Script For Perfect Presentation


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The missing notes for each slide on the (perfect) presentation

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Script For Perfect Presentation

  1. 1. Script for “The Perfect Presentation” Slide 1 Sound and sight check! Right can everyone hear me OK and see the screen / whiteboard OK? My name is Alan Doherty… I’m trying to put the graphics back into geography, especially in terms of the use of graphic design in our presentations. Slide 2 I’m going to start by asking you to criticise the following short presentation. In particular, consider the graphic design of this presentation. Does it help or hinder the story? Slide 3 Presentations are part and parcel of our everyday trade. Although we are meticulous about the con- tent, most of us don’t give a lot of thought to the graphic design, which is surprising considering the number of us who chase perfection. I spent nearly twenty years chasing perfection. I loved league tables when they first came out. There, was my reassurance that we were improving, moving in the right direction. I know, I know, I was stupid. It took me 20 years to realize that although the pursuit of excellence is a worthy approach, it’s the calibre of the young adults that leave school that really counts rather than a narrow acknowledgement of their academic abilities. Kids aren’t vacuums that you can add value to like a top-up card. I wish they were! Slide 4 I spent a lot of time in school assemblies quoting Maya Angelou at them. “Nothing will work, unless you do” “You are all bought and paid for. Your mother shed blood for you - your father, tears.” and I threw in a few of my own….. “Every student has the right to fail.” That one would send a chill down their spine! “It’s how good a learner you are that really counts.” “You are all individuals – stop behav- ing like a flock of sheep!” Slide 5 They are indeed all different. I used to share the Geology teaching with a Chemistry teacher who would refer to his classes in geological terms. “Peat bog” was his most dismissive term. There were also “young mudstones”, “unstable superficial deposits”, “incipient rock slides” and “kimberlite pipe”. “Aye”, he would say, “there are some real diamonds in that class, Alan, but we’re going to have to dig!” Slide 6 I found his analogies quite amusing but I also found them unsettling. He was always dismissive of the cementing material, the common, everyday silica, calcite, etc., the stuff that held the rock together. Slide 7 But for me, this is the stuff of the fabric of society. Slide 8 Recognition of individuality and in particular the different ways that people learn may bring the limita- tions of digital presentations into focus but it also opens up a whole new range of possibilities. If we pause and consider our aims and the potential of our target audience… Slide 9 …then we all can improve… Slide 10 We all have different teaching and learning styles. We can’t satisfy them all at the same time. The guy that made the biggest difference to my teaching and learning was Howard Gardner and his
  2. 2. “Theory of Multiple Intelligences”. Slide 11 The main thing was that he helped me recognize my own strengths and weaknesses. I didn’t buy into the theory completely but he did provide me with a check list for my teaching styles. Up until Gardner I knew I had to use a shotgun style, I knew that I had to get out of my comfort zone but I didn’t really know why. Slide 12 Gardner provided the key. Geography provided the rich tasks which meant I could stimulate and probe every competence possible. I, personally, have no musical competence, so that was the one I had the most difficulty with, but the kids came up with tasks to do. Garner though, failed to empha- sise one particular competence/skill which should have come under his “intra-personal intelligence” so I just added it in to my workflow – reflection. The more we reflect, review and question our tech- niques…. Slide 13 The better your teaching will become. Time to ponder – time to reflect. “If there is something you don’t like, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Slide 14 I finish this introduction with a visual pun? Slide 15 Which, in true Billy Connolly fashion, brings me to the point. If we reflect on our presentations, we can improve them and improve our teaching and learning workflow. Thimple! The more you pause the more they see…. Slide 16 You now know quite a bit about me. It’s now time for me to learn a bit about you! Could you please fill in the first part of the questionnaire for me. Ta. (Answer Q1 please) Slide 17 So, we basically have three ingredients in our digital narratives. They are very rarely represented on an equal basis like this. The demands of the curriculum mean that, for some, the slides are dominated by content – the slides are treated as notes or a document. For others the technology is god and every bell and whistle imaginable is thrown into the mix. And for some, graphic design is not really a consideration and their narratives rely on the design provided by the commercial template. Slide 18 Getting the balance right is not easy, but even recognizing that the three ingredients have to interact with each other is a good start. Slide 19 This workshop is mainly about graphic design, so we will deal with all the “green” items and as many of the other items as possible. Colour coding a Venn diagram like this is easy and very effective. Slide 22 This is an image of my classroom projector, 2005 vintage. It was love at first sight and it was an incredibly steep learning curve. The size of the slide was the first puzzle. The software will resize anything for you, but if you get the proportions wrong, it will also distort the image. So the native resolution of this projector (4x3 format) was 800x600 That’s the maximum number of pixels it can actually project individually. There is rarely any point in going above 1024x768 This is the most com-
