Skip to Main Content Shenandoah University

Presenting Research: Slide Presentations

Slide Presentations

Consider Your Audience

  • Use easy-to-read fonts and limit the number of fonts you use. Fancy fonts can be hard to read. Words in all capital letters are hard for many viewers to read, too.
  • Use larger text to indicate more important information, but make sure all text is large enough for the audience to read.
  • Avoid using multiple text colors and low-contrast combinations. Aim for very light-colored text on a very dark background or the reverse. Color should never be used as the only indication of meaning, importance, etc.
  • Avoid purely decorative elements such as transitions between slides and distracting special effects.

For graphs, charts, or other visual representations of your research project,

  • Select only the figures that best illustrate your findings.
  • For graphs, identify the axes and explain what the distribution of data indicates.
  • Make sure the figures are readable. Consider creating simplified versions of any graphs, charts, or tables that are too complex for the audience to read.

What to Include on Your Slides

Everything that appears on your slides is for the benefit of the audience. Your slides should not look like a transcript of your talk. They should enhance, illustrate, or complement what you say.

  • Convey one or two key points per slide.
  • Keep text short (think phrases, not long sentences). 
  • Put reminders about what you want to say in your presenter notes instead.


Check for typos and other errors. Try using Air Play to view your project on a large screen, since that can help you notice problems that don't stand out on your laptop screen.

Practice Your Delivery

  • Time your presentation. If you find yourself rushing to get through the presentation, consider whether you need to edit out some material in order to fit the time limit. If you're just nervous, more practice will help.
  • Deliver your talk smoothly and clearly at a comfortable pace. If you find yourself taking long pauses or stumbling over words, review the material in that section of your presentation and, if needed, try rephrasing it.
  • Use good posture. Sitting or standing up straight will help you speak loudly and clearly and can help you feel more confident, too.
  • Look up at the audience/camera. It's okay to refer to your presenter notes to stay on track, but avoid turning your face down or reading your whole presentation from a paper.

Consider making a test recording or practicing in front of a mirror or a with a friend so that you can see how you're doing.

Using Presenter View

Before You Record

Make sure the Zoom app is installed and up to date on your laptop.

Position yourself with a dominant light source in front of you. Backlighting makes it hard for the audience to see your face.

Use a plain background, or add a video filter to blur the audience's view of your surroundings. Read more about enhancing your video in Zoom.

Check your video and audio settings, and practice using meeting controls:

  • Share screen (for your slides)
  • Record button (start, pause, stop)

Using Zoom to Record Your Presentation

  1. Close all apps except Zoom and Slides (in slideshow or presentation mode).
  2. Start a new Zoom meeting. 
    new meeting button
  3. Make sure video is turned on and audio is unmuted.
     audio and video controls
  4. Click Share Screen and select the window that shows the slideshow view of your presentation.
    share screen
  5. Click the Record button. record button You may need to go to More... to find record options.
    Zoom more

    If there is a menu, choosing Record on this Computer is recommended.
    record on this computer
  6. Deliver your presentation.
  7. Stop the recording, stop sharing your screen, and end the meeting.
  8. You will see a pop-up window that indicates Zoom is converting your recording. When it is ready, the folder containing the recording will open.
    video file location

Need more help?

Try searching the Zoom Support site for help with your question.

Contact Shenandoah Academic Computing Technology for Zoom technical support.