5 Tips For Formatting Powerpoint Presentations

Updated: Feb 21


Over the years, I've developed something of an obsession with Powerpoint and the 'art' of using presentation as a medium to convey great business stories and ideas. The funny thing about Powerpoint is that everyone, deep down, likes to envision themselves as Steve Jobs or Tim Cook - strutting across a stage in front of an IMAX-sized screen that shows nothing more than a pie chart and 2 words - captivating the world with every tantalizingly long slide transition. Unfortunately for most , the dream does not mirror reality.


The good news is that I've noticed the reason many Powerpoint presentations lack effectiveness is simply because they fail to meet the basic standard of formatting that separates mediocrity from good (yes, I said good...beautiful formatting alone can not make a great Powerpoint). Here are a few tips to help you sales professionals format your Powerpoint like a pro:


  1. Decide Whether You Want All CAPS, no caps, or Caps Only On The First Letter Of Each Word.

  2. Check Your Animations.

  3. Never Send a .PPTX File To A Customer!

  4. 'Save To PDF', Don't 'Print to PDF'.

  5. Check Your Footer.


1. Decide Whether You Want All CAPS, no caps, or Caps Only On The First Letter Of Each Word


In the "Font" tab on the Powerpoint ribbon, there is a little button that says "Aa" (it's called 'Change Case'). This button is magic, it will set the caps on the highlighted text for you!



2. Check Your Animations


If you have animations in your Powerpoint, they don't convert to PDF well. If you plan to send your customers a copy of your deck, you must review each slide that has animations to see that it shows up the way you intended.



3. Never Send A .PPTX File To A Customer!


Your .pptx file gets completely distorted when opened on mobile. Don't believe me? Send your best Powerpoint file to your email and open that file from your phone. It looks terrible doesn't it?

.pptx slide when viewed on an iPhone

.pdf slide viewed on an iPhone (much better right?)


4. 'Save To PDF', Don't 'Print To PDF'


Saving your Powerpoint file as a PDF keeps the formatting in landscape, as it was intended. Printing to PDF converts the page to portrait format and looks terrible when you open it.



5. Check Your Footer


One slide has a slide number, the next doesn't? Never forget to keep your footer consistent on every slide.



Follow these 5 formatting tips the next time you create a presentation, and you'll be well on your way to Powerpoint mastery.


-Stephen