EFFECTIVE USE OF POWERPOINT AS APRESENTATION TOOL. Submitted by: Pagkalinawan, Danica A.
USE P O W E R P O I N T E F F E C T I V E LY 1. PowerPoint, when displayed via a projector, is a useful tool forshowing audiences things that enhance what the speaker is saying. It is auseful tool for illustrating the content of a speech, such as by showingphotos, graphs, charts, maps, etc., or by highlighting certain text froma speech, such as quotations or major ideas. It should not be used as aslide-show outline of what the speaker is telling the audience.
H T T P : / / E G L O B I O T R A I N I N G. C O M / A N D RO I D 2. Slides used in a presentation should be spare, in terms of howmuch information is on each slide, as well as how many slides areused. A rule of thumb is to put no more than eight lines of text on aslide, and with no more than eight to ten words per line. In mostcases, less is more, so four lines of text is probably better. Don’tdisplay charts or graphs with a lot of information—if it’s useful forthe audience to see such things, pass them out as handouts.
H T T P : / / E G L O B I O T R A I N I N G. C O M / A N D RO I D 3. Unless you’re an experienced designer, don’t use the transitionand animation “tricks” that are built into PowerPoint, such asbouncing or flying text. By now, most people roll their eyes when theysee these things, and these tricks add nothing of value to apresentation.
H T T P : / / E G L O B I O T R A I N I N G. C O M / A N D RO I D 4. Above all, use high-contrast color schemes so that whatever is onyour slides is readable. Unless you are a talented graphic designer, use thetemplates that come with PowerPoint or Keynote, and keep it simple—high concept design in a slide presentation doesn’t help in mostcircumstances, unless you’re in the fashion or design fields. If you usegraphics or photos, try to use the highest quality you can find or afford—clip art and low-resolution graphics blown up on a screen usually detractfrom a presentation.
5. Rehearse your PowerPoint presentation and not just once. Don’tlet PowerPoint get in the way of your oral presentation, and makesure you know how it works, what sequence the slides are in, how toget through it using someone else’s computer, etc. Make sure that youcan deliver your presentation if PowerPoint is completely unavailable;in other words, make sure you can give your speech without yourPowerPoint presentation.
6. Get used to using black slides. There are few speeches that needsomething displayed on the screen all the time. If you include a blackslide in your presentation, your audience will refocus on you, ratherthan on the screen, and you can direct them back to the screen whenyou have something else to show them. Put a black screen at the endof your presentation, so that when you’re done, the PowerPointpresentation is finished and off the screen.
7. Concentrate on keeping the audience focused on you, not on thescreen. You can do this by using slides sparingly, standing in front of theaudience in a way that makes them look at you, and, if possible, going tothe screen and using your hand or arm to point out things on a slide. Ifyou expect to be using PowerPoint a lot, invest in a remote “clicker” thatlets you get away from the computer and still drive your presentation. Ifyou don’t have one of those, it’s better to ask someone to run thepresentation than to be behind a screen and keyboard while you talk.
8. If you show something on a computer that requires moving the cursor around, orflipping from one screen to another, or some other technique that requires interactionwith the computer itself, remember that people in the audience will see things verydifferently on the projection screen than you see them on the computer screen. Keepmotion on the screen to a minimum, unless you’re showing a movie or a video. It’s betterto show a static screenshot of a Web page, embedded on a slide, than to call up the Webpage in a browser on a computer. If you want to point out something on a Web page, goto the screen and point at it—don’t jiggle the cursor around what you want people to lookat: their heads will look like bobble-headed dolls.
9. Don’t “cue” the audience that listening to your speech meansgetting through your PowerPoint presentation. If the audience sees thatyour PowerPoint presentation is the structure of your speech, they’ll startwondering how many slides are left. Slides should be used asynchronouslywithin your speech, and only to highlight or illustrate things. Audiencesare bored with oral presentations that go from one slide to the next untilthe end. Engage the audience, and use slides only when they are useful.
10. Learn how to give a good speech without PowerPoint. This takespractice, which means giving speeches without PowerPoint. Believe it or not, publicspeaking existed before PowerPoint, and many people remember it as being a lotbetter then than it is now. A few people use presentation software in extremelyeffective ways—Steve Jobs and Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig are twoexamples. Al Gore’s use of Keynote in the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was agood model. But these three examples don’t look at all like the way most people usePowerPoint. Avoiding bad PowerPoint habits means, first and foremost, becoming agood public speaker.
Any information put on the slide will be seen by your students asessential information (unless you clearly say that itisn’t). Therefore, when using PowerPoint to make a list of key pointsfor your students to follow while listening to your lecture, leantowards phrases that are simple, clear, and directly relevant.
When using your slides to display definitions, either have anavailable handout for your students to follow so they don’t have tocopy the slide, or provide your students time to copy down anydefinitions before continuing. Know that it’s a learned habit forstudents to copy anything you show on the screen; if you are movetoo quickly through your slides, your students may feel frustrated.
BASIC GUIDELINES: Organization, Economy, & CommunicationThe easiest route for creating your slides is to use the default settings thatcome with the program. Depending on your needs, however, the defaultsettings may not accomplish what you are trying to do. In suchcases, there are some basic guidelines that you should follow to increasethe effectiveness of your presentation. The purpose for having theseguidelines is to maintain the Organization, Economy, & Communication ofyour presentation.
Margins • Too much of a margin is generally preferable to too little. In most cases, the content of your slide shouldn’t/ take up more than 80% of the center of the screen. This ensures that your text or media won’t run off the screen. This also guarantees that every student attending your lecture has complete visibility regardless of where they’re sitting.
Bullet points Try to stick with one main idea per slide (whichwould be the title of the slide), and use bullet points to display a fewsupportive statements. Remember, your PowerPoint slides aren’t atextbook, and reading more than a small or medium amount of texton a slide is difficult, and will likely distract students from yourlecture.
Animation The effects and transitions in PowerPoint are another toolthat can either draw attention to your points or distract students fromthem. Using animations, your presentations can becomes more dynamicand interesting. You can also control which elements of your slide toshow at a given time. For example, if your slide has 3 bulleted points thatyou want to discuss, you can show each bullet point one at a time, tofocus the slide on what you’re discussing. This will keep students fromskipping ahead in their notes instead of listening to your lecture.
Cautions: Again, you should strive for simplicity. Too manywords, phrases, and colors flying in, out, or around your screen is bothdistracting and visually “tacky”. Always try to strike a balance betweenthe two extremes by being simple, consistent, and clear, and interesting ina way that effectively supplements your lecture material. The degree yourpresentation leans in one direction or the other will depend on thematerial of your lecture; do what you feel will help your studentsunderstand the material the best.
Test using animations in your presentation before using them inclass. A poorly performing presentation or a professor who doesn’tknow how to use it is distracting, more so than a professor who feelsuncomfortable with his/her presentation medium.
Respectfully Submitted to Prof.Erwin M. Globio, MSIT