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How to Make an Educational PowerPoint Presentation - Quickly


What do you do when you need to share your knowledge with an audience? One of the best ways is to build a PowerPoint presentation that you can use as a supplement when you're speaking.

It's often said that people have different learning styles. While some learn best by listening, others are visual learners. Other learners love trying hands-on exercises to learn the concept at hand. The best part of an effective presentation is you can combine all of these into one package.

Planner Mission and Vision
This tutorial will combine PowerPoint techniques with a pre-built theme to save you hours of work while building a presentation.

PowerPoint has carved out its place as the go-to presentation software for its ease of use. And when you're scrambling to quickly put together a presentation, you need all of the help you can get to focus on the content instead of the slide designs.

In this tutorial, I'm going to share my techniques for building an education PowerPoint presentation. Even if you're a PowerPoint rookie, the approach I'll show you in this tutorial will yield a professional and informative presentation.

PowerPoint PPTX Educational Presentation Guide 

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1. How to Write an Educational Presentation

Before you ever open PowerPoint, you should spend some time writing and planning the content for your presentation. It's hard to start with a blank slate for building an education PowerPoint presentation, but it helps if you can break down what you need to do with an easily repeatable set of steps.

Let's talk about key steps you can take to make writing a presentation feel more manageable:

Step 1. Set a Learning Objective

Every well-written educational presentation starts off the same way: by setting a goal for it. You need to set a learning objective, the goal of what your audience will know after they've seen the presentation.

If you don't have a targeted goal for your education PowerPoint presentation, it's likely that your points will wander away from the central idea. Setting a single, focused learning objective helps ensure that everything you write supports that central idea.

Setting a learning objective and keeping it in mind helps ensure that your presentation has a tight focus.

There are many types of presentations, like persuasive, decision-driven, introductory, and informative (educational). The objectives that you set for these presentations are different because they each have different desired outcomes.

Here are some examples of three different learning objectives that would feel appropriate for an educational presentation:

  1. This presentation will teach the audience the basics of personal finance and how to start investing.
  2. The audience will learn how to write their first line of Javascript code.
  3. The presentation will share the latest techniques for performing employee performance reviews.

Write out your learning objective so that you'll keep it in mind while writing the rest of the presentation.

Step 2. Write an Outline for Key Ideas

If the learning objective is the destination for what you want to accomplish, an outline is the roadmap that helps you make sure you arrive at the objective. Each of the points in your outline should be a supporting idea for the learning objective.

You don't have to use a complex tool to write an outline. In fact, a simple tool is better for drafting out these rough ideas in outline format.

Outline example in Word
A simple outline only needs to show the supporting points that you'll make to drive the learning objective to the audience.

I like to think of each of the outline points as key ideas for reinforcing the learning objective. Each of them should be different in some way.

Step 3. Build Supporting Points

Now, it's time to reinforce these key points by adding supporting points. Basically, these are just the details that illustrate the key ideas.

In my outlines, these are typically just ideas for how I might teach the key ideas. One bullet point might be "chart that shows the power of compounding growth over time," for example. I usually put a second leave in the outline for each of the supporting points.

Remember that we want to teach concepts through a variety of lenses that accommodate different learning styles. You could use a second-level bullet point for a visual approach to teaching (charts and graphs), and a separate bullet point for an idea on an audience hands-on method to learning the idea.

2. Elements for Education PowerPoints

After you firm up ideas for the content that you'll include in the presentation, it's time to open PowerPoint and start building the education PowerPoint presentation slides that support you while speaking.

So, what do you do when you need to prepare a presentation for your classroom or audience, and you don't have the time to build out the presentation from scratch?

Elements PowerPoint Themes Example
Elements currently includes access to over 800 PowerPoint themes, each of them filled with plenty of ideas for how to show content.

In this tutorial, I'm going to use an educational PowerPoint template from Envato Elements. Elements offers unlimited downloads for a flat rate monthly fee. That includes more than 800 Microsoft PowerPoint templates that you can use as a major head start.

Sure, PowerPoint has a number of built-in themes. But Microsoft's approach to custom themes is really just different combinations of font styles, color schemes, and background images. The themes that Elements offers include pre-built slide designs that you can drop your own content into. These education PowerPoint presentation slides help you overcome the work of starting with a blank slate each and every time.

Education PowerPoint Theme
This slide from the Education PowerPoint theme illustrates a clean and easy-to-read slide design that makes it worth using for your own needs.

In this tutorial, I'm going to work with Envato Elements' presentation template titled simply, Education PowerPoint themeThe structure and simplicity of this theme makes it ideal for building an educational presentation theme.

