For anyone who wants to use PowerPoint as a powerful tool for learning and retention.


PowerPoint® has become the most dominant audiovisual aid in classroom-based instruction. However, according to research published in Fortune Magazine, 41% of employees would rather do their taxes or go to the dentist than sit through a slide show. 62% have either fallen asleep or left the room to escape a boring batch of slides. This workshop is dedicated to the proposition that, designed and used correctly, PowerPoint can be an effective and dynamic teaching tool.

COURSE OBJECTIVESBill Heacock, graphic

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Create and use graphic images in accordance with best practices of adult learning
  • Describe basic guidelines for the display of text on a screen, including quantity, size, font and positioning to ensure maximum retention
  • Identify the psychological impact that different colors and color combinations have on student motivation and comprehension
  • List do’s and don’ts for the use of animation and sound
  • Apply the basic rules of screen composition and aesthetics to any PowerPoint® slide
  • Create slide-based interaction to ensure audience engagement
  • Use appropriate methods to cue students to important points
  • Optimize PowerPoint for use as a takeaway reference, a visual aid, and a teleprompter
  • Use the KSRD method to reduce the number of slides in a presentation to only those which are essential
  • Convert a slide deck for use in a live on-line presentation (e.g., WebEx)


This is a true “hands-on” workshop. Participants will be asked to bring their own PowerPoint® slides for practice purposes.


  • PowerPoint® Challenges: Limitations of audience attention span, short-term memory, and retention capability; why the effective design of PowerPoint slides is so critical.
  • Text Display Conventions: What research says about the effective display of textual information, including quantity, size, font, placement on the screen, and other factors.
  • Visual Imagery: The appropriate design, use, and placement of graphics; how to strategically combine them with text to achieve maximum levels of retention.
  • Color Usage: The psychological impact of different colors, both background and foreground, on the learner; how color choice can affect a student’s attention, interest and motivation.
  • Animation and Sound: Best practices when adding audio and motion to specific subject matter.
  • Keeping Students Engaged: The critical role of interaction in learning and retention, and how this can be built into PowerPoint®.
  • Avoiding Cognitive Overload: How to reduce the number of slides by using the KSRD method.
  • Using PowerPoint in a Virtual Classroom: How to convert slides for effective live on-line delivery.


This 1 day workshop can be:

  • Customized to your organizations specific content needs and priorities
  • Taught within the U.S. or internationally