One of the big perks of working as a video producer is collaborating with brilliant graphic designers and photographers.  When I’m with them, I absorb all I can.

With the many demands on educators in today’s world, no one expects teachers to be graphic designers too! Keeping up is nothing short of miraculous. But, here are a few “doable” design tips that we use in our resources at to help make presentations more engaging and more fun to create as well.

1. Big is Better
Large photos on a slide are more engaging than lots of small ones.
Same principal applies to clip art and text.  Take a look at the two examples below.

Animals of Africa        Animals of Africa 2

Think of print ads in a magazine. Typically, you’ll see big, beautiful photos with big text spelling out the main idea. So,when it comes to images, graphics and text, think big. There are always exceptions.

The content you’re teaching may require an excerpt from a book on the slide. Go ahead.  Just know that when you can, bigger works better.

2. It Must Make Sense

Use a color scheme and graphic look that applies to the subject of discussion. Before you begin building a PowerPoint, think about the overall message. For example, in the slide on the left, green makes sense for a background color because the lesson teaches the parts of a plant. The marble graphic from the PowerPoint texture presets does not.

Let’s make some sense! You in?

Parts of a Plant       Parts of Plant 2

3. Rule of Thirds

In the world of photography, the rule of thirds is a basic strategy. Photographers divide the rectangle into thirds horizontally and vertically, placing points of interest along the intersections of the lines or along the lines. This isn’t a hard and fast rule. Many striking photographs do not follow this rule. However, it does tend to help generate more balanced and interesting shots. The same principle can be helpful in preparing slides as well.

4. Try Some Angles

Everything doesn’t have to be straight across and lined up just so. Mix it up with some strategically placed text.

Yo-Yo Square Root Angled Text

5. Fonts Have Personalities

Which font would you choose for this photo?


Massive trucks, big and powerful call for a sturdy, muscular, no-nonsense font; the one in the middle fits that description. Don’t overthink it, sometimes straightforward is best. But take a second to consider a specific font that fits the subject of your presentation.

More fonts

As a general guideline, it’s best to stick with the one font throughout a presentation. If you want all of your presentations to have uniformity, think of the personality of the course or your teaching style, choose a font and stick with it.

Electronic presentations are more than modern day chalkboards. Lending themselves to photos, videos, various font styles, and so much more, they truly are a conduit of creative expression.  So, when prepping your PowerPoint presentation, think lesson; but also realize you’re dealing with an art form.

And you don’t have to be a graphic designer to draw up a lesson with a sense of style.