If the template I selected isn't quite your style, don't miss out on the rest of Elements educational templates. Each of these pre-built presentations has plenty of ideas for building out an effective presentation.

3. How to Build an Educational Presentation

Let's walk through building an educational presentation that will drive knowledge to an audience. 

We're going to build a presentation that familiarizes an audience with the basics of personal finance. This fictitious slide deck will stress the importance of how you handle your finances, and educate the audience on how to get started. 

Step 1. Introduce Yourself and the Subject

If someone has shown up for your presentation, they likely have an idea of what it's about. But you can't guarantee that, so it's important that you set the stage for the key ideas.

I think it's also important that you introduce yourself. I'll usually try to include at least a brief one-liner that establishes my knowledge on the subject.

For this slide design, let's start off with slide 2 in the Education deck. This has a placeholder for a professional image. If you've got one of yourself available, I think it's great to replace the placeholder with a self-image to really personalize it.

Personal Finance Persona Example
The first slide in your deck should really grab attention by introducing yourself and the subject at hand; establishing authority will also establish attention.

Step 2. Give the Presentation a "Why"

You're always competing for the audience's attention. Maybe the most important part of building an educational presentation is capturing that interest near the outset.

To establish and hold that attention, you've got to show the audience the potential of following your advice and techniques.

Let's use slide design 6 for this purpose. A bit of inspiration sets the stage for the audience to soak up your advice in the rest of the presentation.

Personal Finance Slide
Your presentation needs a "why" - a sense of importance that your audience will adopt as their own.

One of the other benefits of using Envato Elements is that you've got access to a huge library of stock photos. Instead of scouring the web for an image that you can use or paying to license one image after another, an all-you-can download subscription to Elements gives you access to the entire library.

In this case, I jumped back to Elements and pulled a stock photo selection for inclusion in the slide deck. 

Elements Personal Finance
Don't forget that a subscription to Envato Elements also includes access to stock photos that you can use to supplement your presentation.

Step 3. Share Techniques and Tips for the Topic

I like to think of this presentation as the meat of the matter. You've set the stage, created a sense of importance. Now, the audience needs ideas on what the steps are that they can take to succeed.

In the screenshot below, I've customized slide design 10. This includes four easy steps, illustrated by arrows to show a progression of the needed steps.

Step by Step Guide to Problem Solving
Slide design 10 features several simple arrows that you can add your own instructions to illustrate the best way to implement your advice.

Plan on building out multiple education PowerPoint presentation slides to explain the key learning steps. This is just one example of using a slide in the Education deck to drive your concept.

Step 4. Teach With Visualizations

For the visual learners in the audience, it really helps to have a chart or graph that illustrates the concept at hand. You might have the most eloquent speaking points in the rest of the presentation, but a well-made chart could be the tipping point to really drive your point home.

In the screenshot below, I generated a chart that shows the power of compound interest. I used slide design 14, which already had a placeholder for a graph that I modified with my own data.

Power of Compounding Growth with Visualization
A visualization like this one that shows the power of compounding growth in investing really can drive importance to an audience.

Step 5. Finish By Asking for Action

After you've spent the presentation sharing your advice and information, it's time to ask for an action from the audience. 

In our case, I think the best step is to ask the audience to start budgeting in order to manage their finances. A simple, clean slide design that focuses on a single line of text is ideal for that.

Let's use slide design 31 to illustrate this concept. It's a great example of how you can take a slide that's for one purpose and easily transform it into an entirely different usage. I simply deleted the map graphic and increased the font size to make an impact.

Finish by Asking for Action
At the end of a presentation, you've created a shared sense of importance; naturally, you should ask for action to put the new knowledge into practice.

These are just a few of the education PowerPoint presentation slides that you might want to build, but they showcase just how easy it is to get started.

Recap & Keep Learning

In this tutorial, we tackled just how easy it can be to build a presentation to educate an audience with PowerPoint using these pre-made Elements slide decks to quickly build a presentation. Also, don't miss checking out on top presentation themes on Envato Market if you want other slide designs to try out.

One guide that I recommend to anyone who wants to learn Microsoft is our roundup, The Ultimate Guide to the Best PPT. This tutorial is like a roadmap for learning PowerPoint and using all of the features in combination to build the perfect presentation.

Already checked out that guide? Don't miss out on these other top tutorials below to really refine your PowerPoint skills:

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Download The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations now for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. Get your ideas formed into a powerful presentation that will move your audience.

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How do you build out your own educational PowerPoint presentations quickly? If you've got any tips that would help your fellow Envato Tuts+ readers learn the app, please share in the comments section below.

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