PowerPoint Basics


Introduction to PowerPoint Presentation Basics

You will be using PowerPoint presentations a lot in your online course. So, in this post, I will be placing the spotlight on PowerPoint and guiding you through the basics. Follow the tips that I outline here and you’ll be able to create awesome presentations.

Stay away from the premade PowerPoint templates. Start instead with a blank template. Change the slide size to 16 x 9 because this is the size of the video player on YouTube, Udemy, and Skillfeed. Even if you’re using a Mac and therefore use KeyNote instead of PowerPoint, always ensure that the slide size is 16 x 9.

PowerPoint Presentation Slides Design Tips

The first slide is one of your most important slides. It sets the tone for your course. This title slide should have the title of your course, the author, and the subtitle. Ensure that you use a clear font. Select a colour for your background that matches your style.

Adding an image is the next step. I had mentioned some sites in a previous post, (BASICS OF QUALITY PRESENTATIONS) where you can find some good images. Another good site is commons.wikimedia.org. It’s a great website for stock photography that you can use for free. 

When you have found your image, place it in the most appropriate location on the slide. Ensure that the background color you’ve used matches well with the image you’ve chosen. Let’s say that yoga was a popular topic for online teaching. Where could you find quality images that you could use in your slides? Shutterstock, as I had mentioned earlier, has a plethora of images, illustrations, vectors and videos that you can use.

Inserting Images Into Your Slide Design

The picture below shows a PowerPoint slide that incorporates Shutterstock images. Notice that I used a Sans Serif fonts for the title because I believe sans serif fonts are better for videos, and are easier to read.


If you’re having trouble finding images, Getty and iStock photo are two more options for quality photos. If you have the budget, it’s better to pay for quality rather than illegally downloading a mediocre picture.

Icons are another great way to clarify a topic. Iconfinder.com and iconarchive.com are two useful sites with free icons. Image placement is also critical. I like to leave spaces between images.

Also, I recommend that you don’t put too many images on one page. Usually, I only put one image per page.  If you choose to use more than one picture, ensure that they are aligned correctly. The slide above is a good demonstration of how to balance multiple images on the screen.

PowerPoint Basics Action Item

Take the presentations you’ve created and jazz them up a bit with a few high-quality images. This may require you to search for a while, but don’t give up. It may also mean that you’ll have to take a few of your own pictures or pay for quality images. Do what you need to do to improve the quality of your presentations

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