online course

PowerPoint is a great tool. Find out how to use it.

powerpoint presentations

We got you started last week with a series of 9 difficulties that I want to address because you can face them while you build your online course.

Last week we talked about time management. one of the 9 difficulties. Often my students do not realize how much time it actually takes to put together a decent course. Nothing to be afraid of, it is just important to know and work with that information.

If you have not read this article you can find it here. Now we will focus on our PowerPoint Presentations

2/9 PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are often the heart of your course. Most people deliver the content of their course on PowerPoint. And for a good reason.  A PowerPoint presentation does

powerpoint presentations
  • structure, organize your presentation,
  • create a professional and consistent layout,
  • provide illustrations for the content of your presentation,
  • animate your slides to give them greater visual impact.

When you start with your presentation respect some of the following rules.

You text and colors:

  • Short bits of text, only use the main points, do not just read off your PowerPoint.
  • Have only one message per slide.
  • Use size and contrast to keep steer focus. The most important point should be the biggest.
  • Avoid sentences when you speak at the same time.
  • Use bullet points to structure your text. Not more than 6 per slide, if you do 7 or more you ask 500% more energy in cognitive resources in understanding the slide.
google fonts
  • One or two matching fonts and only a couple of different sizes are enough. Make sure people can read it well. Stick to those formats. You should format your presentation before you begin so that you have all the time the same sizes and fonts.  
  • The amount of slides is never the problem, the amount of information on a slide is.

Your pictures, graphics and animation

  • Use quality pictures. Do not just go download images from the internet, they have copyrights. If it is not explicitly stated that the are copyright free you cannot use them without asking. On the other hand, you can get many free sites where you can download high quality pictures for free like Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels...
  • Try not to use the clip arts that you have seem already so many times on other presentations. Make yours more personal. 
  • Make sure that the image is relevant to your text, it is not just decoration.
pictures unsplash
  • Pick your colors and stick with them.
  • If you can get your point across with an image, use it. Our brains will accept it much easier than the text.
  • When you make you videos make sure you have the right format. It depends on the platform where you build your course.
  • The animation is like salt, use it sparingly. When you have different bullet points you can have them pop up one after the other, while you present. It keeps the focus on the point you are discussing. For your transitions, I am personally not a friend of slides moving in different ways all the time. Just keep it simple and classy.

This was the second of the 9 difficulties people have while building an online course.

PowerPoint is a really great tool which offers a lot of possibilities. Do not fall into the trap of wanting to use them all in one presentation, you need to find your style, define it and stick with it. It all depends on you, on your audience and on your capacities to use this tool.

So, I hope this is some help for a start. You can always get more information and help on how to build your course right here


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14 thoughts on “PowerPoint is a great tool. Find out how to use it.

  1. I had never used PowerPoint until I created my course with Liane. She helped guide me through the process and I am pleased with how easy it turned out to be in the end. Her course is amazing!

  2. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

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