Creating Great Slides for Web Conferences

Whether you are facilitating a web conference for a sales event, virtual classroom training or a knowledge sharing event, you will need  PowerPoint slides to support your content. You don’t need to be an expert in PowerPoint to put together a good slide deck, but when developing your slides, keep these two concepts in mind:

1. Use a Lot of Slides

Using a minimal amount of slides in an in-person setting is a good practice, however the opposite is true in a web conference. Since participants cannot see the speaker, the slides provide a place for participants to focus and maintain their interest.  When converting content from a face-to-face setting to a web conference setting, I typically increase the number of slides between 30-50%.  More slides doesn’t mean more content – it means the same content (or less) spread out over more slides.  Try to only cover one key concept per slide.  When you rehearse your web conference ask someone to observe and see if the ideas and concepts you are describing are supported by the slides you are showing.  If you start to go off on a tangent either eliminate the tangent or create slides to support it. Slides for a web conference should also include:

  • Slides for transitions (starting a new section, doing a wrap up, etc.).
  • Slides with instructions (ground rules, instructions for exercises, instructions for next steps, etc.).


2. Use a Lot of Images

Aristotle said that ‘the soul never thinks without an image.’  Apply this thinking to your slides and see where you can support or replace text with images.  If you don’t have images readily available, you can search for pictures in PowerPoint by going to Insert > Clip Art. Type a keyword and click Go.  For the best search results, use this feature while you are connected to the Internet.  For more ideas on how to find good images check out Steal this Presentation.  Slides 23-32 cover images, however the entire slideshare is worth viewing.

In addition to images of key concepts you should also include photos of:

  • The presenters
  • The participants
  • The materials (if you will refer to materials that you mailed to participants such as a workbook or job aid, display an image of the item when referring to it).

These concepts are a starting point for developing slides for your web conference.  Next time, I’ll blog about advanced techniques for PowerPoint.