When creating a bibliographic reference list using the American Psychological Association (APA) style, the goal is to direct your readers to the source. This can be difficult if the source you want to cite is a PowerPoint presentation. However, if it appears on the Internet, you can cite it as if it were any other web page. Just keep in mind that a live PowerPoint presentation should be cited as a “personal communication”.
Method 1 of 2: Cite a Presentation Posted on the Internet
Step 1. Begin entering the reference list by typing the author's name
Write the author's last name first followed by a comma. Leave a space and include the initials of their first and middle names, each followed by a period. If you don't know the initial of the middle name, just include the first.
Example: Sunshine, S. J
Step 2. Include the year of publication of the presentation
After initialing the author, leave a space and include the year of publication of the presentation in parentheses. Place a period after the closing parentheses.
Example: Sunshine, S. J. (2018)
Step 3. Include the title of the presentation and a description of the format
Leave a space after the period following the year of publication and write the title of the presentation. Capitalize only the first word of the title and proper names. After the title, leave a space and include the words “PowerPoint slides” in brackets. Finally, place a period after the closing brackets.
Example: Sunshine, S. J. (2018). Revolutionary uses of solar energy [PowerPoint slides]
Step 4. Include the URL of the location where the presentation can be found
End the citation to the list of bibliographic references by typing the words "Retrieved from" followed by a direct URL to the presentation. Avoid including a period at the end of the URL.
Example: Sunshine, S. J. (2018). Revolutionary uses of solar energy [PowerPoint slides]. Recovered from
Format of a list of bibliographic references in APA
Author, A. A. (year). Presentation title [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from URL.
Step 5. Use the author's name and year of publication for in-text citations
Every time you paraphrase information from the PowerPoint presentation in your article, place a quotation in parentheses at the end of the sentence that includes the author's last name, followed by a comma, and the year the presentation was published.
Example: Solar energy has been used experimentally to power motorized vehicles (Sunshine, 2018)
Step 6. Include the slide number when making direct quotes from the presentation
When including a direct quote from a source in your article, the APA style requires you to provide the page number on which it appears. Since PowerPoint presentations do not have page numbers, you will need to include the slide number in the citation in parentheses, after the author's name and year of publication. Separate each of these items with commas.
Example: If motor vehicles could be adapted to run on solar energy, the United States could "end its independence from fossil fuels within the next 10 years" (Sunshine, 2018, slide 11)
Method 2 of 2: Cite a Live Presentation
Step 1. Leave a live presentation out of your list of bibliographic references
The goal of a bibliographic reference list is to provide a reliable route for your readers to find the source you used. If the presentation has not been published anywhere, there will be no way for readers to access it. Therefore, you should not include in your reference list the entry to a PowerPoint presentation that you saw live.
Your instructor or counselor will likely ask you to include an entry on your list of bibliographic references. It is recommended that you ask him in advance and follow his instructions
Step 2. Begin your text quote by typing the name of the presenter
Use the presenter's first initial (along with their middle initial if available) followed by their last name. You then put a comma after the presenter's name before moving on to the next item.
Example: (L. Lovegood,
Step 3. Identify the presentation as a personal communication
Leave a space after the comma following the presenter's name and write the words "personal communication." Then put a comma. These words will indicate to readers familiar with the APA style that the source does not have an entry in the list of bibliographic references.
Example: (L. Lovegood, personal communication,
Step 4. Include a precise date of when the presentation was made
Leave a space after the comma that follows the words “personal communication” and include the date of the presentation. Use the month-day-year format (write the full month). Finally, put a period after the closing of the parentheses.
Example: (L. Lovegood, personal communication, March 22, 2019)
Text formatting of a live presentation according to the APA style
(A. A. Author, personal communication, month day, year).