  3. 3. mon standard found in projectors sold today. I can’t see any difference between that and 960x720 so unless it is a slide which contains a lot of very small writing, 960x720 it is. This keeps the file size well within bounds and provides excellent sharpness and contrast. In a few years time, widescreen will probably become the norm. (i.e. 16x9 format) So 1920x1080 is probably a useful crop to store your images in to future proof them for widescreen presentations. As long as you store your originals at full resolution as tiffs you will be fine! Slide 23 (Q2. So where do you start when you are composing a digital presentation?) Slide 24 This is where most people start. Don’t let Microsoft, Apple or anyone else dictate what you have to do. Look at the examples of graphic design which surround us all everyday. Assess what works and decide if you could use something similar in your lessons. I would advise that you don’t start here… unless it is a document which you are intending to construct. In which case this starting point could be quite appropriate. Above all listen to the kids. Short evaluations should be built into your workflow. If they like it, it is working and you don’t need to change it. Slide 25 At the very least, start with a blank canvas. Avoid ready made backdrops, unless they really do fill the bill. Slide 26 The more you pause, the better the final presentation will be. Slide 27 Reflective practice in geography teaching is what Ashley Kent called this. We can’t expect to motivate and stimulate our students’ imagination unless we apply our own imagination to the problem in hand. We should be able to visualize the whole presentation before we sit down at the computer. Slide 28 As a starting point, I don’t think that this can be bettered. Compromise and substitution lie ahead but the principles and content involved should be clear. Slide 29 Some people deride analogue processes as a thing of the past but it really does save you time in the long run. Slide 30 Like all youngsters, I used to sit and draw. My favourite book was the “Golden Book of Geography” – I know, I was doomed even then – but I could spend hours conjuring up ideas and stories on paper. I haven’t changed! Slide 31 I still keep fieldwork notebooks when I’m on my travels. I hope I will never change. Because I obvi- ously learn and record this way, I applied this to my teaching and tried to give my students the same opportunities of expression. Slide 32 I used to get S1 and S2 students (Years 8 and 9) to complete each unit by producing a cartoon as their unit’s back page. The teacher learned a lot from this process – as did the students. Now, not only do we not allow our kids to reflect through doodling, in some cases we do not allow our kids ac- cess to paper.
  4. 4. Slide 33 Paperless schools are becoming more and more common. The jury is still out but I do hope that common sense prevails. Hybrid situations abound and work well so if it’s not broke…? The billion pounds of cuts which are promised will probably decide (unfortunately) rather than the strengths and weaknesses of each system. For geographically remote areas the argument seems to be overwhelm- ingly in favour of digital solutions – if only on the basis of cost. I hope that a lot more research is undertaken before anything irreversible is done. Slide 34 I believe that it is one world….albeit a hybrid, layered one. As part of our preparation, we always have to gather the materials that we are going to use… Let’s take a common situation. Slide 35 The gathering together of materials for use in a rich task on a glaciated landscape, in this case, the area of Glen Coe in Scotland. Initially, I’m looking for a summative view which will be used for a test at the end of the unit as well as for descriptive purposes during the lesson. Most people would start in Google Earth, turning the landscape round to best show up the truncated spurs and hanging valleys that you want to demonstrate. Great for a quick look but no use for basing a summative view on. The River Coe is half way up the valley side for starters. It doesn’t really get any better when you turn the view to black and white for reproduction on a worksheet… Slide 36 Or for preparing a question paper. Does it? Maybe some sketching software is the answer?.... Slide 37 Maybe not. Sometimes the way forward is to revert to the traditional skills such as tracing! Then you decide what is relevant and worth including and you can make “corrections” to the landscape in question. Slide 38 The sketch quickly takes shape and you get your summative diagram in no time. Slide 39 Which can then be easily turned into a diagnostic test. Slide 40 By adding some letters and away you go. Slide 41 Software is now available which generates oblique views with the addition of a contour map overlay. You can also do this in Google by using their SketchUp app. In truth geographers will use whatever they can to enhance their delivery. That’s what I mean by hybrid. Slide 42 Another problem in planning is the restriction(s) of time. Say, your whole class have prepared individ- ual (or in groups of three) presentations. Play back can be a nightmare. The Japanese have invented Pecha Kucha which is now gradually spreading round the world. There was a Pecha Kucha event in Edinburgh during the last festival (2009). PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images. You set the timer in the software to change the slides. Now the benefits for student presentations is obvious. Indeed there are a few teachers who would benefit from this restriction as well! (Myself included, I hasten to add.) Pecha Kucha has gone viral according to all the bloggers but I
