As much as we all try to “not judge a book by its cover”, and focus on the fact that “it’s whats on the inside that matters, not the outside”… When it comes down to the visual component of your presentation – it ABSOLUTELY does matter.
There are a few things that are stressed when designing an effective and appealing presentation, one being the most obvious, your visuals. Incorporating rich images and graphics are definitely crucial, but what about the words that are on each slide? They are the most important component of your entire presentation. Without your words, your PowerPoint is well… Pointless.
So what should you pay attention to when working with fonts? Follow these three tips when creating your next presentation:
Easy to Read Fonts
First things first, if your audience can’t easily read your presentation right off the bat, then you’ve already lost their full attention. Although beautiful script font looks great with the black and white images and goes perfectly with the theme, if Bob way in the back can’t tell if your word starts with an “S” or “T”, then you’ve already lost the battle of holding your audience’s attention.
The goal is to use fonts that allow the reader to glance at your slide and know exactly what you’re trying to say so they can focus on you, instead of trying to decode your presentation word by word. Here are some of our favorites:
- Helvetica Neue
- Open Sans
Use Variation Throughout
Another tip for using fonts effectively is to pick 2-3 simple, easy-to-read fonts that you can use throughout your presentation. Three at max. Use one font for every header/title, another font for the main content/bullet points, and then maybe one more additional font for any quotes or descriptions you use on each slide.
By doing so, it will easily break up your content and allow the reader to easily comprehend what the main topic is on each slide. If you decide to use the same font for every section of your presentation, it can make it more difficult for the reader to know where to look first.
One of the most crucial components of using fonts is the size. Too small, too large, inconsistent, too consistent, can all hurt your presentation. It’s best to use larger font sizes throughout your presentation. Even though you can easily read a size 12 Helvetica on your computer screen, once your presentation is up on the big screen, size 12 is not going to be big enough to read for Bob in the back… Poor Bob.
The best method is to use the same large size font for every header/title, and a smaller, but still large enough size for the main content of each page. This will keep your presentation consistent, all while not causing your audience to strain their eyes.
So next time you’re developing your big PowerPoint presentation, remember to use easy-to-read fonts, a variation of 2-3 different styles, and keep the sizes above 18 for the most effective presentation!