Avoiding being PowerPointless

The title is a reminder for me, not you!
It is amazing the number of times I see PowerPoint being used badly – especially in long and dull meetings – but a school visit normally perks me up, because I often see it being used by a teacher in the way it was probably intended – to be an aide to good communication, rather than a crutch for a bad communicator. You know what I mean – things like the way some people read the words from the slide, or spend their time making the slides look good and forget to spend time making sure they are actually communicating something.

Having said that, it’s always nice to have a good looking presentation!

imageI found these slide templates last night, and I think they’ll help with both issues. This image is from one of the templates (Static Text Effects) – apparently clear Perspex text floating in space – and I think it helps out because not only does it look good, but there’s no way you could use it for a 20-bullet-point-list slide. It forces you to reduce the words on the slide (and therefore think more about what you are going to say).

imageOr this image from another template (Static Picture Effects), where a simple right-click on the image allows you to select ‘Change Picture’ and use the template with your own images. It only takes the same time as dropping 3 pictures onto a slide, but the results are a lot more pleasing on the eye. And as with the other slide, it encourages you to think about what you say, because it’s clear the slide is there to give a picture for people to look at while they listen to your words of wisdom!

You can download all of these templates from the Office website. Why not give your teaching colleagues a little present to help them through the next half of the term? (Or, keep quiet until you’ve had a chance to impress people by using them yourself. Or if you’re coming up for a Performance Review, why not help the Head to use them in assembly next week and then share with the teachers!)

Comments (2)

  1. neiladam says:

    I wrote some notes published on TRE some years ago about slide design. The accompanying PPT is *not* in itself an exemplar of great design, but it may help people make their presentations more readable.


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