December 5, 2023

5 Things Teachers Can Do to Make Slides More Engaging


Educational institutions frequently use PowerPoint slides to teach classes and deliver lectures. However, in most cases, the slides they use are not well received by the students.

Many students feel bored in class as their teachers simply read out the slides. There’s little to no engagement if lectures are delivered in this manner. Thus comes the need for teachers to make their lecture slides more interesting and engaging, and here’s how that can be done.

#1 Use Visual Storytelling

Instead of relying solely on text, integrate high-quality images, infographics, and diagrams that complement the lesson.

Research published in the International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences suggests that visual storytelling is effective in motivating students to learn vocabulary. It’s also helpful in making them feel more confident about learning. The study also suggests that visual storytelling helps students conceptualize the topic and develop contextual knowledge.

While the research paper in question focuses mostly on learning English, visual storytelling can also be useful in other subjects. For instance, when explaining historical events, showcase relevant pictures or maps to provide a visual context. This not only enhances comprehension but also appeals to different learning styles, ensuring that visual learners grasp the material more effectively.

Teachers should also consider the pacing of their narrative as well. Break down complex concepts into digestible segments and use visuals strategically to emphasize key points. By weaving a compelling visual story, teachers can foster a deeper connection between students and the subject matter, making learning more memorable and enjoyable.

#2 Add Interactive Elements

To break the monotony of traditional lectures, teachers need to introduce interactive elements into their slides. These could include polls, quizzes, or short discussion prompts. By encouraging active participation, teachers can transform passive observers into dynamic contributors, fostering a collaborative learning environment.

Research published in the Journal of Education Technology in Health Sciences suggests that interactive elements keep students engaged and promote critical thinking. Presentations with such elements have structured narratives that hold students’ attention and allow them to participate in the presentation process.

Consider embedding clickable links or QR codes that lead to additional resources or interactive simulations related to the topic. This not only adds a layer of depth to the learning experience but also allows students to explore and discover concepts independently.

#3 Incorporate Multimedia

A well-rounded educational experience involves the integration of various multimedia elements. Rather than relying solely on static slides, infuse dynamic content such as videos, audio clips, or animations.

When explaining scientific phenomena, for example, incorporate a relevant video that demonstrates the concept in action. This multi-sensory approach not only caters to different learning preferences but also enhances the overall engagement level of the class.

When using multimedia, however, it's crucial to strike a balance. Ensure that the content aligns with the learning objectives and enhances, rather than distracts from, the lesson.

For instance, a teacher needs to discuss the atomic bond in ethene (C2H4) and do a predictive analysis on it. For that, they need to fully understand the C2H4 Lewis structure.

According to Proprep, the Lewis structure graphically represents how atoms are bonded in molecules. They also show how electrons are distributed around the atoms.

Lewis structures are super useful when it comes to doing predictive analyses of such atomic bonds. However, simply writing the details of the ethene Lewis structure in the slides won’t help students.

Instead, what teachers should do is incorporate a video showing how the bonds are actually formed. This makes the lesson more engaging and students can get a better grasp of the C2H4 Lewis structure as a whole.

#4 Keep a Consistent Design

The visual appeal of slides plays a pivotal role in capturing and maintaining students' attention. Teachers should prioritize a consistent and aesthetically pleasing design throughout their presentations. This involves choosing a cohesive color scheme, legible fonts, and an organized layout.

Consistency in design not only makes the slides more visually appealing but also aids in cognitive retention. Consider utilizing design principles such as the rule of thirds, contrast, and alignment to create a visually cohesive presentation. Use graphics and icons to enhance the overall aesthetic without overwhelming the slides with excessive detail.

According to SketchBubble, inconsistency in slides leaves unnecessary oversights or unintentional chatter in slides. Such inconsistent designs can distract students from the topic itself or what the teacher intends to say.

#5 Personalize the Content

One effective way to make slides more engaging is to personalize the content to resonate with students' lives and experiences. Relate academic concepts to real-world scenarios, current events, or popular culture.

When teaching a math lesson, for instance, incorporate examples that students can relate to. These examples can be budgeting for their favorite hobbies or understanding statistical data from sports. By establishing these connections, teachers can make the material more relevant and relatable, sparking students' interest and curiosity.

Personalization enhances engagement and also promotes a sense of connection between the students and the subject matter. That, in turn, fosters a positive and inclusive learning environment.

In conclusion, teachers can take several steps to make their slides more engaging, as evident from the discussion above. By doing so, they can make the lectures interesting as well. As a result, students will not feel bored during lectures and will actually pay more attention to what teachers want to say.


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