Guidelines for creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations

The following best practice points and guidelines for creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations have been produced at the request of NHS colleagues.

If you have any suggestions or additional tips for creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations, please contact us at

The NHS PowerPoint templates

The NHS PowerPoint templates have been designed to make sure that the NHS identity is used correctly. The templates are set up with the correct placement of the logo, colour, and font in an appropriate layout, and also allow you to customise them, by adding your own logotype, for example.


Best practice in PowerPoint presentations

  • When you are delivering a presentation, the text on the slide should be a guide for you and the audience. The presenter should expand on the information contained within the slides in more detail.
  • A good rule of thumb is no more than five lines of text per slide and no more than eight words per line.
  • Bold text and other formatting should be used sparingly so that it retains impact.
  • Consider how long your presentation needs to be. If your presentation is longer than 20-25 minutes, it may prove difficult to keep your audience engaged. If you really need to impart a lot of information, think about ways of breaking up the presentation and different ways of presenting information to keep your audience involved, eg use of flipcharts, white boards and activities.


Issues to consider

  • If you choose to use images, audio and/or video files in presentations you must ensure you are not infringing copyright.
  • The text of Crown copyright material may be reproduced for NHS purposes. This means it may be reproduced and presented to an audience at no cost and without permission. For more information on the use of Crown copyright, please visit the Office of Public Sector Information website:


Images and photography

  • If you are using images, audio or video files from other sources you must get permission in writing (this can be done via email) from the owner of the original recording or broadcast material. This may incur a cost from the copyright holder.
  • If you are using an illustration, ensure it is clear, professional and respectful. Avoid using computer clip-art or poor quality images.
  • You can source images from the NHS Photo Library. The library offers high quality images available for download that all meet NHS communications principles. Use of the NHS Photo Library is restricted to NHS, Department of Health (DH) and local authority social services. Images can only be used in communications where it is obvious that one of these organisations has produced the material, or has been a joint partner in its production.
  • To access the secure online NHS Photo Library you can register as a new user at [external link]. When selecting images from the library please ensure that you download the files in the format ‘suitable for use in PowerPoint presentations’.


Inserting images and files

  • Ensure that you have saved your local logotype to your PC first.
  • To insert your own local logotype go to the toolbar and select ‘View: Master: Slide master’ Delete the current logo and replace with your own local NHS logotype. To do this, go to the toolbar and select ‘File: insert picture’ and browse for the image that you would like to insert.
  • Try to keep your images at the same scale. You can do this by clicking on shift as you resize the image.
  • If you have any queries on your local logotype please contact the NHS Identity helpline


File sizes

  • Be aware that file sizes for PowerPoint presentations are usually quite large. If a presentation includes a sound or video clip, it is unlikely that you will be able to email it.
  • If you are copying your presentation to disk then you will need to copy all elements of the presentation to the disk. If you are including sound clips, images or video files in your presentation these need to be copied onto the disk alongside the presentation in order for them to work.
  • Using high-resolution images can make the file size very large. You can compress the images in PowerPoint by clicking on the image and using the compress image button on the picture toolbar. For presentations with a large number of images, this can reduce file size considerably.
  • You can also use the ‘zip’ facility on your PC to compress files and make them small enough to email.


Contact us

If you have any queries on customising these templates or creating your own PowerPoint templates, please contact the NHS Identity Helpline

Last updated: 02/06/10

Need Help?

If you haven't found the information you're looking for, our comprehensive FAQs may give you the answers. There is also information here on how to make the most of the site and use the search facility.