Center for Instructional Innovation

Center Recommendations

Center Recommendations

Below are some recommendations to maximize the potential of your experience in the center.

Preparing Your PowerPoint

If you are planning on using slides for your video presentation please make sure they are submitted no later than 48 hours prior to your studio appointment.

Accepted file formats are:

MS PowerPoint (.PPT)
If you have a file in any other format the file will need to be transferred to a supported format.
CRC-DE (at) crc [dot] losrios [dot] edu (Contact us) if you need assistance in reformatting your files. Please provide a PDF version of your presentation slides for users to download as an accompaniment your video. 

Choosing the Aspect Ratio:

For presentations on a screen there are 2 common aspect ratio’s 4:3 and 16:9. If you don’t know the ratio you can use the maximum resolution to determine the required ratio.


This is the classic resolution for computer screens and broadcast television. This is also the default for PowerPoint. 800×600, 1024×768, 1152×864 and 1280×960 are common resolutions used with the ratio.

4:3 Aspect Ratio Example

A 4:3 slide on a 16:9 screen. Showing black bars on the side.


16:9  (This is the preferred aspect ratio for recording in the Media Center)

This ratio is commonly used by HDTV screens. 1280×720 and 1920×1080 are common resolutions used with this ratio. In the Media Center we record all video in these resolutions. 

16:9 Aspect Ratio Example

A 16:9 slide on a 16:9 screen.


Setting the Aspect Ratio in PowerPoint 2013

  1. In PowerPoint go the “Design” tab on the ribbon bar.
  2. Locate the “Slide Size" dropdown on the ribbon bar and set the desired ratio.

10 PowerPoint Design Notes

What is the difference between a good presentation and a poor one? Content and design. While a lecture may contain engaging speech and story, images shown may add or detract from the message. These tips will help you create a well-designed presentation that effectively support your message.

  1. Skip the Stock Template
    In 2010 Tech Matrix data confirmed that more than 1 billion PCs worldwide have Microsoft Office software installed. By using the template slides included in your software, there is a very high probability that your audience has seen the design before. The problem is stock templates is they are overused, boring, very unappealing and worst of all were not created to support your content. Create cleaner presentations by starting with a blank presentation and building from there.
  2. Do Not Use More Than 6 Lines of Text
    Less is more. The audience must process what is being said verbally and in addition to this is going to be processing the slide content visually. Packing in too much information is going to weaken content retention.
  3. Ditch the Bullet Points
    As humans there are limitations of our working memory. When a presenter uses bullet-point slides, they’re not using both the auditory and visual cortex pathways as effectively as they could. The audience member has to read the words on the slide and listen to the presenter at the same time, leading to overloading, leaving the visual cortex with very little to do. Estimates show our working memory capacity to be around 4 chunks of information.
  4. Use Sans Serif Fonts
    Legibility over fun. While you can use a creative font for a slide title, avoid using it for body text. Instead, stick to clean, traditional typefaces. if you’re using a dark background, make the text bold for readability.

    Example of Serif Text  Example of Sans Serif Text

  5. Size Fonts Appropriately
    When sizing your fonts, keep in mind that the text should be large enough to be read by the person in the back of the room. For a large room font sizes in the 40-50 range is a good starting point.
  6. Maintain a Strong Contrast Between Text and Background
    In order for your message to be clear, you need a high level of contrast between your text and the background. If your background image features a lot of variation, portions of your text may not be legible. In that case, a stylish bar of color behind the image can bring the legibility back while adding visual interest.
    Example of proper contrast
  7. Use No More Than 5 Colors
    A harmonious color palette can enhance the look of your entire presentation. Complex gradients or textures are not necessary.  Excellent results can be achieved with a simple palette.
  8. Use Contrasting Text Colors to Draw Attention
    It’s like bold and italic, but better. Use a single color in your selected palette to emphasize important points in your text. However, make sure not to overdo it.
    Example of text contrast
  9. Use Single Images
    Images will make your presentation more visual, but try to not make use of too many on one slide. It is a presentation, not a photo album. Limit your designs to a single image with simple or no text.
  10. Stop Using Transitions
    Transitions can be distracting. If professional presentations and video they are used sparingly and only with purpose. During your favorite TV show, pay close attention to when, if ever, you see transitions. Most likely you are only going to see straight forward cuts or a cross fade at a change of scenery or time in the story.


Image Use in Presentation Slides

Any images used in your presentation slides must be one of the following:

  • Owned By You – you have taken the photo or created this graphic image.
  • Properly Licensed - you obtained the image or graphic from an Image Library 
    such as a stock photography company.
  • Written Permission - you obtained the copyright holder to use the image or graphic.
  • Used in accordance - with Fair Use or the TEACH Act.

What To Wear

Depending on the type of recording you are creating, clothing can be a very important factor. Wear darker colored clothing that does not have any tight patterns such as lines herringbone. Please avoid any green colors and white as well. For example, if you are recording a video with a green chroma key backdrop you do not want to wear any clothing with green, which would interfere with the keying process. The darker colors work better with green chroma key systems.

Image of 3 shirts not to wear