Tips for Creating Courses or Presentations

As a student, you likely possess knowledge many others don’t.  That’s why you should design and publish a course.  Or, at the very least, create an academic presentation.  I have a goal of earning six figures within five years.  I also aim to stay with my company until my employer leaves this world, hopefully at least ten years.  So, I’ll need to find creative ways to expand my income each year.  One way I plan to do so is by developing courses on Saturdays.

I cannot reveal all my knowledge on course creation, as I’ve signed a confidentiality agreement.  But here is what I can share on the process:

First, craft around five key points you want your audience to walk away with.  For me, a course on academic advice requires systems for memorization, readings, exams, essay writing, and presentations.  Then, with your five key points, draft an outline for your presentation just like you would for an essay.  But ensure you add a thesis statement and conclusion.

Next, note that a single slide should be accompanied by roughly 100 to 200 spoken words.  That translates to approximately five to ten sentences per slide.  Less than five sentences work as well but have at least two sentences.  And try to keep each slide to one key idea.

If you want to add humor, add it wherever it fits.  There are rules for comedy, such as ending sentences with words with popping sounds, such as the letters b, p, t, d, g, and k—with k being the funniest.  That’s why Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys loves “chicken pot pies,” although “butter chicken pot pies” would’ve been funnier as it has more popping sounds.

Next, should you add stories to liven up the material?  Perhaps not.  I heard the advice to cut out the stories and go straight to the content.  That’s because people want the most meat in the least amount of time.  With that said, entertaining stories that introduce or conclude the course could be compelling if they relate to the overall course content.

Use primarily videos and images in your PowerPoint and rely as little as possible on text.  As for the stock footage, Story Blocks can provide a variety of material for your presentation.  For example, I watched one course on Udemy where the instructor used a lot of videos of women partying.  These videos were intended to highlight the course’s celebratory moments.  In other words, he used visuals to play on emotions.  But for an academic presentation, you’ll likely want videos and images that make people think.  For instance, a presentation on autoimmune conditions may feature a picture of a lab’s genetically grown animal flesh.

Also, cite videos and images you use in your presentation but avoid copyright infringement.  For example, one university group presentation included artistically modified visuals that were not copyright free.  The owners of the photos discovered this and demanded the right to use the artistic renditions in any way they desired.  This was a fortunate outcome for both parties.  Otherwise, it could’ve led to a lawsuit and academic disciplinary measures.

As another presentation guideline, never use black text on a white background.  These are often dull presentations to watch.  Use colored backgrounds or playful borders instead.  You can purchase a vibrant PowerPoint template from a company like Envato.  It’s worth the investment.  And if you’re a newbie to PowerPoints, look on YouTube for videos on how to work with master slides.  By doing so, you’ll be able to create your own templates.

Lastly, consider using Camtasia to turn your presentations into video lessons.  But aim to make each lesson between 3 and 10 minutes.  People like to get bite-sized info as it’s easier to manage.

So, what course topic would you choose if you wanted extra income? You can be someone other than an expert; you just need to know more than a newcomer.  And if it passively earns you an additional $5000 yearly on a platform like Udemy, why not create one?