Design Elements for PowerPoint Presentations

Creating PowerPoint presentations is something almost anyone will have to do either in their academics or career. Unfortunately, creating PowerPoint slides is not simply adding any information and design on a slide and just presenting it. There are many elements to each slide that can either help communicate the information effectively or completely ruin the whole presentation. Three design elements that you should pay close attention to is color, artwork, and font.


Why can we look at an advertisement with little to no words and yet it still communicates something to us? Color visuals can either allow your audience to accept or reject an idea being presented to them. Elements of color are not just decorative additions to projects, they trigger emotions and the audience interest. I’m sure most of you have seen the color wheel one time or another.


Looking at this color wheel with the corresponding emotions can be a wonderful aid when putting a PowerPoint presentation together. Adding the right color to the ideas in your PowerPoint presentation can help the audience establish the relationship between your ideas and emotions. Color can be a useful tool when used correctly; however, when color is not used correctly is can have disastrous results. Changing colors constantly throughout the presentation will not only distract your audience but it can confuse and annoy them. 



Artwork or visuals consist of the foreground and background on a PowerPoint slide. The background should remain open and spacious with very little clutter. The foreground is where most of the graphics or any visual element remains. The majority of artwork on the slide should have functionality and supplement the information being presented. The minority of the slide should contain decorative artwork that enhances the slide in a simple way to not distract the audience away from the information. The background and foreground should remain separate entities because if they don’t, your slides could look distracting. The following video is a tutorial on how to make graphics visually neat and appealing for PowerPoint presentations.


The first thing to remember is that your PowerPoint presentation may look different on a projector compared to your computer. Choosing fonts that are easy to read for your audience will be less distracting. You don’t want to have great ideas that the audience can’t read, so choose fonts carefully. Limiting the number of fonts to no more than two per slide is also essential. Keep fonts sizes between 28 and 36 points to increase visibility for people in the back of the room or people with poor visibility. Overall, remaining consistent with these design elements will add nice touches that aren’t confusing to your audience and will help lead to a successful presentation people will enjoy.  


My name is Erica Dillon and I am a student at the University of South Florida. I’m currently enrolled in Professor Richards Professional Writing (ENC.3250) course. 


2 thoughts on “Design Elements for PowerPoint Presentations

  1. I love your mention of color and your inclusion of the color wheel. Each color conveys a separate meaning that I would have liked to go over. Being that this was not the entirety of the subject, I had to settle for merely reading your graphic. As instructed, your hyperlink on the graphic takes the reader to the source where this image was retrieved. I would have liked to have it link to a source that describes the effect of colors on a power point.

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