What is 5 x 5 Rule in PowerPoint?

5 x 5 Rule of PowerPoint

  • Each of your slide should have no more than 5 lines.
  • Each of those lines should have no more than 5 words.

An improved version of this rule, which is called ‘5 x 5 x 5 rule’ suggests ‘not to use more than 5 text heavy slides in a row’.

Why 5 lines on each slide?

Many studies say that we humans cannot read and listen at the same time. The reason is, our hearing and vision senses use the same part of the brain called the association cortex to integrate all incoming information. Therefore, if your slides are overloaded with text, you need to compete with your slides to get the attention from your audience.

How to optimize the PowerPoint slides with no more than 5 words?

Instead of whole sentences, use short sayings or phrases. Use those quirky sayings as your prompts and save the details for your voice.

Following is an example for a slide heavily loaded with text.

After applying 5 x 5 rule…

Things to keep in mind while preparing PowerPoint slides.

5 x 5 rule is one of the many rules like 10/20/30 rule, 6 x 6 rule, etc., So, whatever rule you follow, there are some basic things you need to keep in mind while preparing slides for the presentation.

  • Keep the design simple. With simple images and solid colors, it’s much easier for viewers to focus solely on you and your message.
  • Avoid using complex and flashy fonts.
  • Contrast your colors. The contrasting colors make it easier for the audience to read what you are presenting.
  • Do not use multiple backgrounds in your presentation. Changing the style can be distracting.
  • Limit Animation. PowerPoint has many options for animating images, shapes, slides, and more. However, overuse of this feature can distract the audience and make the presentation appear unprofessional.