Slide/webinar designs seem to fall into three categories. Either you rely solely on slick pre-produced templates and commercial stock photos, you hire a graphic designer to create a stunning, customized presentation, or lacking any budget, you throw images and type on your slides to meet your deadline and hope for the best.

A fourth strategy is to create your own templates, using the basic tools available on the Powerpoint application (or the equivalent Apple software Keynote). Once you pick your fonts, color palette, and basic design elements, you can add free, public domain images that haven’t been seen by your audience in every slide presentation in the last six months.

The result: Slides that are both legible and engaging, that balance text and images, that don’t have the corporate cookie cutter feel of commercial productions (unless that’s the style you are aiming for), and that are easy to modify for future presentations: because all of the elements are under your control. The trick is to create a design foundation that can cut your production time and provide a consistently good look or “brand” for your presentations. For slide beginners

Topics include arranging your content, laying the visual groundwork for your webinar, picking cross-platform, friendly fonts; creating a group of colors; developing alternative slide templates, and employing short-cuts.

– Shorten production time for slides for presentations and webinars.
– Improve slide consistency and legibility.
– Encourage more library staff members to share their expertise and experiences via webinar.
– Create slides that are “branded” with the library’s graphic identity.


Original broadcast August 7, 2019 

Biography ~ Pat Wagner
Pat Wagner has been a trainer and consultant for libraries since 1978 using e-mail, platforms, and now social media to serve clients across the United States (and the solar system) who she has never met face-to-face.. She presents at state and national library conferences as well as working with libraries of all types from Alaska to Florida. She has been a frequent visitor to Florida libraries and was a facilitator for the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute for several years. Pat focuses on skills needed to support better productivity and workplace relationships, from personnel issues to strategic planning. She is known for her practical and good-humored programs.