Best Font to use for a Professional PowerPoint Presentation

Professional PowerPoint Presentation

Denise J Martin, who is Workshop Presenter on various topics including Delivering Presentations says;

The best font to use for a PowerPoint presentation is NO font. PowerPoint is a visual medium and is best utilized with images that enhance the spoken body of the presentation.

Professional PowerPoint Presentation
Professional PowerPoint Presentation

There is little worse than a PowerPoint presentation that is a deck of slides loaded with font. The poor audience is reading ahead, actually more like skimming, and then their eyes glaze over as they mentally wander to something, anything else. Oh wait! – there actually is something worse: it’s when the presenter resorts to READING word for word said slides to the audience! Nothing worse for the poor sufferers in the room who are likely bored to tears at that point.

But, you say, it’s a technical topic and it’s impossible to get the concept across without slides full of font! I disagree; there must be a good metaphor that describes each step in the concept which you can use as a vivid image of for the slide. This also helps the presentation in that the audience has a memorable visual to accompany and relate to the spoken description which enhances understanding.

But, what if it’s a financial presentation and numbers, graphs and pie charts are called for? Then PowerPoint is the wrong vehicle to use. Rather, have hard copies of the presentation handed out for each member of the audience to review during the presentation page by page. The exception is if the chart is not tightly detailed, in which case it counts as an image, which is a fine slide for PowerPoint.

But, the image needs some wording accompaniment, which brings us back to the font question. The answer is that the type of font is irrelevant, as long as it’s straightforward (no script or curlicues) for ease of reading, with the size of the font as more important than the type. It should be around 30pt to be seen from the back of the room. And a good rule of thumb is: no more than 6 words on any slide.

Try to use more and more visual but if you want to use font then I would suggest these standard Microsoft Office typefaces:

  • Segoe UI (Modern look, many variations)
  • Calibri Light (Light version of omnipresent Calibri is good enough)
  • Verdana, Tahoma (As alternative to Arial)
  • Century Gothic (Futura-like appearance)
  • Impact (Use it for numbers)
  • Cambria, Candara, Constantia, Book Antiqua (Great serifs)

These typefaces are mostly universal: they’ll look the same on PC, Apple, Android, iOS platforms. So you don’t have to worry that your presentation breakdowns at the crucial moment (which makes your presentation professionally enough huh).

P.S. Agree with answers above – font is not the key feature of professional presentation at all and according to slide design in particular. See below some examples of slides with standard fonts (the name of the font is in the upper right corner). What makes them look good is composition, visual hierarchy, clear main idea, proper choice of color, big illustration etc.

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