Tips for Effective Visual Aids

AccessAbility Services Tips for Effective Visual Aids

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  • Choose landscape layout for most projected visuals (with PowerPoint this is the default setting)

  • Select simple, clear fonts - eg Arial, Times New Roman

  • Use CAPITALS for short titles only

  • One main concept per slide

  • Use a 'bulleted' list to keep it simple

  • Make lettering large enough

    • Titles: 36 point or bigger

    • Body text:

      • Minimum = 18 point

      • Preferred = 24 point

  • For emphasis use bold font

  • Ensure that text contrasts strongly with background

  • Dark text on light coloured background is good for transparencies and OK for PowerPoint

  • Light text on darker coloured background is good for slides

  • Cool colours such as blues are good for backgrounds with white or yellow text

  • Stick to the same colour combinations throughout the presentation


  • Use red with green or blue

  • Use more than 3 different fonts in total

  • Use CAPITALS for long phrases

  • Use more than 6-8 words per line and no more than 8 lines per slide

  • Use Italics. If you must use italics make it bold

  • Write over graphics, especially photographs


Example of an ineffective visual aid

Example of an ineffective visual aid

Example of an effective visual aid

Example of Effective visual aid

<Effective Colour Contrast>

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