  5. 5. haven’t seen it in Bathgate yet! Slide 43 But no doubt it will come. Slide 44 The next stage is to start matching up slides / graphics / images with your storyboard. So the first job is to raid the cupboard…. Slide 45 Q3 Do you have a departmental image bank? Or maybe a presentation bank? Slide 46 Reach for your image bank. The more organized your image bank is, the more choices you will have and the more professional your presentations will be. All your images should be acknowledged. We cannot expect our students to adhere to the rules of reference and acknowledgement if we do not do so ourselves. The best image banks are departmental collections which everyone contributes to. Cross fertilization is the name of the game. So – get collecting! You could, of course, just type into the Flickr search engine and make whatever turns up into a slideshow and away you go.!! Maximum result for minimum effort? It works fine for simple topics but I think our kids deserve better. Slide 47 Reach for your image bank. The more organized your image bank is, the more choices you will have and the more professional your presentations will be. All your images should be acknowledged. We cannot expect our students to adhere to the rules of reference and acknowledgement if we do not do so ourselves. The best image banks are departmental collections which everyone contributes to. Cross fertilization is the name of the game. So – get collecting! You could, of course, just type into the Flickr search engine and make whatever turns up into a slideshow and away you go.!! Maximum result for minimum effort? It works fine for simple topics but I think our kids deserve better. Slide 48 …as here, in Ta’izz in the Yemen. Generally, the higher you can go, the more spectacular the re- sults…. Slide 49 Hire a plane, if you have to! What are birthdays for? Or at least get a window seat on your holiday trip. Slide 50 This was on my first trip to Japan – via Alaska. The mileage that I’ve had from this shot is unbeliev- able. Spot the caldera? Slide 51 Then process what you take. All digital images require some adjustment. Slide 52 Increase the contrast, a touch more saturation at the very least. Heal any spots of dust. Et voila! Slide 53 That’s your contribution – but hopefully you have also been collecting other peoples’ offerings. Slide 54 Jeff Brenman has shared a few of his presentations on This one is a stylization of a
  6. 6. Karl Feisch presentation on “globalization” and has a lot in it which is of interest to geographers. Jeff is happy to see his slides recycled. Great guy. Much appreciated Jeff. 1st prize, Slideshare’s World’s Best Presentation Contest (2007). A master of the use of contrast. Only 80,000 downloads so far! Teachers should be downloading material like this and adjusting it to suit their requirements. Slide 56 Then, of course, there are the commercial image banks. iStockPhoto? – Getty Images? Or try Geo- Juice! Slide 57 Wherever you get your ammunition from….. You then begin to match up your storyboard. This allows you to identify what you still need to source. Once you have your wish list… it is time to give some thought to… Slide 58 …..Graphic Design. Slide 59 A picture says more than a thousand words…. Well maybe but they certainly are remembered better than words are, especially when students are casually exposed to the information and the exposure is for a very limited time. Instant recall of words and images is about the same. But when some time has elapsed the picture superiority effect applies and the image wins hands down. Slide 60 Q.4 Study the six slides. Which three slides have the highest picture superiority effect. Mark them 1, 2 and 3. Slide 62 Every picture tells a story. So what is the story here? Students contribute (hopefully). Design? Design is about making communication as easy and clear for the viewer as possible. This is good design. High res picture with tree branches for scale. Simple. Straightforward. Most students remember visuals better than words. Get them involved as often as possible. Slide 64 There is a huge difference between a presentation delivered in person and an online / homework source. A departmental image bank / presentation bank / worksheet bank is essential – not optional. Central resources are a godsend to NQTs not to mention students making presentations as part of their course work. A creative environment within the department is just as important for teachers as it is for students. Collect backdrops as well as images and diagrams. The New York Talk Exchange was an exhibition in MOMA, New York. They have donated three of their excellent images to the public sphere. This one of them. You can download the high-res images from visuals.html Slide 65 The lower slides are an attempt to simplify the slides in the top row. Well, does it work or not? Slide 66 Q5 Put a tick or a cross underneath the pair of slides according to whether you think the lower one is an improvement or not? Slide 68 There is no “right” answer of course! But I really have to admit to a prejudice on this third slide.
