Course Outcomes

This web-based PowerPoint design course will:

  • Suggest a methodology for creating a well-designed slide deck.
  • Review best practices for selecting a deck’s content.
  • Offer strategies to save time.
  • Provide design tips.

Course Overview

There are a lot of bad PowerPoint presentations in the world. If fact, in some circles electronic monstrosities have been known to lead to a slow death. That’s sad because it doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is, with a little training, most people can improve their presentation design skills. Will they all become first-rate graphic designers? Of course not! What people participating in this web-based PowerPoint design course will discover, however, are tips and tricks to make the process easier and their end products better.

The workshop is conducted in two segments. In session one, we will discuss the deck-creation process. In session two, we will review the participant’s decks, offer feedback, and introduce a peer-review model.

Note: Organizations may choose to purchase one or both segments.

Session One: Design Fundamentals

When it comes to good presentation design, know what you want to say and why is half the battle. This session begins with a discussion about what makes a presentation design good. Next, we will look at a methodology for organizing thoughts. Following that activity, we will walk through PowerPoint’s ribbons, so participants become familiar with the program’s native functions and some optional add-ins. Once everyone knows their way around the program, we will discuss best practices for creating slides. Finally, the session ends with tips and tricks for editing and evaluating a final deck.

Segment Objectives

At this segment’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the elements of a well-designed slide deck.
  • Identify the purpose of speaker notes.
  • Decide what information should go in the notes versus the slides.
  • Avoid wasting time during the slide creation process.
  • Include only those slides that add value.
  • Create a narrative.
  • Support that narrative with appropriate stories, facts, and figures.
  • Identify one story per slide.
  • Navigate PowerPoint.
  • Follow best practices for applying templates, styles, and other design elements.
  • Apply a checklist to their work.

Segment Modules

  • Understanding the Fundamentals of a Good Presentation
  • Thinking Before Building
  • Navigating PowerPoint
  • Designing with the Audience in Mind
  • Cutting, Trimming, And Other Edits


  • Revise or create a PowerPoint deck.*

Note: Upon request, we can hold office hours to help individual participants. 

Session Two: Deck Evaluation

The second segment of this course opens with a review of some sample decks. During the review, we will introduce a method for providing peer feedback. Next, we will discuss the practices people found easy to follow and those that presented challenges. Following that conversation, we will review the participants’ work and apply a checklist.

Segment Objectives

At this segment’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Follow a feedback model.
  • Provide meaningful praise for a presentation’s strengths.
  • Offer specific and constructive suggestions for improvement.
  • Identify areas for continued development

Segment Modules

  • Concept Review and a Feedback Model
  • Hails and Fails
  • Self-Evaluation, Peer Feedback, and Instructor Recommendation
  • Action Planning

By the conclusion of this web-based program, participants should understand the fundamentals of creating strong presentation narratives and slide decks to support them.