Simple Do’s and Don’ts for Better PowerPoint Presentations

By Gcfelizabeth Have you ever given a PowerPoint presentation and noticed that something about it just seemed a little… off? If you’re unfamiliar with basic PowerPoint design principles, it can be hard to create a slide show that presents your information in the best light. Poorly designed presentations can leave an audience feeling confused, bored, and even irritated. Review these Do’s and Don’ts for tips on making your next presentation more engaging.

  • Don’t read your presentation straight from the slides. If your audience can both read and hear, it’s a waste of time for you to simply read your slides aloud. Your audience will zone out and stop listening to what you’re saying, which means they won’t hear any extra information you include. Instead of typing out your entire presentation, include only main ideas, keywords, and talking points in your slide show text. Engage your audience by sharing the details out loud.
  • Do Follow the 5/5/5 rule. To keep your audience from feeling overwhelmed, you should keep the text on each slide short and to the point. Some experts suggest using the 5/5/5 rule: no more than five words per line of text, five lines of text per slide, or five text-heavy slides in a row.
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Teaching with PowerPoint

PowerPoint can be an effective tool to present material in the classroom and encourage student learning. PowerPoint, when effectively planned and used, can enhance instruction. People are divided on the effectiveness of this ubiquitous software—some say that PowerPoint is wonderful while others bemoan its pervasiveness. No matter which side you take, there are effective ways to use PowerPoint which can be used to enhance instruction. This section is organized in three major sections: Part one will help faculty identify and use basic but important design elements; Part two will cover ways to enhance teaching and learning with PowerPoint; Part three will list ways to engage students with PowerPoint. PowerPoint can be an effective tool to present material in the classroom and encourage student learning. PowerPoint can be used to project visuals which would otherwise be difficult to bring to class. For example, in an anthropology class, a single PowerPoint presentation could project images of an anthropological dig from a remote area, questions which ask students about the topic, a chart of related statistics, and a mini quiz about what was just discussed that provides students with information that is visual, challenging and engaging. This article will highlight ways to design effective PowerPoint presentations as well as show best practice when using this powerful software.

5 Simple PowerPoint Tricks You Should Have Up Your Sleeve

by Ginny Soskey

Seriously, guys -- you'd think PowerPoint would be the easiest platform in the world to use. It's the de-facto presentation software for most businesses, but most of us don't use the program to its full potential. There are lots of hidden tricks you can do in the platform. Need an easy way to angle a photo? There's a button for that. How about removing the background of an image? Simple as a few clicks. The problem with these little PowerPoint tricks is that they aren't always easy to discover. This issue becomes even worse because, as a typical Gen Y-er, I hate to read manuals. So, unless I stumble on a new feature or just search for one when it's absolutely necessary, I never discover those tips and tricks that could make my life much, much easier.

10 Questions to Ask When Creating a Killer PowerPoint Presentation

As an entrepreneur, speaking at influential industry trade shows and conferences positions your products and services center stage, exactly where you want your brand to be. When done right, showcasing your brand in a dynamic presentation can reel in new customers, attract capital and generate positive media buzz. When done wrong, well, just ask Michael Bay and the folks at Samsung. Your PowerPoint (or Prezi or Keynote) presentation slides have to be spot-on. This goes for whether you're presenting at a big conference or for customers or colleagues. Not only do carefully planned slides help you stay on-topic, more importantly, they help you tell a memorable story that informs, engages and hopefully even inspires your audience to do business with you. Here are 10 important questions to consider when crafting your next PowerPoint presentation:

Does Your Client Need to Know You’re Using PowerPoint?

by Tom Kuhlmann

Articulate Rapid E-Learning Blog - branding requirements for elearning & PowerPoint

Many organizations have rules on using PowerPoint. But there’s a difference between elearning courses and slide presentations. How you use PowerPoint and its features is different; and so is the output. The only thing that’s the same is the application. However, it never fails that once someone knows you’re using PowerPoint to build the rapid elearning course, they apply the same rules to your elearning course that they’d apply to presentations. And that causes issues.

Structure Your Presentation Like a Story

by Nancy Duarte After studying hundreds of speeches, I’ve found that the most effective presenters use the same techniques as great storytellers: By reminding people of the status quo and then revealing the path to a better way, they set up a conflict that needs to be resolved. That tension helps them persuade the audience to adopt a new mindset or behave differently — to move from what is to what could be. And by following Aristotle’s three-part story structure (beginning, middle, end), they create a message that’s easy to digest, remember, and retell. Here’s how it looks when you chart it out:

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Why Audiences Detest Presenters That Abuse or Avoid PowerPoint

By Jeff Hurt Presentations are the business currency of today. PowerPoint® is often the legal tender of those presentations. We trade and share PowerPoint presentations like baseball cards, stamps and money. Audiences Fed Up! Author and consultant Dave Paradi has researched what audiences dislike about PowerPoint presentations since 2003. Results from his recent September 2011 survey highlight what many conference attendees already know. “Audiences are fed up with presenters who fill their slides with too much content and are then compelled to read it all to those seated in the room. …Too many presentations suffer from information overload.” ~ Dave Paradi

Using Your Tablet in the Classroom: An App Summary

by Angel Brady We just recently gave a talk about using tablets in the classroom for a Lunch and Learn session here at Princeton. The focus was to address how an instructor can not only use their tablet device for their personal life, but cross over and use the same device in the classroom to teach. Tablets are becoming more and more popular with instructors and they are opting for them instead of carrying a laptop around. Once instructors get use to using the iPad or any tablet device for their daily personal tasks, it only makes sense that instructors would want to start venturing into use the tablet device for lecture and course work. Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are forecast to total 118.9 million units in 2012, a 98 percent increase from 2011 sales of 60 million units, according to Gartner, Inc. Tablet use in the classroom also goes in the vein of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement which we have been seeing for years with students and instructors bringing their own laptops to class. Below we have a summary of apps we tested (mostly iPad but a few can be found in the Google Play Store). We have also categorized them by topic. They are listed below:

Powerpoint for Mac 2011: Play audio across slides

By Wayne Dixon I was asked a question via email by a Macgasm reader on how to play an audio clip across a set of slides within PowerPoint for Mac 2011. I knew it was possible, since I’ve done the same thing under Office 2007 on the PC. So, I set out to investigate, and I thought I would share my findings. It’s actually quite simple if you want to play an audio track across an entire slideshow.

  1. Click on Insert -> Audio -> Audio Browser (or Audio from File).
  2. Select which audio track you want to play.
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