showing a PowerPoint presentation over video

When creating a PowerPoint presentation to show in a videoconference, it is important to think about good visibility. Keep in mind that far-end site monitors range from 27" to 36", with the majority using 32" screens. Also keep in mind that videoconference participants will be sitting at least 10 feet from the TV monitor during a conference. Finally, keep in mind that showing a computer presentation on a TV screen can cause blurriness in the TV image.

With all this in mind, make sure your PowerPoint slides feature large-size text with high contrast between the text and the background. Also note that a bright-white background is TOO bright. We highly recommend you take your PowerPoint presentation for a "road test" by reviewing it on your videoconference equipment before showing it during an actual videoconference.

The most efficient way to create a PowerPoint presentation is to set up a master slide template that contains a background and font style that will carry through all of your slides. If you select "View" from your toolbar and then select "Master" and then "Slide Master" you can make changes to your master slide and create a video-friendly presentation. PowerPoint has an array of templates, many of which do not work well for video.

Video-safe fonts

Tahoma & Verdana (these two fonts were designed for computer screens)
Arial, Helvetica, Palatino, MS Sans Serif, Lucida Sans
18 points minimum
24-32 points optimal

Video-safe colors off-white and mild yellow
non-saturated colors (no fluorescents)
Backgrounds dark blue is best
must be high-contrast so fonts show up:
use dark background with light text
use light background with dark text
Safe-text area text should be inset 1 inch from all edges of screen
  • Avoid thin horizontal lines, which will appear to vibrate on the television screen. If underlining text, make sure to use a thick line.
  • Avoid too much text on each slide. Ample space is needed between lines.



Examples of video-friendly templates:

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