  7. 7. Slide 69 I am rather fond of it – just because it took me so long to draw it together. Prejudices are OK in de- sign terms – as long as you admit them to yourself! Slide 70 Is there ever any excuse for eye candy? Well as far as the kids are concerned… Slide 71 … there most certainly is. You don’t have to combine a graph with a relevant image but it does help – sometimes, a lot! Slide 72 Golden Ratio: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc. Each succeeding number after 1 is equal to the sum of the two preceding numbers. The Ratio formed 1:1.618 is called the golden mean - the ratio of bc to ab is the same as ab to ac. If you divide each smaller window again with the same ratio and joining their corners you end up with a logarithmic spiral. This spiral is a motif found frequently throughout nature in shells, horns and flowers. The Golden Mean or Phi occurs frequently in nature and it may be that humans are genetically programmed to recognize the ratio as being pleasing. Studies of top fashion models revealed that their faces have an abundance of the 1.618 ratio. Slide 73 Much simpler and more accessible is the rule of thirds. Slide 74 And probably where Microsoft knicked the term power point from! Slide 75 You basically cover one , two, three or all of the points in your composition or follow the horizontal or vertical lines to produce a satisfying result. Slide 76 And it works – almost every time. Slide 77 This leaves lots of space – Empty Space. Empty space is also known as negative space or white space. Space for words? Wasted Space? Space for Reflection? Or just……. Infinite Possibilities! Please answer Q6 and Q7 Fade to Black! Slide 78 The skill involved is extraction and it is one of the main reasons that geography teachers should get into Photoshop. Slide 79 It is useful for all sorts of reasons… Slide 80 Extraction works particularly well with islands and countries. Slide 81 Even photographs. Slide 82 We are all wired to notice differences. It is the predator in us, probably. We are unconsciously scan-
  8. 8. ning and looking for similarities and differences all the time. You can achieve contrast in many ways – for example, through the manipulation of space (near and far, empty and filled), through colour choices, by text selection, by the positioning of elements, and so on. Every single element of a design such as line, shape, colour, texture, size, space, type, and so on can be manipulated to create con- trast. (Garr Reynolds) Slide 83 Nothing in your slide design should ever look as if it were placed there randomly. What about slide six here. The one with the tilted text. Does it use the alignment principle? Slide 84 Here are two sample slides each from three different but associated presentations. The kids would see these slides on different days, but by using the same colour gradient on the text, they immedi- ately realise that the topics are related. Slide 85 Here the same colour has been used to bring a clear sense of unity and cohesiveness to a series of slides on China. Slide 86 And lastly humour. Yes, OK its designer humour admittedly, but teachers are a bunch of comedians anyway so repeating the same joke shouldn’t be a problem. Slide 88 Well, actually, we always have been! The media has changed but we haven’t. There may be a new manner of telling stories – but we are still telling stories! Slide 89 I’m only dealing with “stand-up” contacts here as online / revision stuff is totally different and would really need a workshop of their own. So we teach large groups and small groups…. Slide 90 The skills required are the same for any size of group. Enthusiasm is infectious so if you’ve got it, flaunt it! Slide 91 I made a friend for life, when I did my homework, and identified a profoundly deaf student in my new S2 class (year 9). He had behavioural problems as well and an advice note from Guidance said that this student had to be placed at the front of my classroom. His notes however did not explain that he could lip-read – very efficiently. Nor did they say that his hearing aids didn’t help him much at all. This fact was self evident after only 20 minutes into a lesson. At the end of the period, a short negotiation took place. I gave the student a “gunfighter’s seat” in the back corner in return for perfect behaviour. Win, win. Slide 92 Styles however have to be adapted. In the classroom environment, you have to be prepared to chase the dragon, to go off at a tangent if necessary to pursue a sensible question. So fade to black, do a Billy Connolly, and then get back on task when you can. You can leave the slide up in the background – if you wish – but it is often more appropriate to fade to black. (Hit “B” or “period”). Slide 93 Always add value to graphics that you have collected from newspapers and magazines. Process them. Never just lob a scan onto the screen – unless the immediacy of the issue demands it. We are
  9. 9. geographers. We process, we analyze, we synthesize, we teach. We reflect! Slide 94 Most schools have got a great big flat display in their foyer these days. Take it over! We have the most visually enhanced subject next to Art and Design. If you’ve got it – flaunt it! Get the kids’ work up there – especially on Parents’ Evenings. Slide 95 Don’t be afraid to adopt different styles. This is an “Advanced Higher” primer for the “critical essay” in Scotland. Anything is acceptable as long as it gets them reading and holds their attention. (I would even use a Kindle or an iPad if I thought it would do any good – just don’t tell anyone!) Slide 96 The use of Photoshop, though, probably gives the greatest returns. Here, Mount St Helens performs a dignified striptease. There will be a copy of Photoshop somewhere in your school that you can get access to. Slide 97 Change through