The fonts you use in your PowerPoint slides do play a role in making your presentations successful. The typeface should be readable and font size should be large enough so that people seated at the back have no problem reading the text.
Here’s some useful advice from presentation gurus on selecting the right fonts (font family + size) for your PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentations:
Guy Kawasaki: Guy says that your PowerPoint presentation slides should contain no font smaller than thirty points or just find out the age of the oldest person in your audience and divide it by two. That’s your optimal font size.
“Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points. I guarantee it will make your presentations better because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well.”
Seth Godin: Seth recommends picking up a font other than Arial for presentations because it is too common and overused.
“Headline fonts ought to be decorative but not ornate. Ornate looks cool on a font menu, but rarely pays off in heavy useâ€¦ The right font becomes your handwriting.”
[Update] You can find some impressive typefaces at Google Web Fonts and they are free.
Scott Hanselman: Scott, a great presenter and geek, recommends Lucida Console font, 14 to 18pt in bold for PowerPoint presentations.
“This [Lucida Console] is the most readable, mono-spaced font out there. Courier of any flavor or Arial (or any other proportionally spaced font) is NOT appropriate for code demonstrations, period, full stop. ”
Garr Reynolds: The world’s best know presentation expert says that san-serif fonts are generally best for PowerPoint presentations, but try to avoid the ubiquitous Helvetica.
“Use the same font set throughout your entire slide presentation, and use no more than two complementary fonts (e.g., Arial and Arial Bold). Serif font are said to be easier to read at small point sizes, but for on screen presentations the serifs tend to get lost due to the relatively low resolution of projectors.”
If you are looking for specific font recommendations, check the following slide deck – it recommends Lobster Two, Bebas Neue, Glode, Korolev and Cantarell.