5 lessons we can learn from Steve Jobs about slide design

Home Course design tips 5 lessons we can learn from Steve Jobs about slide design

Steve Jobs is a slide design guru.

Not only is he a great story teller and presenter but his presentation slides are always on point and impressive. He favours minimal design and every image and piece of text used is intentional.

Whether you’re using presentation slides in your online course or webinars, you need to find ways to hold your audience’s attention. An easy way to do this is with strong visuals and good design. I got the idea for this post after reading a great article on Bill Gates and Steve Job’s presentation styles on one of my favourite blogs called, PresentationZen. In the article, Garr Reynolds compares the presentation style and slide decks of both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Let’s take a look at the lessons you can learn from Steve’s slides:

#1 Keep your design minimal

His presentation slides aren’t crammed with text and images. He sticks to one point per slide.  It’s clear that he is the star of the show and not the slides. Your aim should be for your slides to complement and support you as the teacher or speaker.

#2 Good use of contrast

Steve likes to use large white sans serif text on dark backgrounds. This use of contrast works well as the audience is naturally drawn to the large white writing. So it’s a good way of grabbing attention and creating a focal point.

#3 Good use of negative space

In the majority of his slides, he’s resisted the need to fill up every inch of the slide. Introducing negative or white space gives your slide breathing room. Slides cluttered with visuals and bullet points can easily overwhelm your audience forcing them to go back to checking Facebook.

#4 Intentional use of images and words

Steve’s slides are clean and simple. Every image has a specific purpose and the copy is deliberate. You get the message and the point of the slide within seconds. There’s no confusion about his intentions!

#5 Limited on screen text

You’ll notice very few words used in Steve’s slides. That’s because he’s not expecting you to read the slides. He expects his audience to listen to what he’s got to say. Remember, slides are not for reading. They were created as a visual tool!

As a course creator it’s your job to create course multimedia that’s fun and engaging. Try to think outside the box. Your audience and students are people. Treat them like people by telling them stories, showing them pictures or appealing to their emotions. But please don’t swamp them with text and bullet points!

Now over to you, what’s your number one frustration when it comes to designing slide presentations? And do you use Keynote or PowerPoint? I’d love to hear about your presentation tips or frustrations.

And if you’re new to creating online courses, grab the FREE guide to plan, design and create your next online course here!


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