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PowerPoint’s Impact on Conference Ratings and Social Media Likes
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PowerPoint’s Impact on Conference Ratings and Social Media Likes

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How can we best use PowerPoint? Three streams of research provide answers: (1) surveys provide student and faculty perceptions, (2) expert presenters give their opinion, and (3) cognitive scientists …

How can we best use PowerPoint? Three streams of research provide answers: (1) surveys provide student and faculty perceptions, (2) expert presenters give their opinion, and (3) cognitive scientists conduct focused perceptual experiments. I expand on this research by testing existing research findings against actual conference presentations. My C# software automatically analyzes 166 slide presentations to generate numeric slide characteristics. A regression analysis then correlates these characteristics with audience ratings and social media impact. The results generally support existing research, but have two surprising outcomes: (1) only certain types of images generate positive session ratings, (2) high words counts lead to improved social media impact.

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  • 1. PowerPoint’s Impact on Conference Ratings and Social Media Likes eLearn 2012, Montreal CA Nathan Garrett, PhD http://profgarrett.com
  • 2. Slide from Presentation Zen Sample Deck
  • 3. Slide from Presentation Zen Sample Deck
  • 4. Slide from Presentation Zen Sample Deck
  • 5. Slide from Presentation Zen Sample Deck
  • 6. Slide from Presentation Zen Sample Deck
  • 7. Slide from Presentation Zen Sample Deck
  • 8. What does the research has to say about this?Can we move beyond opinions?
  • 9. How much better are slides than transparencies or the blackboard?Powerpoint improves but not• Instructor likability • Learning Outcomes• Organization• Novelty
  • 10. Cognitive ResearchDistractions are bad…• Animations• Sounds• Clip-art / pointless images
  • 11. Why don’t images always help?
  • 12. Testable Ideas• Reduce unneeded/distracting elements• Use lots of high-quality pictures• Use short key phrases, and not full sentences
  • 13. Find some data!http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinarozger/sets/72157621652734691/
  • 14. Data SourceConference Presentations Usable Files % Usable MIX 11 124 87 70%Oscon 09 144 11 8%Oscon 10 292 27 9%Oscon 11 322 41 13% Overall 882 166 19%
  • 15. Get text attributes for each slide Standard Dev. Standard Dev. Standard Dev. Paragraphs Paragraphs Average Average Average Words Words Slides MIX 11 Slides 33 22 2027 1951 270 211 Oscon 09 46 27 2817 2157 446 342 Oscon 10 26 17 1466 1157 245 209 Oscon 11 32 15 1268 1056 231 188 Overall 33 21 1801 1712 268 220
  • 16. Get image attributes for each slide Image Count Image Pixels Image Bytes Slide as Jpg Bytes Avg Sd Avg Sd Avg Sd Avg Sd MIX 11 119 95 32.83 33.40 8.53 9.70 2.24 1.65 Oscon 09 59 63 12.98 15.39 5.98 7.89 2.93 1.62 Oscon 10 71 64 11.59 11.58 4.00 3.69 2.13 1.61 Oscon 11 80 53 24.98 27.76 6.50 6.71 2.99 2.63 Overall 95 82 25.51 29.19 7.07 8.27 2.48 1.93
  • 17. Get output attributes for each deck Star Ratings Star Counts Social Media Avg Sd Avg Sd Avg Sd MIX 11 4.6 0.7 3.7 5.6 32.3 34.9 Oscon 09 3.2 1.0 6.2 8.0 - - Oscon 01 3.4 0.8 9.3 10.5 - - Oscon 11 3.2 1.0 4.1 3.6 7.6 9.8 Overall 3.9 1.1 5.0 6.8 24.4 31.4
  • 18. Regression shows that images predict a presentation’s star ratingsModel: Star Ratings R2 = 0.141Variable Coefficient Significance(Constant) 4.209 0.000Slides Size as Jpg -0.578 β 0.000Slide Count 0.218 β 0.091Image Count 0.514 β 0.002Images Per Slide -0.309 β 0.031
  • 19. Regression also lets us see that word count and image size predicts social media impact 2Model: Social Media Impact R = 0.385Variable Coefficient Significance(Constant) -33.699 0.002Star Count 0.463 β 0.000Star Ratings 0.234 β 0.003Words Per Slide 0.241 β 0.002Image Bytes 0.168 β 0.028
  • 20. So…• PowerPoint has a significant impact on audience satisfaction• Complex slides and large number of images (provided they’re not all on one slide) hurt session ratings• High image quality and longer sentences increase social media shares