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Tomsk State University

Presentation skills: Designing Presentation Slides

Tomsk State University via Coursera

Overview

“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

  • Part 1: Key principles of design
    • This week 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.
  • Part 2: Templates and colors meaning
    • This week is about templates, colors and fonts. What's wrong with most templates? Which page decorations should you use to make your slide look beautiful? (None!) What information can we pass through the colors? How to choose a typeface? Does a proper typeface make all the difference? (Yes, it does).
  • Part 3: Typography and photographic illustrations
    • This module 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.
  • Part 4: Diagrams and data visualization
    • This week 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.

Taught by

Alexei Kapterev

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Reviews

4.8 rating, based on 698 reviews

Start your review of Presentation skills: Designing Presentation Slides

  • Alejandro Correa Paris completed this course.

    very straight forward and easy to follow.
    I only gave it 4/5 because the quizzes and exams don’t always properly evaluate the objectives of each part of the course.
    great teacher, he’s a down-to-earth person and gives good advice for non-experts.
    i definitely recomend this course. both for beginners and more advanced users who want to improve.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Excellent course. Probably the best designed course I've taken on Coursera and I've taken a lot of them. The presentations are interesting, entertaining but very educational. The quiz at the end of each chapter is not a push-over quiz, you actually have to go through the material to pass it, and finally the practice assignments are a real way to apply what you learned so you just aren't learning it academically but you put it into practice so the learning is real! Thank you so much for producing this course I greatly appreciate the amount of effort it must have taken to put this together so well.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I didn't always agree with the teacher's design suggestions, but that's understandable, because design is subjective and trends change. I loved how passionate he was, and how he was open about the fact that he's not a professional graphic designer. I...
  • Badar Muneer completed this course, spending 40 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    Well, I would recommend this course to everyone who in one way or other uses Powerpoint presentation whether you are a student or a professional. Everyone should have design sense. Every university in the world should have some courses on design for all students irrespective of their majors. Although i was using PPTs in university but i realized the design importance when I started a job where substantial amount of my work involved working on PPT. I really needed a course to learn and I guess I did find a very good course and that free of cost :) Well, I applied for financial support and coursera team was kind enough to grant me.

    Well done.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    fantastic course, great presentor. I wish I had been able to take that course at the start of my career, 30 years ago.
    What I like most about the course is how the presentor develops a typical ugly slide into something appealing in a step-by-step approach.
    Interestingly, most of the steps are about REMOVING, not adding elements, such as color, decoration and so forth.
    Highly recommended for anyone who has to produce, present or look at slides.
  • Great course, great and funny instructor, great resources! Powerpoint is both the best and worst invention of a business tool. So many presentation slides are overloaded and look so amateuristic that they completely miss the point, and don't influence...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    One of the easiest ways to start your journey in slide-design.One of the easiest ways to start your journey in slide-design.One of the easiest ways to start your journey in slide-design.One of the easiest ways to start your journey in slide-design. One...
  • Sourabh Bhandary completed this course.

    This was my first Coursera course. And i must say I'm off to a great start. I loved this course everybit. I learnt so much about design.
    The only problem i had was getting reviews on time. And I think the instructor also needs to review his student's assignments.
    Thank you. This course was worth the time.
  • I complete this course in less than a week. It's really very interesting course. He is not a professional design but teaches very professionally on creating high skills in presentation. This is one of the best course on coursera. I will recommend it to all who pursue their career in business. This will really beneficial you.
  • The course teacher is really great. His learning style is very good and easy. The course teacher is really great. His learning style is very good and easy. The course teacher is really great. His learning style is very good and easy. The course teacher is really great. His learning style is very good and easy.
  • This was my first completed course on Coursera and it did not disappoint. It was informative, educational and presented in such a way that anyone could understand. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who wants to improve their presentation skills.
  • Excellent course. Completely changed perspective about design, and how we can communicate to different audiences. Also, realized the futility of using default Powerpoint options to design meaningful and 'unique' presentations.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The worst course I've ever seen! It's more like a person throwing random ideas here and there, without deeply explaining certain steps or methods to apply those ideas. I mean, I'm a slides-design virgin -and many of the course students are as well-. however,...
  • Anonymous
    Recommendation: Absolutely YES Really helpful course with many, many, many... aspects from design and typography thinking way that help me, doing my job even better. In front of this, I believe that I am already a design-oriented, professional frequent...
  • Abrahan García

    Abrahan García completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    Well I think that it's an appropiate course for those who already know how to make presentations in any software, and are looking for new ideas to improve their slides. The teacher explains each topic in an easy way to understand and use some examples to clarify. In my experience I really learned some technics to improve my presentations, because let's say it, mine were old too fashioned. I strongly recommend this course to anyone, and I just would like to say that the quizzes must be a little shorter. Thanks very much.
  • Anonymous
    I started this course because this so much relatable to my studies and my future carrier as well. I am so glad that I choose this course to follow. this course was really helpful for me to understand and lots of new things that actually I never known But I should really know.
    How ever I have covered lots of areas about presentation making. about colors choosing, typefaces, photographs, page balancing, what icons should used, about tables, how to minimize decorations, how to make our slide professional.
    So I have learned all of these things and etc. I am really glad to learn from this lecturer. Thank you very much sir and Thank you very much Coursera.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed this course as a non-designer person with no previous design knowledge ( however partly informed about the design thinking for entrepreneurs). I truly enjoyed Alexei using the design principles to guide us through the course. I did not pay...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    with no hesitation, you should take this course.

    amazing course-short and funny. For any beginner in designing slides, for people who are sceptical about what colour to choose, what chart to use or what decoration should the slide have.
    the peer-graded assignments are so beneficial and you will notice how much you get better by doing them, also the quizzes are very good at recapping information and reminding you about the main ideas
  • Julia Burggraaf

    Julia Burggraaf completed this course.

    I have watched the video's and filled in most of the practice quizes. I think the video's are amazing, fun to watch, and most importantly: my powerpoint slides have improved a lot in very little time. I never knew what was wrong with my slides as they were not text heavy, but now I understand the problem and the solution!
  • Anonymous
    Do you have to make powerpoint or keynote slides for especially business presentations? This MOOC covers very useful guidelines how can make your slides functional, cost-effective, professional and fun. This is a must if you work with slide because slides can be boring in a way that can devastate presentations if not properly designed. Happy learning.

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