time is one of our main interests and Photoshop allows us to take an image from the present and work our way backwards into the past. Historical documents and maps can be brought to life for our charges. Slide 98 The same techniques can be applied to the formation of features. Slide 99 Always check with your Learning Support Team to see if they favour a given suite of fonts. Follow their lead, support their efforts and you will have a friend for life. Please answer Q8. Slide 100 Photoshop is great for storing multiple related slides in the same stack. Next slide and Q9 How many here use Photoshop already? Slide102 Tanoshimu means “enjoy”. Slide 103 Always challenge the students with alternative views of the subject under analysis. Use nasa satellite images whenever they are available. Do a bit of revision and then….. Slide 104 ….get on to the subject in hand. Population in Japan is all about positive and negative areas and population density differences. Design your own graphics to show what you want to show. Slide 105 Use appropriate images to draw the students into the topic. “The Crowded Islands” was a great title for the first series of videos by the BBC. Slide 106 Take your pictures from a high or low angle for impact. Again the pop density refers to the central part of Tokyo so the image has to be appropriate. Slide 107
  10. 10. As the city spreads into the suburbs, the density decreases and the overall city pop density is much lower. (Expect the audience to criticise the appropriateness of this image. (If they are still awake!)) Slide 108 One of the repetitive themes in this presentation is the use of figures as left hand borders. By crop- ping this image and applying a gradient (transparency to black), the design feature is repeated again. Slide 109 Use perspective to draw the students in. The population pyramid can then be made full frame or printed on a worksheet for detailed analysis if necessary. This effect is done using the free transform tool in Photoshop. Slide 110 The guard’s eyeline helps to direct the students’ eye direction. Slide 111 Keeping alignment the same in a series of slides aids comprehension….. Slide 112 …but be prepared to break the alignment to make a point or to show an even more detailed diagram. Slide 113 Then back to alignment and continuity. (Contrast has also been used in this series of diagrams to keep the students interested.) Slide 114 A typical Japanese family or not? There are enough members here to work out age/sex and depend- ency ratios. Then compare with national figures and the most recent British wedding group that you can lay your hands on. The kids love it. Well they love guessing other people’s ages! Slide 115 There are three generations on the bridegroom’s side of the family. This is an appropriate time to note the changes taking place in household composition in Japan. If the background is too busy, it is a good idea to insert a semi-transparent white layer to make the graphic easier to read. Slide 116 Simplicity works well. Let the students work out from the photographs that the japanese get married later than elsewhere. It also pays to ring the changes. This would be a good time to pause and change tack. A “Freeze Frame “ exercise would be particularly appropriate here. Slide 117 Stopping in the middle of a presentation like this “tops and tails” the lesson nicely. Slide 118 Again repetition of the image layout helps comprehension of the diagram. The transparent box helps again. Slide 119 It is empty space that makes the design elements stand out. If a presentation is prepared for revision purposes then by all means add the text. But it isn’t needed
  11. 11. for the stand-up. “Japan’s birth rate has been falling steeply for the last 50 years. In the early 1970s it passed the re- placement level of 2.1 births per woman and in 2005 hit a record low of 1.26. Government measures aimed at boosting fertility have so far failed to deliver the desired rise. Across the developed world, as a general trend, women are working more and marrying later. In Japan there are also money worries, the problems of working and having a family and a lack of support for moth- ers.” Slide 120 Use the rule of thirds to position appropriate extracts. Never crop a facial image off at the neck! Always head and shoulders at the very least. 21% of Japan’s population is over 65 i.e. almost 27 million of them! The 2005 census figures show that there is now a greater proportion of elderly people in Japan than anywhere else in the world. More than 4 million live alone. In 2006, the average life expectancy was 82. By 2050, about 40% of Japan’s population will be over 65. Slide 121 Note that it’s not just the men who have to work late! Your typeface says a lot about you, seemingly. Mine are big, bold and ugly – just like me! Slide 122 Use coloured text liberally. Choose a colour from the image, if possible. Subtle but effective. I like this – the gunfighters are out on the town. Socialising with your peers is almost compulsory in most companies. The salary men are good company but not one of them can sing! Slide 123 Use artwork and quotes to try and expand their horizons. I haven’t come across a better way of showing how small and cramped flats are in Japan. Tambaio has produced a whole series of drawings on the subject. She refers to her art as “danmen”. With the word “danmen” (literally “cross-section”), the artist provides a clever moniker for her generation that is in fact a play on the phrase “dankai no sedai” (literally, “solidarity generation”) given to Japanese baby-boomers. The idea of “cross-section” is key to the artistic work at hand. Slide 124 Which brings us full circle. The more you pause – the more they see. Arigato – domo arigato. (Bow as you thank everyone) Change slides and accept questions.