Muddling through the blogosphere

Ten Tips for Better PowerPoints


I managed to beat the crowds and am now sitting right up front for David Jakes’ session on 10 Points for Improving PowerPoint presentations. Dean Shareski just finished the introduction (hilarious) of David, who is now starting with some images of old technologies, such as the ditto machine…and heading into the ’80s with…PowerPoint. Yep, PowerPoint has been with us since 1987!

“It’s not what the software does. It’s about what they do with it. It’s about crafting the message.”

Teach them biology

The brain is innately designed to communicate visually. Brain wired for visual (30%), but auditory in only (3%). Therefore PowerPoint has to be really visual. Move kids away from templates and away from being text-based. Presentations are indeed performances. Don’t remove all text, but limit it. Dual Processing of brain: visual and auditory + Cognitive load: intrinsic(based on how complex material is) and extrinsic (based on how material is presented).

Teach them how to find images

  • Flickr – billions of images
  • Flickr-storm – type in CreativeCommons in search window and select attribution. Select an image and download tray. Toolbar displays URL. Allows teacher to create bank.of images for students.
  • iStockphoto – Pay site – but wonderful photography. For 1$ you’ll get an outstanding image. Advance search provides grid that allows you to select and add text in bottom area.

Teach them design (Dean Shareski)

  • How to keep up with all the tools – Using random template that has nothing to do with presentation. So strip the template. Strip away unimportant points. Make the image central and, ideally an image (which will help you retain the information).

Teach them to sell

  • Antidote to kids copying and pasting. Kids have to learn how to craft a story, not move content from point a to point b. Kids need to write deeply about their topic. Why not have them write a storyboard, just as they would for a digital story. “Communication ia the transfer of emotion” Seth Godin

Color and font choice matters

  • Color is important. It means different things to different audiences. Dave is showing a yellow-cast beach image. Green suggests renewal. Blue = fav color in US. Red signals danger or alert. Blockbuster = blue with yellow border. Deep blue signifies trust.
  • Fonts – sans serif vs serif (little feet help your eye travel across text), but when you project, always use a sans serif. Tip: Never use Helvetica with US audience (font of IRS)

Teach them to incorporate multimedia:

  • But how to get video from off the web to “embed” in presentation.
  • 3 ways to do this:
    • (avi on PC/mov on Mac)
    • Go into PowerPoint and check steps
    • PowerPt 2003 -07 – YouTube video – creates button to embed into your PowerPoint.

Teach them PowerPoint Secrets

  • Go online and search keystrokes – “B” – takes to slide to black or “W” and slide goes white
  • Type in # of slide so that you can bring in hidden content (slides)

Teach them to share

“Back of Napkin” – selling ideas by getting people to think visually

  • Slideshare – look for exemplars – opening page has “featured presentations.” Show to students and have them critique them
  • Sliderocket – you can build your presentation online
  • Google doc – upload a presentation to Google docs and share it – Use chat box on right so others can join into to preso from other sites.
  • Give photo credits

2008 = lots of ways to communicate!

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