Skip to Main Content

Presentations: Presentation Design

Balancing Text & Images

Don’t try to cram too much information on a slide or page. Allowing a bit of space around text stops the information appearing too dense and helps to separate sections. You also need to keep a clear border around the edge of each slide. 

  • Use short paragraphs and sentences - bullet points can help to break up the text. Sub-headings can help to guide the reader, adding to the flow of information.  
  • Alignment is an important element of balance and spacing – do the tops of the columns line up? Use left justification for neatness. 
  • Balance the text and image content so neither dominates. It’s important to use large image files so that they are clear. Make sure they have the correct attribution (see the student copyright guide) and include a full reference list for both text and images. Wiki Commons contains copyright-free images.  
  • Think about using two or three colours - they can connect similar parts of the presentation, like sub-headings. Consider contrast - black text is easier to read on a pale, plain coloured background than a white background. 
  • Vary the font size – the title is the largest font and headings are larger than the main text. Use a San serif font which is easier to read, such as Arial or Helvetica, and no more than two styles of font in total. 

Recorded Presentations

A video presentation may be a videoed performance of a slide presentation. You need to follow the same guidance for using slides and to consider how to verbally present your work. As you don’t have a live audience, you might want to consider using a script. This can be marked up with pauses and points of emphasis.  

Just as a video needs visual aids to illustrate your presentation, a podcast can use audio illustrations. Using sound to set the scene or underscore a quotation might be ways to enhance this audio presentation. Like an essay, a podcast has a clear purpose, uses source material to explore your response and creates a thoughtful argument. Wiki Common contains copyright-free audio, as does the YouTube Audio Library – these also need attribution. 

Further Reading