Category Archives : Powerpoint in Style

Title page

There are three things that belong on the title page, the first page of your presentation: 1. The title (surprise!) 2. The date 3. Optionally: The logo of your company or, respectively, the company you work for (your client, e.g. if you are a consultant) And that’s it? Well, basically yes. You should, however, spend […]

Powerpoint in Style - Title page

Powerpoint in Style - Background


Powerpoint offers various options to create “fancy”, multi-colored background designs. Some people also think that a plain red or a black background will make their presentation cooler, more distinguishable or more memorable. They are wrong. The truth is that most standard background designs offered by Powerpoint (or those that you can download in the internet) […]

Header and Footer

Every presentation needs a frame. Like a picture frame, the frame of a presentation provides guidance and stability for the content in its center. That’s why a good presentation should have a visible upper and lower border, or in other words, a header and a footer. When designing the header and the footer, the golden […]

Powerpoint in style - Header and footer

Powerpoint in style - Agenda


If your presentation is longer than, say, 10-15 slides, you should have an agenda slide at the beginning and between chapters to provide some guidance to your reader / audience. If your presentation is shorter than that, think twice if you really need an agenda. If your presentation is shorter than 5-6 slides, you certainly […]

Powerpoint in Style - Storyline


Many presentations look like they were cobbled together more or less arbitrarily. A random collection of facts and figures on slides. “Oh, there’s another thing that just came to my mind…bam, let’s put it on a slide and copy it in my presentation!” If those presentations were books, they wouldn’t sell a single copy. Just […]


Colors are important. They are important because they are the “face” of your presentation, the first thing people see, long before they take a look at other visual elements, let alone the content. That’s why you should pick your colours carefully. First of all, select a “lead” color. The lead color is the predominant color […]

Powerpoint in Style- Colors

Powerpoint in Style - Slide headings

Titles / Slide headings

Picking the right headings for your slides is very important and can contribute significantly to the quality of your presentation. But what is a good heading? Well, a heading should not be too short, broad, or generic – a heading like “market share” is more or less meaningless. It tells us that this slide deals […]

Font (type and size)

When it comes to font, there are two important aspects: The font type and the font size. The first one is easy: Use Arial. It is simply the best font type for Powerpoint. Other sans-serif fonts like Calibri or Candara are also ok, but Arial still works best. Please do not use Times New Roman […]

Powerpoint in style - Font size

Powerpoint in style - Text boxes

Text boxes

A text box is probably THE element in Powerpoint that you need most often. So you better make them look good! How? Well, first of all, you should always select a shape first (most often this will be a rectangle), put it on the slide and then write DIRECTLY in that shape. You should NOT […]

Bullet points

Bulletpoints. A somewhat insignificant topic at first glance, and yet I could go on for hours about the right and wrong usage of bullet points. But I will try my best and stick to the most important aspects. Indent: The most important thing about bulletpoints. Indent the text! It freaks me out when I see […]

Powerpoint in style - Bullet points

Powerpoint in style - Pictures

Every picture tells a story

Every picture tells a story. Or, as a German saying goes: “A picture tells more than thousand words”. That’s true and that’s why I use pictures for most of my presentations. Pictures do tell a story and a picture is way easier to remember than any kind of text. Plus, it just makes your presentation […]


I am a big fan of Powerpoint standard shapes. Shapes (if used reasonably) can effectively underline and structure the content of your slide and literally “shape” your messages. They guide the reader’s eye and steer him through the slide. So, if you talk about cause and effect – why not put the content in two […]

Powerpoint in style - Shapes

Powerpoint in style - Visualize as much as you can

Visualize as much as you can

This is a very important aspect, if not the most important one. The visual design sorts the wheat from the chaff and distinguishes a good presentation from an average one. The worst presentations are the ones which are extremely text-heavy. Why don’t you use Word if you want to write a novel? Average presentations contain […]


Powerpoint offers countless other options to use all kinds of effects to pimp your presentation – or, as I prefer to put it, to screw it up. Because that’s what most effects do – they contribute nothing, they distract from the things that are really important and they seem overdone or wanna-be. They are just […]

Powerpoint in style - Effects

Powerpoint in style - Animations


You might have read somewhere that animations are evil and should be avoided by all means. This is not true. The truth is that animations should be used rarely and carefully, but they are not forbidden. Of course, most kinds of animations that Powerpoint has to offer are pure nonsense. Fade in, fade out, jump, […]


