Anatomy of an Academic Slide Deck: Tips, Strategies Revealed

A Free Course on Designing Academic and Scientific Presentations. Learn how to transform and elevate your presentation!
Free tutorial
Rating: 3.6 out of 5 (22 ratings)
2,293 students
40min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

Discover the use of multimedia and a variety of elements to design an interesting and engaging academic slide deck
How to design a clean and minimalist slide deck for an academic and scientific presentation
Learn how to build an academic slide deck for a lecture on cardiac glycosides


  • Willingness to learn
  • Open-minded


A well-designed slide deck sparks joy, inspires your students and moves your audience during your lecture!

In this FREE course, discover how to use various elements and strategies to transform a dull or dry science-based slide deck into an attractive, interesting yet educational to our students and audience.

You will learn how I approach designing a slide deck, and delivering a lecture. In general, I am guided by the approach of Presentation Zen - a minimalist presentation approach that emphasises on having only essential elements on a slide and do away with non-essentials.

The course covers the following topics and skills in academic presentations:

      A. Introductory section

  1. About the Course

  2. Spotlight Effects for a Title Slide

  3. Essential Reading Slide

  4. Timeline Slide: A Map for Your Audience

  5. Using an infographic as a Quick Overview to the Topic

  6. Reviewing Previous Lessons: Why do it?

    B. Cardiac Glycoside Lectures

    Here is where I unpack the hidden structures and parts of my lecture slides on Cardiac Glycosides. I explain each part or a set of slides - sharing my creative process with you, including the anatomy of my slide deck.

  7. Intro Slide: How to Pique Your Audience’s Curiosity

  8. Create Visually-attractive Slides using Advanced Gradient Fill

  9. State the Essence, Use Creative Text Highlights

  10. My Approach and Tips in Creating an Interesting Scientific Presentation

  11. Black is not the only colour... Using colours in an academic presentation.

  12. Teaching Strategies for a Large Audience

  13. Secrets Revealed: Influencing Drug's Potency with Chemical structures

    C. Concluding Section

  14. A Re-cap + Zooming back to the Big Picture

  15. Drawing an Action Potential of Heart Muscles using the Pen Tool

  16. Final Thoughts with Effective Presentation Tips

This slide deck has appeared in my blog; however, in this FREE course, I go behind the screen.

I go a few steps further showing you some tips, tricks and strategies I employed while designing these slides for this lecture. Attention is key in this academic presentation. Capturing a learner's attention is the first element as outlined in John Keller's ARCS instructional model for motivation in the learning process; interestingly, the same goes for Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction.

The slide deck used to be a part of an Integrated Course on Cardiac Drugs for third-year pharmacy students. So I will also share several teaching and learning strategies that you would find useful, if and when, you're asked to teach or give a lecture.

What are you waiting for?...

Come one, come all.

Enrol in this FREE course!


*Even though the slide deck was created in Apple Keynote; most parts of the lessons can be followed by listening to the audio by using  the Udemy app on your mobile. And of course, do-able in PowerPoint. Happy learning!

** The ARCS Model stands for Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction.

Who this course is for:

  • Educators and Teachers
  • Academics, Scientists and Researchers
  • Pharmacology and/or Medicinal Chemistry Professors and Lecturers


Trainer on Presentation Design and Online Education
Aisyah Saad
  • 4.0 Instructor Rating
  • 38 Reviews
  • 3,200 Students
  • 2 Courses

Passionate about presentation design and online education,  on this platform, I want to help you elevate your presentations and online teaching to the next level.

Briefly, I am a registered pharmacist and holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. I blog at the intersections of presentation, education,  technology and pharmacy. The focus of my blog is about crafting beautiful, modern and inspiring presentations in higher education.

With an eye for simple and clean designs, I have helped hundreds of educators and professionals to elevate their presentations, from inside out, in my 'Presentation Makeover' workshops. The face-to-face workshops focus on presentation design and delivery. My teaching slides are featured in the classic presentation book, Presentation Zen (PZ) and PZ Design books.

In addition, I've led workshops on online learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and teaching with technology for educators, scientists, researchers and students.

Let's start a conversation in my courses, pose questions in the online forums and I'll do my best to answer your questions.

When we better ourselves, we'll be in a position to help others to  create a better future for themselves. Come join me in this journey.

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