point, and leave a lasting impression.

GOOD LUCK!
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04-Jun-2002, 10:11 AM #8
ONE MORE MENTION:

Vary the background colors...nothing is more boring or mundane as a single color and font on every successive slide.

I have a few short (< 1 MB) presentations I can forward..(.fxstc@yahoo.com)
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judyj judyj is offline
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04-Jun-2002, 04:40 PM #9
I am the Admin for our Senior Pastor and create PowerPoint presentations to go with his sermon each week. I use a minimum 44 pt font size for the headings, and a minimum 36 pt for all other text. Note these are minimum pt sizes...I generally use bigger! This is for presentations in our worship center on a large screen.
For meeting presentations in a much smaller room and a much smaller crowd, I try to use a minimum font size of 32 pt.

But the key is to limit the amount of information you put on one slide! As Dan Mc said, "bullets" are best...the speaker can verbalize...the presentation should just show the highlights! Too much info on a slide gets confusing and hard to read.

Animating the bulleted text to appear as it is presented not only keeps the audience from reading ahead of you, but it also helps keep the slide from looking too "busy"!

Hope this helps...and, Dreamboat, I like your website!

Judy
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spinningjennie spinningjennie is offline
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05-Jun-2002, 06:36 AM #10
Animations:

Thanks so much Dan Mc and judyj. You've both alerted me to making use of the Custom Animation selection in the Slide Show menu, to make text appear as it is referred to. I now see that I could break the text into separate text boxes for each bullet point to make the text appear point by point.

Music:

Re. music Dan Mc, I'm not sure how you save a music file to your computer. I'll have to see if I can put a music CD into my computer, and then save the file.

Font/Background colours:

The font/background colour input is useful too Dan Mc. Most of the people I work with all use white backgrounds and black text for their presentations. You don't happen to know how colour blind people see red and green do you? I personally like the white text on red background as an option, but worry about colour blind people!

Thanks again!
Spinningjennie
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Dan Mc Dan Mc is offline
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05-Jun-2002, 09:50 AM #11
Regarding color blind folks...if you mean red with green....bad idea! I am a nurse by profession and use to work physical exams a lot...when you blend red, green, blue, yellow, etc. is when color differentation presents a problem...stick to a light text on dark background (the white background is undesireable because of the eye shock).

On adding music to a slide or slide show...you'll have to convert any MP3 or .cda file to .wav format to do that (check the Net...there are a few converter programs available free). I use a full slide show of scenes, but you can just put up a single slide with a welcome logo or whatever and have the music play as a loop.

I see you don't have email accessable via this page or I'd send a short four page slide show thing (see my earlier post).

Hope all is well "down under" (have some friends in Wishart 4122!!!) Yup...PPT is excellent for instruction and a great visual aid tool...keep it simple, but give it real impact and set yours apart frojm the mundane, full page of 10 font text, boring stuff we usually see and you'll have a winner that gets your message across and makes the message last!
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spinningjennie spinningjennie is offline
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06-Jun-2002, 05:47 AM #12
Thanks again Dan Mc.

Sounds like white font on red background might be OK for the colour blind, but not green font on red background.

I'll give the music idea a go, sometime down the track.

Thanks so much for all your tips!

(It's winter here with temperatures of around 20 degrees C. Probably quite mild in comparison with your winters).

Spinningjennie
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