PowerPoint Style Guidelines

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ARC: Teaching: Presentation Software: Style Guidelines for Business Presentations

ARContribution by Hope Corrigan

Style Guidelines for PowerPoint Business Presentations


  • Match the number of content slides to the length of the presentation. (This does not include questions from the audience).  For example: 10 minutes – eight to 10 slides; 15 minutes – 12 to 15 slides; and 20 minutes – 15 to 18 slides.
  • Use your time efficiently.  Tell the major points of what you have learned about your project in a way that will be interesting for the rest of the class.


  • Use a title slide with the name of the presentation and the team member’s names.  Use this slide to introduce your talk and all of the team members.
  • Next, you should have an outline slide to tell the audience what you will be discussing.
  • The next section is the body or content of your slide presentation.
  • To complete your presentation include the conclusions, recommendations or a summary as appropriate.
  • Your next to last slide should be the numbered List of References (In MLA format).
  • Your last slide should be the Sources for Images.

Graphs and Marketing Tools

  • Use variety in your slides – a combination of bullets, illustrations, graphs, tables and Marketing tools is recommended.  Bullet only presentations are b-o-r-i-n-g.
  • In Excel Graphs (bar, scatter or line) you do not need a series key or legend if you have plotted only one piece of information. 
  • Omit the gray background from graphs.
  • In Pie Charts put the data labels and percent values around the pie chart with the corresponding wedge.

Style and Brand Equity

  • The style of your slides should reflect the Brand Equity of your product or brand.  Use logos, clip art, photos, web links, etc. to enhance the style of your presentation, but not to the extent that it overshadows the content.
  • Keep slide animation to a minimum.  A little animation to reveal and emphasize key points is fine.  Too much animation is distracting.

Color Scheme

  • Use a light background and a dark font color for high contrast and visual impact.


  • You don’t have to say everything on your slides
  • Use one font on all slides for consistency. 
  • Select a crisp, familiar font such as Times New Roman.
  • Keep the font on your slides size 20 or greater.  Any smaller and it is difficult to read the text when projected in the classroom. 
  • Begin all sentences and bullets with a capital letter.
  • Check your slides for careless typos.  For example, the Internet is always capitalized, make sure you spell your brand name correctly, etc…
  • Use a descriptive title for each slide.
  • Indicate the source of the information and/or data in the slide by using the number of the appropriate reference in parenthesis or superscript.


  • If you have a handout that supports your presentation, bring enough copies.

Presentation Execution

  • Project your voice
  • Give eye contact
  • Move away from the podium
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Wear business attire

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AMA Publishing
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