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Preparing Visual Aids
Preparing Overheads for the Visual Presenter
Acetate sheets are not needed any more! Use plain paper. Remember the overhead projection plate or screen is NOT a white board.

  • Paper layout - landscape.
    Materials need to be designed in a three (height) by four (length) ration to fit a television screen/monitor. This means margins should be approximately 1 ½ inches on all sides.
    Background paper can be white but sometimes that causes a glare. An ivory or light blue background works best.
  • Font typestyles and sizes - Use a minimum size of 24 points. Use fonts that are sans serif, without lines on the ends of each letter, making it easier to read on a television screen. Examples: Helvetica, Verdana, Eras, Geneva, Tahoma
  • Colors that work - Bright saturated colors are difficult to read on a television or computer screen. A dark blue background with yellow or white text looks the best. Here's a great chart to use as an example:
Best Color for Lines, Text & Design Areas
Background Color
Worst Color
blue, black
orange
yellow, white
blue, black
yellow
white, cyan
black, blue
green
cyan, magenta, yellow
white, yellow, cyan
blue
green, black
blue, black
cyan
green, yellow, white
black, white, yellow, blue
magenta
blue, magenta
blue,black
white
yellow,cyan

Note: In the new PowerPoint Windows XP version, they provide a series of color schemes (background, letters, color for charts) that are workable.

  • Number of Words/Lines
    The number of words per line and the number of lines per page should be limited. Too many letters and numbers on a television or computer screen make the information difficult to read. A good rule is to limit words to six per line and six lines per page. Information is best presented using "bullet" points or key words.
  • Letters
    Use a combination of lowercase and capitalized letters.

Preparing Graphics for PowerPoint or Display from Computer

Computer graphics and photographic slides usually have a two (height) by three (length) ratio. This means that the edges of the visual material will be cut off when it is converted to video.

The central 80 percent of a computer monitor is the "safe area" for transferring text and graphics to video. Keep all information in this area, or else it will be cut off when converted to video.

PowerPoint Preparation and Monitors

These streams were created in August 2008 to help refresh instructors on proper PowerPoint preparation and how to adapt presentations and content to the various monitor sizes.

Module 1- PowerPoint Design & Preparation. For additional information on PowerPoint design for videoconferencing, also check out information from the University of Florida.

Module 2- Presenting PowerPoint & Other Content

Module 3- Monitor Views