A strong set of slides can make a presentation just as easily as a bad set of slides can break it. A good presentation has a consistent look and feel, uses images that support the point rather than distracting from it, and is easy to read. And remember, if you plan to email or post your PowerPoint online for future reference it must be 508 compliant.  Here's a quick guide to help you create accessible PowerPoint presentations Visit disclaimer page .

Layout and Templates

A solid start to creating a memorable presentation begins with a consistent, uncluttered layout. Unnecessary graphics or too many lines of text make the presentation harder for the viewer to understand.

Using ACF’s PowerPoint templates simplifies the creation of new slideshows and helps you follow ACF’s style guide standards.

Image Handling

Imagery is a great way to capture an audience’s attention and imagination, but poor imagery choices can undermine a speaker’s entire presentation.

High-quality image choices support the message and draw attention to key points.

  • Avoid stretching or squishing images to fit. If an image does not fit the available space, crop or proportionally resize the image by holding shift and dragging from the corner to resize
  • Do not use clipart – it is generally low-quality, overused, and uninteresting. Use high-resolution photos, charts/graphs, or typography to enhance the presentation instead
  • Identify the tone of the presentation content, and reinforce it through visuals – for example, a somber topic should have very different image choices than a cheerful topic


The text content of a presentation should be easy to read from the back of the room. That means using easy-to-read fonts and a manageable amount of text per slide.

  • Use uncomplicated fonts that are found on most computers – this will help ensure the presentation will show up as expected on-screen. For starters, try Calibri, Cambria, or Arial
    • Avoid the temptation to use Comic Sans, as it is inappropriate for business or professional presentations, and is one of the most frequently misused fonts
  • When using your slides to during a live presentation,your slides shouldn't reflect every word you are going to say. Stick to the key points and takeaways, and leave the details for your speaker notes
  • If you’re including extra information because the slides will be provided to the audience afterwards, consider creating a separate handout with key takeaway points from the presentation instead
    • Remember: If the slides (or a handout) will be sent to the audience or posted online, they must be 508 compliant
  • Break up slides that contain large amounts of information. Try adding more slides with fewer bullet points instead