jump to navigation

PowerPoint Tips for Virtual Classes January 15, 2007

Posted by Noelle Archambeau in Best Practices, Synchronous Training.

Before the holidays I gave some tips for creating PowerPoint slides for the virtual classroom to the people who attended the main ASTD-GPC meeting. Most of these tips can also be applied to PowerPoint slides that are created for live, instructor-led classes. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a summary:

PowerPoint Templates

PowerPoint Template Examples

  • Use light backgrounds with dark text; it’s harder to read light text on dark backgrounds
  • Use a basic layout that gives you a lot of room for your content; don’t waste space with large logos or decorative graphics on every slide

Slide Titles

  • Enter all slide titles in the “Click to add title” field in PowerPoint; many virtual classroom programs use the text that is in this field to create the program map/outline.
  • Give each slide a unique title to help the instructor easily identify it in the program map/outline.  

Slide Text

  • Use sans serif fonts like Arial and Tahoma; these fonts are easier to read than serif fonts like Times New Roman
  • Make your slide titles at least 32 pt and your body text at least 20 pt
  • View your PowerPoint slides at 75% as you develop them to ensure that your text and graphics will be legible once they are imported into the virtual classroom
  • Always run a spelling and grammar check


  • Leave a lot of white space on your slides so the instructor can annotate
  • Aim for no more than six bullets per slide and no more than six words per bullet
  • Bullets points should be highlights, not content, otherwise your participants will read the content and not pay attention to what the instructor is saying
  • Instead of putting bullets on every slide, put questions and exercises on your slides to encourage participation and collaboration


  • Use graphics to educate, not decorate
  • Use photos instead of clip art whenever possible

If you have additional tips for creating PowerPoint slides, please post them to the comments section.



1. Nathan - January 16, 2007

Thanks for the quick practical ppt tips! I’m looking for a way to email this post for quick reference on my next training ppt.

2. Noelle Archambeau - January 16, 2007

You’re welcome, Nathan, glad I could help. The easiest way I know of to save a blog post for future reference is to select the text in the post and then copy it into an e-mail or Word doc.

3. Bobbe Baggio - January 16, 2007

Noelle…I think this is a topic that many people could benefit from. Maybe we should suggest this to Alaine for a meeting?

4. Marguerite Fallon - January 18, 2007

I agree. I can always use tips for ppt’s. Best practices for presentations in a web session. I also like the good vs bad example. And it’s a good reminder. I know these things, but forget when I’m doing the creating. Not only do you have to watch out for too much graphics, too much animation is distracting too.

5. How to Make Your Presentations Even Better - More PowerPoint Tips « ASTD Philadelphia e-SIG - January 18, 2007

[…] Posted by Ben Craigo in Lessons Learned, Synchronous Training. trackback Noelle’s post on presentation tips for virtual training generated a lot of interest.  Preparing a good presentation deck is an important skill whether […]

6. 3/22-23/07 - Slides from Web Conferences « ASTD Philadelphia e-SIG - March 26, 2007

[…] visual design for web conferences. Additional information about this topic can be seen in one of my previous posts. Bobbe & Nathan will add additional information about their presentations in separate posts, so […]

7. Powerpoint for online delivery | InSIDEscoop - March 22, 2009

[…] Are you designing content for Centra? Been to the OTL PD but fell asleep after the first 10 minutes ? Cant get to the next OTL PD ‘cos you’re tied up with a little thing called “teaching”??? Well take a look at this great site… https://phlesig.wordpress.com/2007/01/15/powerpoint-tips-for-virtual-classes/ […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: