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The following is intended for UTSC annual presentations, but can be adapted to other uses.

General Guidelines

  • Use the UTSC Powerpoint template
  • Give credit to your committee and any other contributors on your last slide
  • Get the first draft of your slides done at least 1 month before the presentation date
    • Have your committee review your first and subsequent drafts
    • What questions do people have? What needs to be more clear?
    • What data do you still need to collect?
    • How can you make your argument stronger?
    • Why should your audience care about what you're saying? What's in it for them?
  • If there is a time limit to your presentation, go through it out loud and time yourself
    • You will likely have 5-15 minutes for your presentation. You may not have time to go through all of your committee's work, so prioritize!
  • Do a dry run with your committee members, the Staff Council Executive Committee, and anyone else who can offer you constructive feedback
    • Emil Kresl from HR may be willing to help you hone your message or give you feedback

Effective PowerPoints

  • The PowerPoint is there to support your talk, not replace it.
  • Simple, more numerous slides are always better than fewer, cluttered slides.
  • The best slide is a single image or infographic representing what you're talking about. People cannot listen to you talk AND read your slides at the same time.
  • Text on graphs must be 24 pt or larger. All other text must be 28 pt or larger. You are presenting to a large auditorium and font sizes smaller than that are unreadable.

  • text-only slide should have no more than 3-5 bullet points of text.
  • bullet point of text should be constrained to a single line; if it runs onto two lines, re-word it.
    • Bad: "The ceremony will take place August 15, 2015"
    • Good: "Ceremony: August 15"
  • Incomplete sentences are fine in PowerPoint. It's shorthand that supports your talk, not prose.

Interesting Talks

  • As you prepare your talk, think from the audience's point of view: what's in it for them?
  • Stick with 3-4 main points. Everything else should support those points. For each point, try to come up with a supporting story or example.
  • Statistics and charts can be boring, so make them as simple as you can or break each one up with a story or anecdote. Always give meaning or context to the data.
  • Keep it as concise as possible - don't waste your audience's time.

Media Use

When considering use of logos, particularly those of UT departments, get permission first. Using their logo in the wrong way can cause reputation damage for UTSC.

To get permission, contact the department's director. Look up the department on the site and then look for an organizational chart, or call their main line and ask for the name of the director, and then look them up in the UT directory.


When considering use of other images in presentations, fair use includes use for educational, non-profit, and scholarly purposes. When in doubt, see this flowchart:


Use of Charts and Graphs

Keep these as simple as possible. Use the following guidelines when deciding what type of chart to use:



UT Staff Toastmasters group

To improve as a public speaker, join the UT Staff Toastmasters group to get practice and feedback.


Articles Courses



Pick the one that matches your version of PowerPoint: