What to look out for when checking your PowerPoint presentation


In the past, Slidesho has discussed and written many articles on what it takes to create a successful PowerPoint presentation.

We know for a presentation to be successful it must tick many boxes, such as-

But what happens at the other end, when you have followed all the guidelines and your slides are finally complete? The answer to that is, it’s time to thoroughly check your PowerPoint presentation before you present it.

In the same way that there are certain guidelines that we follow to create a presentation, there are also certain actions we take when we perform a final check of our finished product.

What to look out for when checking your PowerPoint Presentations

1. Spelling and Grammar

Spelling and grammatical errors in presentations are not only unprofessional but can be a big distraction to your audience. A small spelling mistake on a laptop screen is no longer small when it is blown up onto a huge screen. It shouts out to your audience “look at me”!

PowerPoint does allow you to run a command to point out any spelling mistakes as you type up your presentation. However, we highly recommend you run the spell check after you have finished and allow the checker to work its way through your entire presentation. Doing final proofreading is also essential.

2. Alignment

Making sure all your text, shapes and objects are properly aligned is the key to having a polished and professional looking presentation. There will be members within every audience that are meticulous and fussy by nature. When objects within a presentation are out of alignment, it’s visually obvious, and can be extremely distracting. Aligning your objects manually by dragging them and using your judgement can be tricky and fiddly. We recommend you allow PowerPoint to work its magic and align them for you. You can do this by-

  1. Holding down the “Shift” key and clicking on all of your objects
  2. Select “Arrange” in the top option bar
  3. Choose “Align”
  4. Choose the type of alignment you would like (i.e. top, middle, bottom, left, right or centre)
  5. Using the guides will also assist to ensure that all elements are sitting within a pre-defined white space and everything is aligned within it

Tip: Another good and easy way to check alignment is to manually click through your slides and as each slide changes there should be no change or movement in the positioning of any of your headings, page numbers, titles etc. They should all be in exactly the same position on each page.

3. Charts and Graphs 

Ensure that all your stats and data are easily digestible and presented in creative ways to make them more memorable by using graphs or charts. Select the correct type of graph for the data you are presenting, this will vary depending on the information you’d like to bring to life to help tell your story.

TIP: While you’re checking your completed presentation, if you notice you still have some text slides that are either discussing a comparison to something, describing a trend, or talking about the relationship between two or more items or products, we highly recommend you replace the text with either a chart, graph or diagram.

To help you decide what chart or graph to use, read our blog post on Stats with Style.

4. Branding: Colours and fonts

Check that all the colours in the presentation are correct. If the template has been set up correctly with a colour palette and RGB values for each colour, then you’re set!

The same applies to fonts, ensure you’re using the correct corporate fonts throughout the entire presentation, especially if you have merged slides from different decks you will need to be extra vigilant and check all the fonts are consistent.

5. Hyperlinks

If you have hyperlinks in your presentation, don’t forget to check that they all work. It’s very easy to test, but just as easy to forget and miss.

To test a hyperlink, you simply – Right click on the hyperlink, then click Open Hyperlink. Remember, if you are presenting off-site and require internet to access hyperlinked information, check your internet connection when arriving at the venue.

6. Images

High quality visuals such as images are extremely important in a PowerPoint presentation. After all, humans process images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of all information transmitted to our brains is visual. So based on these stats, if you are going to use images in your presentation to convey a key message, the higher quality image the better.

TIP: If your hero image is displaying as blurry, try sourcing a better image and check the compression setting, it should be no less than 150 ppi.

7. Animations

The purpose of animations in a presentation is to create motion and capture your audience’s attention in a more dynamic and memorable way. Animations are used successfully when applied on the right slide or key point. If there are too many objects in motion throughout your presentation it will be easy for your audience to lose focus.

If you have animations in your finished presentation, make sure they are effective.  They should focus on and enhance the comprehension of your key message.

8. Videos

If you have a video embedded in your presentation, check that all your settings are correct. Some of these can be –

  • If you plan to play your video in full screen, make sure the video does not appear distorted when enlarged. Always preview your video before you include it in your presentation so that if the video appears blurry, you know not to use the full screen option.
  • Have your volume set and ready to go. This will prevent you from having to adjust it in front of your audience.
  • If you want your video to play continuously (at the start or end of your presentation) check that you have set up the loop feature correctly.

Tip: Microsoft offers a comprehensive guide on how to check and set up your video settings properly so that it runs smoothly during your presentation. You can access the information here.

After you have checked all of the above, we recommend you do a trial run of your slides. This is done through ‘Slide Show’ and we recommend you play your presentation all the way through from the start. This will allow you to see the presentation from an audience member’s perspective and allow you to focus solely on the visual element of your presentation. It will confirm all your slides have been properly set up and your animations are working their magic.

10. Use presenter view

Now that you have fully checked your finished presentation and you are happy with everything, remember to rehearse and we propose you use the ‘Presenter View’ option to assist in your delivery of the presentation.

Presenter view is a presenter’s best friend! It lets you view your presentation along with your personal speaker notes on one computer (such as your laptop) while your audience only views the presentation (free from all your notes) on a different monitor.

If you are not familiar with using speaker notes, read our blog post on ‘Why you should use speaker notes.’ It will answer all your questions.

In Conclusion

By following all our tips above, you will be well on your way to presenting a seamless and faultless PowerPoint presentation. To help you streamline all your checks we have put together this simple to-follow tip sheet. It’s a fantastic tool to use for all your current and future presentations.

Avoid last-minute presentation glitches. Contact the

PowerPoint presentation design experts at Slidesho today!