Recently I saw an interesting question in the forums here at E-Learning Heroes. An Articulate user was looking for a way to emphasize key words, because her slides contained a lot of text to go with her narration.
Now, we all know what the right answer is here, right? Of course! Reduce the amount of text on each slide, so that learners don’t need so much help to focus on the main points or key words.
And that's totally valid advice! Unfortunately, though, there are times when course creators might not have the permission or flexibility to re-work slide content — especially if they’re updating an existing course, and stakeholders aren't willing to invest time and resources in new slide designs or the approval of re-worded text.
In those cases, simple techniques that call attention to crucial words or phrases can be an easy way to improve the learner’s experience without doing a total overhaul.
There are lots of interesting ways to emphasize text, but if you're looking for something super-quick and easy, below are seven techniques to try, with short tutorials that show how to create and apply each one. For the techniques that involve using PowerPoint animations, you can use Presenter’s Sync Animations tool to make the effects appear at just the right time with your audio narration. You can download a sample of these techniques right here.
Want to share your own ideas for text emphasis? Post a comment at the end of this article, or join the forum conversation here!
And if you'd like to explore some even snazzier ways to dress up key words and phrases in your course, here are some additional ideas from folks in the Articulate community: