Good Powerpoint Presentation in Medicine

Recommended guidelines for a good medical presentation are:

1. Color:

  • Dark words (black/blue) on light background or vice-versa
  • Color schemes constant throughout the presentation
  • Avoid red-text or lines

2. Font and Text content:

  • Family: Common font-family like Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, etc.
  • Size: Minimum 24 px, e.g. 44px for title line, 32 px for major text and 24 px for minor text
  • Spacing:5
  • Capitalization: Use capitals for abbreviations, otherwise sparingly
  • Lines: Maximum 7 lines per slide with maximum 12 words per line; omit unnecessary words
  • Key-messages: Maximum 3 key messages per slide

medical presentation

3. Pictures:

  • Use large, high resolution images
  • Laser pointer is dim and disappears; digital ink stays on the screen and is more vivid – hence, use digital ink whenever possible
  • 2 at most per slide
  • Must not supercede content

4. Tables and graphs:

  • Highlight what you need or crop out what you don’t need

5. Bullets and numbering:

  • Use bullets
  • Use numerals only if numerical order is important

6. Orientation of slides:

  • 1st slide: Title of presentation, Name and qualification of presenter, Affiliation and Date
  • 2nd slide: List of learning objectives and keywords
  • 3rd slide: Attention-grabbing or curiosity provoking question related to the topic (may be a rhetorical question)
  • Second-last slide: Take home message
  • Last slide: Full references

7. Slide transitions:

  • May use simple slide transition, e.g. wipe from left to right
  • Stay consistent

8. Timing: 10-15 minutes (corresponds to average attention span)

9. Presentation style: Everyone has their own presentation style

Further reading

  1. http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=2886
  2. http://med.stanford.edu/irt/edtech/video/powerpoint_recommendations.pdf
  3. https://www.asp.org/education/EffectivePresentations.pdf
  4. http://medicine.emory.edu/documents/research/research-greatPPT.pdf
  5. http://www.aabb.org/annual-meeting/speaker/Documents/AABB-Speaker-How-To-Guide.pdf

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