Readability and Accessibility in Presentation Design

If you’re about to present your hard work to a group of people, or even share your presentation online, you want to make sure everyone can understand it.

After all, you’ve put a lot of effort into it!

So, what can you do to ensure that your presentation is both accessible and readable for all your audience members?

In this blog, we’ll look further into this and best practices to help you create a more personable, inclusive, and engaging presentation. Let’s get started!

Screen Readers

If you want to make your next presentation fully accessible, you’ll need to check things like alt text.

Alt text, also known as alternative text or alt tags, is a textual description that can be added to images and other non-text content, like graphs, within your presentation.

Alt text is used by screen readers and other assistive technologies to describe the content of the image.

Unless you add image description text, which will allow you to explain what the image represents, a screen reader will skip past or simply say ‘Image’.

Another thing to consider is charts and graphs. Fully-sighted people can look at a graph and interpret it. Screen readers can’t interpret this way. To ensure everyone can interpret your information is to insert the graph as an image, using alt text to describe where/what trend in the data is happening.

Most screen readers aren’t compatible with tables, particularly if they have merged cells. A lot of the time, the screen reader can’t navigate to the table. Meaning your valuable information could be missed entirely.

However, you can tell a screen reader how you want it to read your PowerPoint. In which order and how to read the information the way you would. This is time-consuming, but worth it. If the screen reader can’t read it – there’s no point in presenting or sending it.

IG can do this for you – all you have to do is send us your slides.

In terms of readability, you may want to consider:


Presentations are a powerful tool for conveying complex ideas and sharing knowledge, but it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone in your audience has the same level of expertise or familiarity with the subject matter. One effective way to do this is to avoid using technical jargon or industry-specific terminology whenever possible.

While it may be tempting to showcase your knowledge by using technical terms, doing so can hinder communication and make it more difficult for your audience to understand what you’re trying to say.

If you do need to use technical terms or jargon, it’s important to take the time to explain what they mean. This can help to ensure that everyone in your audience is on the same page and can follow along with your presentation.

One way to do this is by providing a brief definition of any technical terms or industry-specific words that you use, either on the slide itself or in your spoken presentation.

Information Hierarchy

Having bullet-pointed information in a hierarchy will make your presentation more readable.

Information hierarchy refers to the organisation and prioritisation of information in a way that makes it easy for the audience to follow and understand. Placing the most important information at the top, followed by supporting details and examples.

When you’re breaking down information into concise, bulleted statements, you can highlight key points and create a clear structure for your presentation.

You can use font size, colour, and formatting to visually differentiate between different levels of information hierarchy. For example, you might use a larger font size or bold text for main points, and a smaller font size or regular text for supporting details.

And, don’t forget to tell the text alt how to read these bullet points to have the same impact for those using a screen reader.


Contrast plays a critical role in determining the readability and accessibility of your content. The contrast between the background colour and the text colour is especially important. If the contrast is too low, it can make the text difficult to read, particularly when using light text on a coloured background or a coloured background in general. To ensure readability, it is important to choose colours with high contrast.

Additionally, the size of the font can also impact the contrast. Larger text can get away with using lower contrast, but the smaller text needs to have much higher contrast to remain legible. By prioritising readability and contrast in your design choices, you can create presentations that effectively convey your message to your audience.

If you need support making your next presentation readable and accessible, IG can help. Contact us here.