Doctoral schools: conference skills – module Effective Slide Design

Objectives and content

The participants learn how to cast a critical eye over the design of a slide and the coherence of a slide show.

In this module, we have an evaluative discussion of various aspects of slide design: how to edit your content, how to present it visually, how to manipulate it so it allows for a dynamic way of presenting. We zoom in on the typical ingredients such as the balance between image and text, background, colours and font types. We pay attention to a clear communication of the main message. Based on these criteria, we evaluate some authentic examples. In the second session, the students' slides which they developed based on insights acquired during the first session are commented on. Therefore it is important that all participants are present at both sessions. If you cannot participate in one of both sessions we advise that you register for alternative sessions. This course does not offer an initiation to the use of PowerPoint or other programs, but gives insight into the practical implementation of the (basic) knowledge of the software.

Required prior knowledge

Advanced knowledge of English


De cursisten werken een slideshow uit. De cursus kan meetellen in de doctoraatsopleiding (1 studiepunt).

Course materials

  • Doctoral students who are affiliated with the Doctoral Schools can only enter via the Doctoral Schools Support Unit (
  • This course is a module of the series Advanced Academic English - Conference skills (continuous training).

UCT course book. You will receive this course book from your teacher in class.