Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PowerPoint Repair Process

powerpoint In BFTP: Is Powerpoint evil? by Doug Johnson (Originally published on September 24, 2005), he states,

“1. PowerPoint doesn’t bore people: people bore people…Keep in mind Johnson’s Rule of Technology Neutrality: Technology is neither good nor bad. The same hammer can both break windows and build cathedrals…Your thoughts on pitfalls or promises of PowerPoint? What to do you do to make sure the tool is being used well?”

Over the years I have seen people struggle with using Power Point. For a long time it was used as a crutch for those too lazy to learn their material. Over time it became a habit to read the information to an audience. Then people became too lazy to make the presentation interesting for the audience. I still hear of people who read the bullets on each slide while the audience falls into a glassy eyed stupor. I don’t understand how or why after all this time that these people don’t wake up and realize that it isn’t working. Just this week someone talked about how their district tech person came and read the PowerPoint to them, not to mention the misinformation being spread.

I having really made an effort to look at older PowerPoint presentations and redesigned them in case I use them again. While I have time to fix them, I need to prepare them rather than wait until I am pressed for time. When I’m not under pressure, I am able to be more creative. I have decided to make up some guidelines while I am evaluating them and ask the following questions:

1. Is the title catchy? Does it spark the audience’s interest right from the beginning?

2. What message am I trying to get across to the audience and does this presentation do that?

3. Is the message simple and clear?

4. Is the message relevant to the audience?

5. Are the images relevant to the content?

6. Did I add the credit for each image?

7. Are there too many words on each slide?

8. Are the slides too boring or too busy?

9. What does the audience “take home” from this presentation?

10. After seeing this presentation, would the audience want to come back to another one that I gave?

I think if I can answer these questions about the presentation, it will help me use PowerPoint more effectively. When I see a person is going to give a presentation using PowerPoint, I tend to feel tense and even think some negative thoughts. I just can’t help myself. I don’t want people to feel the same way when I am doing one.

I think I need to give presentations like the ones I hope to see when I am in the audience. What am I looking for? What peaks my interest? What keeps me engaged and focused on the information? What am I hoping to gain by listening to this? That is the same way I want my audience to feel.

What do you think? Do you think I need to add any more questions to my evaluation? Please share.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: '06_main-point01'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43139855@N00/97237622 by: Stevan Sheets


Sioux said...

I think when you are creating a power point presentation or a digital story, you have to revise in a very different way than when you are revising an essay or poem or prose.

You have to determine 1) what you will say, either in person, in the case of a power point, or via a voiceover in a digital story 2) what text will appear on the screen and 3) what would best be said pictorially. Sometimes a whole paragraph of text does not need to appear on the screen. A spinning/fading/zigzagging phrase will do the trick, along with what YOU have to say.

So I guess (to put it more succinctly) my addition would be, "How can the three 'voices' best work together?"

mweisburgh said...

I keep three questions in mind, and ask them about the presentation in general, and about each slide.

1) What am I trying to persuade the audience to do, and does this do a good job?

2) What new information does this provide to the audience, and is it something they want or need?

3) How does this entertain the audience, and is it appropriate for this particular audience?

Michelle from Elementary Technology at ScholarTech Consulting said...

One good rule of thumb that I always say is "Never use words when you can use a picture instead".

This cuts down on most of that reading a PowerPoint to the audience. The pictures add to what the speaker is saying. But, the speaker is giving the information (hopefully) in a much more interesting format, than simply reading the words.

Anonymous said...

Try adding a Voki. My students love them and it keeps their interest. voki.com