How Accessibility Makes Your PowerPoint Presentations Stronger

  • By Emilie Brown
  • Published: Jun 1, 2024

In today’s diverse world, creating PowerPoint presentations that resonate with everyone is essential. Ensuring accessibility means being mindful of those with disabilities so that everyone, regardless of visual, auditory, or cognitive impairments, can benefit. In this blog, we are taking a closer look at how accessibility makes your PowerPoint presentations stronger. Without waiting further, let’s dive in. 

Understanding Accessibility in Presentations and Its Importance

Accessibility is about removing barriers and creating bridges to reach people of all abilities. Making your presentation accessible ensures it’s inclusive and considerate of everyone in the audience.

Accessible PPTs allow all audience members, including those with cognitive and physical disabilities, to follow along and participate. This involves designing slides that are both visually appealing and functional for everyone. Simple adjustments in structuring and designing your slides can make a big difference.

Why Accessibility Matters

Sometimes, certain design choices unintentionally exclude people with disabilities, such as blindness or hearing difficulties. Accessibility helps you reach more people, making sure no one is left out. By incorporating accessible features into your slides, you ensure your presentation is inclusive for all.

Things to Consider for Creating an Accessible Presentation

1. Start with Accessible Templates

Begin with templates specifically designed for accessibility. While PowerPoint’s built-in designs are available, they may have limitations. Collaborating with a presentation design partner can help you create custom templates that reflect your brand and ensure your presentations meet accessibility standards.

Using a custom-built template guarantees that color choices, font sizes, element order, and other accessibility considerations are addressed from the start.

2. Simplify or Remove Motion

Complex animations can make content difficult to read and distract from the main message. For users relying on screen readers, motion graphics can disrupt the reading order, causing confusion.

Animations and slide transitions are often non-essential. To enhance accessibility, it’s best to minimize or eliminate transitions and animations.

3. Improve Your Headlines

Avoid using the same headline on multiple slides, such as having three slides in a row titled “Product Features.” This practice violates accessibility and information design principles.

Instead, enhance your presentation by crafting unique, story-driven slide headlines. This approach helps your audience remember your key points more effectively.

4. Structuring Your Presentation

To create an accessible and clear presentation, especially for those with cognitive disabilities, plan with clarity in mind. Develop a natural flow from one point to the next without interruptions. Use varying font sizes, colors, and styles to establish a clear hierarchy, guiding your audience through your content. Additionally, use simple language and repeat key points to ensure everyone can follow along easily.

5. Be Careful with Color

Color is a powerful tool for presenting information, but relying solely on color can cause issues. Not everyone sees colors the same way, and some people can’t see them at all. For instance, links that change color might disappear after being clicked, or text might become unreadable against a similar background color. To avoid these problems, use additional methods like font size, emphasis, and position to highlight your content.

6. Use the Accessibility Checker

Start by using PowerPoint’s built-in Accessibility Checker. This tool automatically reviews your presentation to ensure it meets basic accessibility standards, checking text size, color choices, element labeling, and more. It identifies any issues and offers easy solutions to fix them, helping you create a presentation that’s accessible to everyone.

Closing Thoughts

Creating accessible presentations in PowerPoint isn’t just about ticking a box; it’s about ensuring your message reaches everyone in the room. By following these simple steps, you can design presentations that are inclusive, informative, and engaging for a diverse audience. Remember, a little planning and design consideration can go a long way in creating a more impactful and memorable presentation experience for all.

About the Author

Picture of Emilie Brown

Emilie Brown

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