We’ve all listened to experts delivering presentations on interesting and relevant topics. However, sometimes we see a slide that is impossible to read in 30 seconds because it’s too busy, text is too small or poor contrast makes text difficult to see. And what about slides with multiple fonts, font sizes and colours; inconsistent line and paragraph spacing; poorly aligned text and images; arrows piercing text boxes? We are left thinking: ‘Great topic, but it’s a shame the slides were poor’.
As biomedical communication specialists, whether designing slides for someone else or for our own use when presenting to others, we all want to create good slides. This workshop is about designing professional-looking, easily read and effective slides and slide decks. We’ll look at some poor slides, consider basic principles and admire some nice slides. We’ll consider more complex slides and slides designed for self-guided learning. We’ll consider some tools that make life easier, but this is not a PowerPoint workshop!

  • Rogues’ gallery: slides you would not be proud of
  • Purpose of a slide deck: diversity of presentations
  • Challenges when preparing slides
  • Presenting live vs. viewing at leisure
  • Have a good structure – flow and bridges
  • Slides for oral presentations: 10 tips
  • Slide rules: time per slide, avoiding text and clutter
  • Distraction: appropriate delivery of text, images and speech
  • Lists: often necessary, but make them as pleasant to view as possible
  • Fonts, bullets, spacing, alignment, and how to prevent ‘jumping’
  • Useful tools: ‘Slide Master’, ‘Format Painter’, alignment tools, guides, paragraph and line spacing
  • Backgrounds, colours, contrasts, margins, resolution
  • Text and images on the same slide
  • Examples of complex slides
  • Principles of designing self-guided learning slides, with examples
  • Proofing: achieving a professional finish


  • Discussion: diversity of presentations
  • Discussion: challenges when designing slides
  • Which style of emphasis do you prefer?
  • Which method of combining text and an image on a slide do you prefer?
  • Experience/discussion about using some useful PowerPoint tools
  • Exercise: critique a sloppy slide


09:00 | Introductions and objectives
09:15 | Principles of slide deck design
10:00 | Short break
10:10 | Detailed design
11:00 | Break
11:15 | Useful tools
12:00 | Short break
12:10 | Complex slides
12:45 | Wrap-up and final questions

Note: times are approximate

This workshop is for anyone using slides to communicate biomedical information: medical writers, employees of pharmaceutical and medical device companies, medical practitioners, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

Participant experience 

Basic familiarity with Microsoft PowerPoint.

  • The workshop is intended to be a ‘two-way’ learning and discussion experience (not a webinar); questions and subsequent discussion are welcome at any time during the workshop
  • Lecturer will deliver short presentations and use slide examples
  • Breakout rooms for smaller groups to consider/discuss an issue
  • Polling questions
John Dixon

John Dixon

Trainer/medical writer and director of Libra Scientific Communications Ltd.

John qualified in medicine having studied at Oxford University and Guy’s Hospital, London. Initially, he trained as a surgeon, gaining experience in accident and emergency medicine, orthopaedic, thoracic, general and ENT surgery, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (otolaryngology) and Edinburgh (general surgery). He then became a GP and Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners having had experience in paediatrics, neonatology, and obstetrics and gynaecology.
Since 2003, John has completed an MBA at Warwick University Business School while working as a Primary Care Trust project manager. He then spent five years as Director of Medical Communications in a UK medical communications agency.  In 2013, he became a freelance trainer in scientific writing and medical writer, and is now Director of Libra Scientific Communications Ltd.
Recently, John has coauthored a book: How to Publish in Biomedicine. 500 Tips for Success. Third Edition. 2016. CRC Press. John Dixon, Louise Alder and Jane Fraser.

Online training:

June 09th, 2021 – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm CEST

Some days before the online training you will receive all details about the connection.

The course will proceed with a minimum number of participants. Should this number not be reached the registered participants will be notified one week prior to the commencement of the course.

Early Bird: € 465,00(until 17 May 2021)

Ordinary: € 595,00*

Freelance – Academy – Public Administration**: € 370,00*

for Italian companies: +22% VAT

** Early Bird discount not applicable to Freelance – Academy – Public Administration fee

The fee includes: tuitions, organizational office assistance, teaching materials and attendance certificate that will be sent after the training via e-mail.


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Printable Version
At the end of the training, you will be able to
Risultato atteso
Appreciate the diversity of presentations and therefore the diversity of slide deck designs
Risultato atteso
Recognize the factors that differentiate an unclear/sloppy slide from a clear, professional-looking slide
Risultato atteso
Make your life easier by using some important slide design tools

<p><span>Online interactive training on Zoom platform. </span></p>
<p><em>LS Academy will provide the access link to the virtual platform a few days before the training.</em></p>

Online interactive training on Zoom platform. 

LS Academy will provide the access link to the virtual platform a few days before the training.

<p><span>Online interactive training on Zoom platform. </span></p>
<p><em>LS Academy will provide the access link to the virtual platform a few days before the training.</em></p>