How To Make Hand Sketched Note Card Slides - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - sketchnoting, visual note-taking, doodling, presentation, slide deck, talk

How To Make Hand-Sketched Note Card Slides

I think that we can all agree that detail-heavy PowerPoint slides need to die.

Here’s what you can replace them with: hand-sketched note card slides.

You don’t need to be an artist to create them. All you need to be is willing to put pen to paper and iterate until you’ve got a useful deck in front of you.

These tips will help you get there:

Tip #1: Keep It To One Idea Per Slide

Note Card Slide Tip #1: One Idea Per Slide

Don’t try to pack every slide with information – present just one idea and flesh it out with your spoken words.

Tip #2: Add Simple Visuals & Diagrams

Note Card Slide Tip #2: Use Simple Visuals & Diagrams


I repeat: you don’t have to be an artist! In fact, simple visuals can be more helpful than artistic ones when they are anchored to the ideas that you’re sharing.

Tip #3: Use Two Fonts – Title & Detail

Note Card Slide Tip #3: Use Two Fonts - a title font and a detail font

It doesn’t take much to differentiate between written words. Make your title font big and bold and your detail font a bit smaller. The eyes of your audience will naturally gravitate toward the big and bold and move on from there.

Tip #4: Add A Color Or Two

Note Card Slide Tip #4: Add A Color Or Two

Even just a little bit of color can add some contrast to help out the eye. My suggestion is to use one to three colors – don’t overwhelm us with ten.

Bonus Tip #5: Be Consistent

By being consistent in the way you use both verbal and visual elements, you’re doing the audience a huge favor. Each element that you put on a slide is a cue that helps them follow your train of thought, so make it easy for them.

Now it’s your turn. Take these ideas, make them your own, and go give an impactful presentation.


Want To Dig Deeper?

If you’re new to the idea of sketchnoting and excited to develop more visual thinking tools, I think you’d enjoy our foundational course An Introduction To Visual Note-Taking.

If you’d like to make sketchnoted videos like the one you saw here, we’ve got a course for that too! Check out How To Make Sketchnote Videos.

And if you’re an educator interested in bringing visual note-taking into your classroom, check out Sketchnoting In The Classroom.