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Presentation Skills

Creating slides and handouts

Challenge: How do I create engaging content?


Visual aids, like PowerPoint slides or printed handouts, offer structure for your presentation and help the audience follow the main points. Visual aids may be bulleted lists or outlines, charts or figures, or images that show important details that would take time to explain orally. 

Use visual aids to complement, rather than compete, with your presentation. If they are not necessary or helpful, don’t use them. Never read the exact words from slides that you present. 

When deciding which visual aids to use, keep in mind the following points:

  • Not all presentations benefit from including slides, but many do. Decide if yours would. 

  • Take accessibility into account. 

  • Take an inclusive perspective; avoid tokenism, but try to use images and sources that display a diversity of perspectives and contexts for knowledge. 

  • Use visual images when “showing” is more efficient or evocative than “telling”. 

  • Don’t overload your slides with text or animations. Simple is usually best. 

  • Suggested text size: 32 pt for titles, 24 pt for text; use a sans serif font. 

  • Include one concept per slide, use point form, and be concise 

  • Don’t plan to read from the slides. Use the slides to emphasize key points that you plan to talk about in more detail.  

You can find some resources to help you to create your slides or handouts on the tabs below:


Microsoft's PowerPoint is "a software package designed to create electronic presentations consisting of a series of separate pages or slides." 

Designing an Effective PowerPoint Presentation  

Purdue University's Writing Lab designed this PowerPoint presentation to highlight tips and tricks for creating an effective presentation. 

How to Make Awesome PowerPoint Presentations 

A short guide from Lifehack on making great PowerPoint presentations. 

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorials 

Need help with the basics? Microsoft's PowerPoint tutorials are a good place to start. 

Prezi is cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool which allows users to create and store presentations either on the cloud or on your desktop. 
Note: Prezi requires good WiFi connectivity to work well. 

Prezi Tutorial: Get Started in Prezi 

Video tutorial from Prezi on how to get started. 

Using Prezi Without Losing Your Mind 

North Shore Community College's Learning, Education, Technology and Support (LETS) blog post provides some tips on creating prezis.  

Prezi Support 

Prezi's Support Knowledge Base has a wealth of resources on how to get started, build presentations, and use various apps and integrations. 

Google Slides 

A good tool for simple presentations, especially for team presentations. A free Google Drive account is required. 

How To: Quick Tutorial for New Google Slides Presentation 2019    

David Lee EdTech's YouTube video on how to use Google Slides 

G Suite Learning Center: Slides Training and Help  

Google's support centre provides a variety of tools and guides on using Google Slides. 

Haiku Deck 

Free, web-based visual presentation tool and app. It includes presentation themes and an image gallery. Haiku Deck slide decks can be exported to PowerPoint or KeyNote. 

Haiku Deck Tutorials 

Haiku Deck's Youtube video playlist on how to create, copy, delete, and edit Haiku Decks.  

Haiku Deck User Guide  

Haiku Deck's suite of support guides.  

Other presentation tools 


Free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. 


Cloud based presentation tool that allows easy video embedding. Also includes a collection of high quality stock images.   


Clipart Library. (n.d.). Cliparts school presentations #2507770 [Image]. 

Queen's University. (n.d.). Presentation skills 

Thompson-Rivers University Libraries. (2021). Academic presentation skills and tools. 

Trent University. (n.d.). Preparing and delivering oral presentations.