June Gothberg on Creating Presentations Potent for All
Greetings, I am June Gothberg and assisting with AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i). Today, I want to share with you how to design presentations for all audience members. It is important that presentations are readable, navigable, and understandable.
Lesson Learned: Your audience is likely to be diverse.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates:
- 7-8% of men and 0.4% of women are colorblind, across eight different strains (red/green, blue/yellow, full colorblindness).
- 4% are low vision.
- 4% are severely dyslexic.
- Many are slow readers or processors.
- Emphasize readability: Fonts should be large and easy to read.
- Use Sans Serif fonts such as Helvetica, Arial and Verdana rather than font types like ‘Times New Roman’, because low vision people have difficulty with reading text in font types with serifs.
- Avoid the use of italic font style; this style even hampers normal vision reading.
- Try to use one font type per slide.
- Emphasize see-ability: Color selection is important.
- Use solid or near solid backgrounds.
- Color contrast can improve see-ability.
- There are two types of contrast – brightness and color.
- The highest brightness contrast, thus increased see-ability, is black and white.
- Use complementary colors (colors directly across from each other on the color wheel).
- Red-green is the highest incidence of colorblindness, so use these colors sparingly.
- Emphasize understandability: Graphics, figures, maps, and images are oft neglected.
- Use oral support when presenting graphics.
- Remember red is a color issue – laser points are red!
- Legends are difficult for many to interpret.
- Use text, arrows, or other indicators to emphasize important information.
- Handouts may be critical especially for those with hidden disabilities.
- Distribute handouts before you present; this especially assists those with low vision, dyslexia, and comprehension difficulties.
- Bring an electronic copy.
- If possible, bring a few large-text copies.
- Attend Potent Presentations Initiative trainings on slide design at the conference.
- To check overall accessibility. Instructions for using Microsoft’s Accessibility Checker
- To check your design: Try Petr Stanicek’s Color Scheme Designer. Select your intended color scheme and then select the colorblindness button in the top right corner to check your scheme for each of the eight strains of colorblindness.
- To check your slides: Try Vischeck. Once you create your presentation, create a picture image of your slide(s). This is very simple to do by using screen capture (PC and Mac instructions), open up your graphics editor, crop, and save as a .png or .jpg file. Next upload to Vischeck and viola you can now see your slide as someone else might.
- P2i Presentation Slide Design Guidelines.
Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Associationand provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.