Tips for Presenters
must be aware of the needs of their audience. General tips are provided in this
section, or explore more detailed information in Accessibility
Guidelines for Presenters by June Kailes.
Preparing Your Presentation and Content:
- Work closely with the event
planners to learn more about your potential audience, and be prepared to modify
your material or presentation style as requested.
- Deliver your materials at the
requested deadline since it can take two to three weeks to prepare materials to
meet the needs of attendees.
- Review the guidelines about
style, fonts, video,
and other elements of presentation offered in this guide.
Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation:
Use a sans serif font that is at
least 22 point.
Use a light-colored background
with dark text.
Use a plain background without
any watermark, photo, or design behind the text.
Use a PowerPoint theme to
structure your presentation, with only short sentences and/or bulleted phrases
(about 4 lines of text/40 words per slide).
Keep it short - as a rule, one
slide for every two minutes of speaking time.
Photographs, images, clip art,
graphics, maps, and charts cannot be read by screen readers; embed "Alt Text" descriptions
with images and other graphic elements.
- · If there is a sign language
interpreter, please wait for him/her to be in place before beginning your
- · Always face the audience; this is
especially helpful for audience members who are speech readers (lip readers).
Speak at a normal rate, neither
too slowly nor too quickly; this is especially helpful for the sign language
All the information on your slides
should be part of your spoken presentation; you don’t need to simply read the
text to the audience, but be certain that all information is addressed.
Describe all meaningful graphics
in your presentation (such as photos, images, charts, and illustrations).
Use felt tip markers free of
scents and solvents and replace the cap when not in use.
Use lasers to point only; resist
the urge to wiggle the light around the screen (this can be problematic for
people with a variety of conditions, including vision disabilities), and turn
it off when not in use.
If you are a panelist and are not
introduced immediately prior to speaking, introduce yourself. This is helpful
for audience members who are blind or have low vision. .
Always use the microphone;
individuals may have hearing aids or may be using an assistive listening system that cannot pick
up your words if you do not use the microphone. This has nothing to do with how
loud you speak or how well you project.
If you are asked a question by
someone not using a microphone, be sure to repeat the question into the
Attendees with electrical
sensitivities may not be able to use or tolerate wireless microphones; you may
need to repeat their questions into the microphone.
Ensure that only one audience
member speaks at a time.
If you ask the entire audience a
question, offer several ways to respond, including raising hands, calling out,
standing, nodding; this will facilitate participation for those who may not be
able to raise hands, speak, or stand.
Following the response to an
audience question, let the audience know the count or estimate, such as “about
half responded yes.”
To ensure access for attendees
with electrical sensitivities, turn off non-essential computers, projectors,
microphones, and other electronic equipment when not in use.
Accessibility Tips for Documents and Worksheets
Formatting Printed Materials
To maximize legibility of printed materials, use:
san-serif font, such as Arial or Helvetica
- Narrow text columns rather than wide ones, and right margins
that are ragged, not justified
or double spacing between lines
between letters that is not too tight or too loose
case letters with initial capitals rather than all capitals
lettering on white, non-shiny paper
Printed Material in Large Print
- The best
contrast with the least glare is bold type on yellow paper (white paper can
produce too much glare)
- If white
paper needs to be used, use an off-white paper that will still give good
contrast while producing less glare than white
- The paper
should not be larger than standard 8 1/2" X 11"
- Use one-inch
- Lines of
text should be no longer than six inches (anything longer than six inches will
not track well for people who use magnifiers)
- Text should
begin at the left margin (centered text is harder to read)
- Use right
margins that are ragged, not justified (right-justified margins can create
awkward spacing between words, making lines of text difficult to track)
- Use dot
leaders for tables of contents
- Use a
strong, simple font, and avoid fine or "fancy" fonts
- Use normal
spacing between characters (compressed fonts and italics are difficult to read)
one-and-one-fourth to double spacing between lines
- The minimum
font size should be 18 point
is Helvetica bold 18 point type