How to avoid Death by PowerPoint

David JP Phillips has studied how we optimally absorb information and how we remember things. He has used this as his basis to bring us the top 5 things we should be doing (and what we should be avoiding) in order to create a PowerPoint presentation that people will find visually stimulating and engaging, and of course, be able to absorb the information that is being given.


Below, I have given you a breakdown of his 20-minute tutorial, but please take the time to watch it and hear David describe his theories in his own words.


David’s 5 Rules for avoiding Death by PowerPoint


  1. ONE message per slide
  2. Do not speak at the same time as you show your slide, use PowerPoint for what it’s meant to be used for – visually showing you the information. Allow your viewers to take in the information from the screen without distracting them.
  3. Size: Use size to draw your viewer’s attention to the most important part of your slide – make your headline smaller than your content so that their eyes are drawn to the content and not constantly distracted by the large headline. In David’s words, “The most important part of your PowerPoint should also be the biggest”.
  4. Contrast controls your focus. Make the point you want people to focus on bright and fade the other points until you are ready to discuss them. Don’t use a white background on your slides, use a dark background with light writing.
  5. Objects – Never use more than SIX objects on your slide, be it points or pictures, this is the optimal number that human beings can focus on – more and you will lose them.


If video does not load, watch David JP Phillips’ tutorial here

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