I’m sure that most of you are already fairly familiar with this application, so, rather than cover the wide range of tools available in PowerPoint, the aim this week is to equip you with the knowledge and skills to create good quality, visually appealing slides. Most of us have experienced bad examples of PowerPoint presentations, and the phrase, ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is often used. However, what tends to be overlooked, is that these presentations are bad because of the poor content and design, not because of the tool itself. In fact, PowerPoint can be an incredibly powerful and effective presentation tool, but unfortunately, too often it is misused, and presenters often fail to properly organise and present their content. Remember the old adage ‘content is King’. Presentations can be more than just a mass of endless bullet points and unnecessary text, and, believe it or not, it’s not obligatory to use the default templates in PowerPoint!! However, it is also possible to overwhelm or confuse the audience through overuse of unnecessary embellishments, such as animations, transitions, and too many images etc. If inappropriately used, these can make your presentation look tasteless and unprofessional, and the message you’re trying to make may get lost.
So…..what makes a good presentation? and what makes good slide design?
Have a look at some of the presentations on the award winning TED talks video site (http://www.ted.com/talks). This site hosts many inspirational and creative presentations to motivate you! The TED site also includes some very useful advice on ‘How to make your presentation great’:http://www.ted.com/pages/tedx_presentation_design Also, have a look at these ‘top 10’ design tips by Garr Reynolds, (best-selling author of Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations) : Steve Jobs (co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.) was known (and still is known) as an astonishing presenter and speaker, because he informed, inspired and entertained audiences with his keynote speeches. His presentations were stylish and simple, yet powerful, and, most importantly, memorable. Text and written information was always kept to a minimum, and he predominantly used images to convey his message, for maximum impact. Have a look at the following review of a typical Steve Jobs’ keynote from 2010 taken from the Presentation Advisors website: http://www.presentationadvisors.com/breaking-down-steve-jobs-wwdc-2010-keynote-presentation
Using visual content in your slides
As we’ve seen from some of the examples given previously, visual content can help to enhance understanding, and images have much more of a lasting impact than text. They can be used to reinforce your ideas, helping to illustrate complex thoughts or concepts. It is always best to use your own stock of photos/visuals if you can, as this overcomes any possible copyright issues. Try to gradually build up a collection of your own visual content for future use. However, if you do need to find images for your presentations, the Creative Commons search tool is a good place to start. It searches sites such as Google Images, Flickr, YouTube, and others, for content that can be reused or adapted. Remember though that you must reference the original source of the content. To locate the Creative Commons search engine, go to: http://search.creativecommons.org, and for further information about Creative Commons go to: http://creativecommons.org/about
an important note about Accessibility
Remember that you must ensure that any presentations you create are accessible and inclusive as there is a legal obligation for organisations to ensure that no-one is disadvantaged because of a disability. This includes a requirement to make any reasonable adjustments to ensure that as many people as possible can access the presentation. For advice and guidance on this, please refer to the JISC TechDis site: http://www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/techdis/resources/presentations
did you know…….. PowerPoint 2010 provides the option to add narration to your slides (simply using a USB headphone & mic set), and then to save the presentation as a video?
This is a quick and easy way to produce a podcast/e-learning package which can be made available to your students to access online at any time. Give it a go.
The following video, ‘Creating A Video in PowerPoint 2010′, produced by Dr Jason Truscott, (Learning Technologist, ASTI, Plymouth University) shows you how:
Week 2 Task:
- Create 2-3 slides which include images and some text. The slides should inform the viewer about your hobbies or interests. Think about the best way in which to convey your message, concentrating more on visual communication.
- Output your slides as a video (you don’t need to add audio/narration if you don’t want to, it can be just purely visual if that’s your preference ).
The help video above shows you how to do this if you’re not sure.
Your final video should only be approx 20 secs duration (using the default setting of 5 secs duration per slide).
- Upload the video to YouTube (NB: Your video won’t be available for public viewing unless you specify this option when you upload, so don’t panic!)
- Share the link to your video on your blog, for the other participants to view and review at least 2 other participants’ slides, posting your feedback on the blog.
How to set up a YouTube/Google account, uploading your video to YouTube, and posting the link on the Digithings blog site:
- If you already have a Google account you can use this to access YouTube. If you don’t already have either a Google or YouTube account, the following page on the YouTube site will show you how to set one up: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/161805?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=3024170
- You will also need to create a ‘channel’ on YouTube in order to upload videos. If you don’t already have a channel, this YouTube help page shows you how to set one up: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861
- Once you have your YouTube account, you can upload your presentation video to the site. To do this, sign in if you’re not already logged in (using the blue ’sign in’ button in the top right corner of the homepage).
Then click on ‘upload‘ (NB: not the arrow drop down list beside it)
- Choose ‘unlisted’ from the drop down options next to ‘privacy’ (this will mean that the video cannot be searched on YouTube, and can only be viewed by those who are sent the link.
2. Click on the large arrow to upload your video file from your computer:
A timeline will appear to show that YouTube is processing your video:
3. Once it has uploaded, you will see the ‘upload complete’ notification (see below).
To access the video & its properties, click on the blue url (web link) to the right of it. Your embedded video will appear on a new page.
4. From the menu below your video, select ‘share’ (a warning will appear to remind you that it is unlisted)
5. Copy the url (web address) that appears in the box at the bottom of the page:
6. Paste the link into your blog post on the digithings site, so that others on the course can view and comment on your video.
7. Comment/feedback on at least 2 other participant’s videos on the digithings blog.
Reflecting on this week’s topic…..
Some things to think about in your blog post this week:
- How do you currently use PowerPoint in your work? for example, do you already use many of its advanced features?
- Do you have any examples of good presentations that you aspire to? and what makes them ‘good’?
- How useful would you find the ‘adding narration’ and ‘slideshow to video’ tools mentioned previously? can you think of examples of where you might apply them in relation to your teaching and subject area?
and finally!!!….. Before you find yourself reaching for the bullet point tool in PPT, take a few minutes to watch this very funny clip from YouTube, entitled ‘Life After Death by PowerPoint’ by Don McMillan: