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Reclaiming the Power of PowerPoint – Part 1

Posted by: batkinson / March 1st, 2017 / 169 Views / 0 comment(s)

Everyone uses PowerPoint, or at least they used to.  

Recently ‘Not another PowerPoint’ has been a popular blogging topic for identifying the many flaws with the PowerPoint tool and the lacklustre presentations it creates. Let’s be honest, we have all sat through a PowerPoint presentation that seems to be an endless amount of text heavy slides. However, this is not the belief of Chang Ge, lecturer in the International Business School, who believes it is not the tool that’s the real cause of these uninspired presentations.

This session was run by Chang as part of the Digital and Creative Learning week, who presented the case that PowerPoint, when used effectively and creatively is a perfectly suitable tool for making an engaging presentation. This session is for you if you would like to make the most out of this well-established tool in today’s digital age.

Nowadays there are a whole range of options when it comes to creating an engaging presentation. PowToon, Prezi, Sway, Spark and PowerPoint are all viable options, are commonly used and will be familiar to students, they are also freely available. However, this workshop was geared towards the user who is most comfortable using PowerPoint, and Chang went through essential tips for using it to give a good presentation – which can be readily applied to any presenting tool. The outcome being that the participants went away with a better understanding of what makes a good presentation for their students.

Chang began by pointing out the fundamental ‘Do Not’s’ for PowerPoint – the big two being:

  1. Avoid text heavy slides that require you to read them like you’re doing karaoke.

This can be easily avoided by sensible decisions when planning your presentation. If there is a large amount of relevant text it would be best to give it straight to the student or audience as a pdf or print out for them to digest at their leisure. Slides should be there to support you not host everything there is to say.

  1. Don’t have too many slides (or at least disguise the number if there are a fair few.)

The group was asked what the ideal number of slides is and ‘10-12’ was the response.

Chang revealed that the total number isn’t actually relevant. It’s the way your content is linked together that’s the crucial factor that can disguise the amount of slides you have and retrain the audience’s attention. This can be achieved with simple yet linear transitions that create continuity.

Check out how this can be achieved and more in part 2 & 3.

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