There are many good reasons for using a slide show in a lesson. There are ways to maximise the learning that can be achieved when a teacher uses slides. The basic idea is to use the slides to increase active engagement, rather than kill it.

When you are using slides in a lesson:

  • Don’t repeat what is in the textbook or in your notes;
  • Try not to make the students passive through giving an illustrated talk. Leave gaps for them to ask questions, and puzzle things out for themselves.
  • Rather try to engage them through compelling, controversial images, data etc.

“Do not present too much textual material on each slide and avoid simply reading out what is on the slide: provide mainly structural headings and sub-headings around which the bulk of the verbal presentation takes place so that students still require to be active and take notes of detail, etc”

When making a presentation in PowerPoint or Google slides, try to remember these tips:

  1. If possible, do not use bullet points - a compelling (relevant) picture or chart might be much more effective in capturing and holding your audience’s attention. Consider using to create a more “infographic” style.
  2. If you do use bullets, try to limit each slide to a maximum of 5 points, 5 words per point. Use keywords rather than sentences or paragraphs.  vs  
  3. Remember the basic point: you are making the speech/talk, the slide backs up the point you are making.
  4. Make the font large and readable.
  5. Use high contrast colours for font/background. Avoid placing text on pictures.

Here are some more tips to take into account when using slides in a classroom setting.

  • Speak at a normal pace - don’t rush because the information is on the slide.
  • Avoid excessive use of effects such as animation, transition, sound effects, etc. These tend to distract rather than enhance.
  • Animations should be used to build: and argument, a chart or a diagram for the purposes of explaining and understanding, not entertainment.
  • If you use text animation to bring in text line by line, use a simple animation that brings the text in from the right as that is the direction in which we read - the new text is coming from the right.


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