Tips for TV Presenters - Visual Materials

Our studio is equipped with an Elmo presentation camera and a computer with PowerPoint and network/internet access.

Presentations to be viewed on television require special attention to the preparation of visual materials:

  • For materials you prepare on paper:
    1. Limit text to six lines, or a maximum of 25 words per image.
    2. Keep fonts simple and bold. 30 points is the minimum size. 36 points is better.
    3. use a horizontal (landscape) format. Paper should be 8-1/2 by 11 and a pastel color such as earth tone, light blue, or light gray. White or dark paper does not work well.
    4. To write on paper, use a thick marker - they are available in the studio.
    5. Consider pre-printing part of what you want on the paper then writing in more information as you show it on camera.
  • Computer displays, including PowerPoint presentations, need to be created for TV use:
    1. Keep fonts simple and bold. 30 points is the minimum size. 36 points is better.
    2. Break up slides with a lot of text into multiple slides with larger text and fewer words on each slide.
    3. Computer graphics with vibrant red colors or large areas of bright white or with a lot of small detail are a problem for TV use. Use less saturated colors when using shades of red. Use light gray rather than white for large areas. Do NOT use white backgrounds.
    4. Keep graphics and backgrounds simple and check that they do not make the text less readable.
    5. For presentations to be shown on the internet, avoid transition effects as they usually do not look good when viewed online.
    6. After you create a few graphics, bring them in so we can see how they look on TV before you continue.

The converter we use to show computer images on television allows you to magnify the computer images because web sites have text and images that are too small to be seen clearly on television. The magnified area, however, only shows about one-quarter of the computer image. The presenter can move the magnified image around to select what part of the computer image is being shown. It takes some practice, but it is the only way someone watching on a television can clearly see internet sites.