How many BAD PowerPoint slide decks have you seen and been forced to endure, relative to truly compelling multimedia presentations? My lifetime PPT history includes (unfortunately) far more bad examples than good ones. Perhaps authors of PowerPoint (or more generically we should probably say, “multimedia presentation slideshows”) could benefit from Comedian Don McMillian’s suggestions:

My favorite blog which addresses presentation design issues is Presentation Zen. The posts “Learning from Bill Gates & Steve Jobs,” “Gates, Jobs, & the Zen aesthetic,” “Bill Gates and visual complexity,” and “The “Lessig Method” of presentation” are all good references for additional tips along these lines. If you have seen me present with a multimedia slideshow you’ve probably seen the influence of these ideas on my own approach toward presentations. Give me a few key words with some powerful images to emphasize your points, and you’ll capture my attention as well as imagination much more effectively than you can with a slide deck full of bulleted points, graphs and statistics. Dan McMillian makes that point well with some humor (always a plus if shared in good taste) in this four minute video.

Thanks to Bud Deihl for sharing the link to Dan’s video via twitter.

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8 Responses to Helpful tips for PowerPoint authors

  1. I love it. Thanks for posting!

  2. Ben says:

    Good post & good advice. I’ve changed up my presentation style (Inspired by Lessig & others) and found my students are much more engaged when I give them.

    A big part of my inspiration is a presentation given by Scott Elias called “Taking Your Slide Deck to the Next Level.”.

    I posted a before/after example of a presentation I give in my Earth Science class each year on my blog.

  3. Charlie Roy says:

    Love the video i’ve forwarded it on to our school’s technology teachers.

  4. Well I was going to leave a link here in the comments, but Ben already posted it.
    I have had huge gains in my district benchmark testing since I started changing my presentation style to using interesting visuals and less text. I think (or hope) that it makes me explain the content clearer instead of relying on the slide to “do the work.”

  5. Wesley Fryer says:

    Whoa, “huge gains in benchmark test scores?” Are any administrators out there hearing this? That’s likely to get administrator attention. Changing presentation styles makes senses for anyone who is interested in folks actually learning during a presentation rather than merely enduring one. Glad to hear the good news and reviews from you both!

  6. […] to Wes for pointing this out… a great jab at the pergatory that we have all landed in when […]

  7. Tom Kuhlmann says:

    Great blog. Kind of stumbled upon it toady doing some research. I noticed the conversation regarding PowerPoint. I’ve got a lot of PowerPoint stuff on The Rapid E-Learning Blog. You can scan quickly scan the archives for relevant posts.

    I’ve got some tips on creating your own clip art, building templates, and animating for PowerPoint. Hope they help.

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