Tables can be a very useful instrument to display information in a structured way. The problem with tables is, however, that most of them look abysmal. So how do you create a proper, good-looking table? First of all, of course, you need to decide how many columns and rows your table should have. Second, you […]

Powerpoint in Style - Tables

Powerpoint in Style - Wow slides

“Wow” slides

Once in a while, it’s time to “wow” your audience with a slide that’s just different from all the others and really stays in peoples’ minds. Actually, every presentation should have one or two of those special slides that make the difference. Such a slide can be either especially creative, especially complex or especially unusual […]

Key visuals

A key visual is a special kind of visual element (see also the post “Visualize as much as you can”) that provides additional structure for your document and additional guidance for your readers / listeners. The idea behind a key visual is to present a model, a process or some other kind of complex information […]

Powerpoint in Style - Key Visuals

Powerpoint in Style - Alignment and distribution

Alignment and distribution

What is the most important function in Powerpoint? I am not sure, but the “Aligment” function is a good bet. There is nothing worse than objects that are not aligned. Text boxes that are supposed to be on the same level, but the left one is slightly lower than the right one? Three elements that […]


I have written about consistency in probably 50% of all posts, and yet it is still so important that I dedicate an own chapter to this topic. Why? Because consistency is the first and foremost secret for stylish Powerpoint presentations. On the other hand, a lack of consistency will ruin your entire presentation, no matter […]

Powerpoint in Style - Consistency

Powerpoint in Style - Flicker book

No flicker books please

Have you ever witnessed a presentation which looks like a flicker book when you go from slide to slide? I bet you have…I surely have, and more than one. Actually, this is one of the most common Powerpoint mistakes and, unfortunately, also one of the worst because it is so obvious. So what am I […]


I am not sure if „grammar“ is the best title for this post, but what I mean is that you should simply decide how you want to write stuff. So if your slide title is “Many projects fail due to a lack of Change Management”, the title of your next slide should not be something […]

Powerpoint in Style - Grammar

Powerpoint in Style - Same things must look the same

Same things must look the same

Same things must look the same. Sounds easy, but apparently, it’s not. Example: When I was working as a consultant, the companies I worked for used to include CVs of the consultants they intended to staff on the project in their proposal presentations. Of course, the format of each and every CV was supposed to […]

Size does matter

Yes, it does, at least when it comes to Powerpoint. I have written about the right size of fonts, but actually, applying the right sizes is crucial to all objects and shapes that you use in Powerpoint. It sounds self-evident, but the sizes of the different objects you put on a slide must match. It’s […]

Powerpoint in Style - Size does matter

Powerpoint in style - Shadow effects

Shadow effects

Lately, it has become somewhat fashionable to use shadow effects for (text-)boxes. While I personally prefer a clean and simple style with no razzle-dazzle, there is generally nothing wrong with shadow effects. Unless, of course, they are used inconsistently. In such cases, shadow effects become a veritable pain in the ass. As with most things […]

Level of detail

Powerpoint is, first and foremost, a medium to present information to an audience. Secondly, it can be used to put information on slides that are supposed to be read by someone. But in this case, too, the nature of Powerpoint is to present information in a striking, visually appealing and straight-forward way. This means, that […]

Powerpoint in Style - Level of detail

Powerpoint in Style - Overload

Do not overload your slides!

Many slides suffer from a disease which could be labelled “information overload” or “message overload”. This disease manifests itself as a heap of information on one single slide and is a desperate attempt to mention each and every aspect that might be somewhat important. Unfortunately, the desired effect will change to the opposite: Instead of […]

Do not rotate text!

There are some rules in life that don’t need much further explanation. For example “Never eat yellow snow”. Another one would be “Don’t rotate text”. Powerpoint allows you to rotate the text in a text box (by 90 or 270 degrees) or to stack it. Forget about it. No one will be able to read […]

Powerpoint in Style - Do not rotate text

Powerpoint in Style - Outlines


To keep a long story short: Don’t use them. I am talking about the outer lines of shapes, text boxes, tables etc. For some reason, many people seem to think that objects in Powerpoint “need” an outline (otherwise, they wouldn’t be used so frequently…). But why? They don’t have any real use and are therefore […]

Thank you!

Many people feel the obligation to thank the audience for their attention. To do so, they end their presentation with a dedicated “Thank you!” slide. You don’t need this. There is nothing wrong with thanking your audience for sparing their time and listening to you, but telling them so is absolutely enough. A “thank you” […]

Powerpoint in Style - Thank you