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Free Presentation skills: Designing Presentation Slides

About this Course

“Powerpoint slides are like children: no matter how ugly they are, you’ll think they’re beautiful if they’re yours” — Scott Adams, author of the comic strip “Dilbert”. Due to this cause or another, it’s a huge stress to look at most Powerpoint slides. Depending on the “design” skills of the speaker and audience’s taste slides create different emotions from a slight annoyance to physical sickness. But that is not the worst thing. The worst thing is that instead of improving the presentation such slides confuse the audience, distract it and finally oblige the speaker to explain them rather than being quite self-explanatory. The goal of this course is to change that by equipping learners with a set of tools to create simple, clear and aesthetic slides which improve the presentation of the speaker. The course covers universal design principles, templates, colors, typefaces, slides’ typography, use of photos and pictograms, composition rules and ways to create clear and meaningful charts and diagrams. This course is not a PowerPoint fundamentals course. You should have a basic knowledge of either Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote software. Don’t meddle, make your slides matter.

Syllabus – What you will learn from this course

Part 1: Key principles of design

Part 1 is about Key principles of slide design. Non-designers usually can’t tell a good slide from a mediocre one. If they could we wouldn’t have had so many bad slides all around us. So this week we are going to fix this by learning the key principles of slide design.

  • Introduction
  • Too much text
  • Too much decoration
  • Priorities in design
  • Design Principles
  • Principles in Action
  • Redesign
  • External links
  • The slides
  • Slides’ purpose
  • For the most curious

Part 2: Templates and colors meaning

Part 2 is about Templates, colors and fonts. What’s wrong with most templates ?
Which page decorations should you use to make your slide look beautiful?
What information can we pass through the colors?
How to choose a typeface ?
Does a proper typeface make all the difference? (Yes, it does).

  • Templates
  • What’s wrong with the templates
  • Background
  • Page decorations
  • Colors meaning
  • Colors: Black & White
  • Colors: Yellow, Green and Blue
  • Choosing a typeface
  • Traditional vs Contemporary
  • Warm vs Cool
  • Examples

Part 3: Typography and photographic illustrations

Part 3 is about typography and photographic illustrations. Applying basic typography rules allows making decent looking slides only with text. The same goes to tables. If that’s not enough there are icons — do’s and don’ts of them when you try to spruce up your text-only slides. And finally using photos and vector arts to create really gorgeous stunning slides. Basic rules on how to search them on photo banks, how to combine them with text, when icons should be used instead of photos and vice versa.

  • Typography
  • Advice on typography
  • Typographical composition
  • Tables
  • Typographic illustration
  • Using icons and photographs
  • Pictograms
  • Vector art
  • Photographs

Part 4: Diagrams and data visualization

Part 4 is about typography and photographic illustrations. Applying basic typography rules allows to make decent looking slides only with text. The same goes to tables. If that’s not enough there are icons — do’s and don’ts of them when you try to spruce up your text-only slides. And finally using photos and vector arts to create really gorgeous stunning slides. Basic rules on how to search them on photobanks, how to combine them with text, when icons should be used instead of photos and vice versa.

  • Types of diagrams
  • Hierarchy diagrams
  • Process diagrams
  • Relationships diagrams
  • Data visualizations
  • Column and bar charts
  • Line charts
  • Pie charts
  • Closing remarks

About the Presentation Skills: Speechwriting, Slides and Delivery Specialization

Presentations are the most popular way of communication. This Specialization has 4 courses and covers fundamentals of three major presentation skills:
1) Storytelling— the art of crafting an interesting, convincing and evidence-based script of your presentation,
2) Slide design — a merge of graphical and information design to make clean and clear slides that help you deliver your ideas
3) Delivery — the art of interacting with the audience during presentation and a tough Q&A.

The 4th and final course of the Specialization is the Capstone project, where you will prepare a presentation «from scratch» with a topic that matters to you and then deliver it to your peers. Our courses are designed for anyone from a rookie speaker to an established presenter. Whether you’re presenting an idea or a product or a complicated issue, this Specialization gives you tools to make it right. We suggest you take these courses in ascending order. But feel free to choose only the courses you need. The specialization trailer 

Instructor

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Alexei Kapterev
Lomonosov MSU BS

Bio Alexei Kapterev is the author of “Death by PowerPoint,” the world’s most popular presentation on presentations, with over 10 million views to date. He runs a consulting practice in addition to working with Mercator, Russia’s leading business graphics company. He also teaches visual communication at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Moscow State University. In 2012 he was awarded honorary membership in the UK Speech writing Guild.

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