EFFECTIVE PRESENTATIONS III
The font size should communicate the relative importance of the text content on the slide.
- Heading should be larger than main body text entries
- Main body text entries should be larger than any sub-entries
- Footers and graphics captions should be the smallest text of all
Font sizes should range between 18 and 48 points
- Main body text should generally be 24-32 pt.
- When in doubt, use a bigger font size.
Illegible fonts detract from the message
- While a legible font does nothing to add to the presentation’s message, an illegible font detracts from the message by requiring the observer to expend energy merely reading the text.
- Legibility of font face is determined by two factors: the thickness of the strokes which make up the characters and the “openness” of the characters.
- The best fonts have strokes of equal width. A variety of widths within the strokes of characters may be artistically pleasing, but make the characters more difficult to recognize.
If using a computer for the presentation, use “system” fonts
- If using a computer to prepare and “show” the presentation, it is best to use fonts that are “system” fonts.
- This is especially important if the presentation is being prepared on one computer but will be “shown” on another. The “show” computer may not have the same fonts available as the computer used to prepare the presentation.
- Times New Roman and Arial for Windows-PCs and Times and Helvetica for Macintosh are good choices.
ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are hard to read.
- Capital letters lack ascenders and descenders making them less distinctive.
- Over 95% of all printed material is lowercase letters.
- Because of this, people tend to be slower readers when words are in uppercase or capital letters.
Use uppercase letters for the first letter of all main words
- Use capital letters (uppercase) for the first letter of all the main words (all but prepositions and conjunctions).
- Abbreviations should be avoided unless you are sure that the audience will be familiar with the material.
Punctuation marks can usually be omitted
- Usually punctuation marks (especially commas and periods) serve no function and can be omitted.
Most common fonts:
“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”
” Georgia, Times New Roman, Times”, “Courier New, Courier”.
Commonly-installed typefaces on Macs and PCs
Times New Roman
MS Sans Serif
|*Georgia and Verdana are installed on Macs by MSIE, so they may or may not be present.|