Sunday, December 21, 2008

Show This Video to Your Students Before They Make PowerPoint Presentations

On Thursday I was observing a colleague whose students were putting together PowerPoint presentations as the final part of a long term project. Most of the students were pretty adept at adding all the bells and whistles that bring these presentations to life. When one of the students was trying to figure out what to do with huge blocks of text on many of their slides, I immediately thought of a video entitled How NOT to use PowerPoint. I suggest you show this in class any time you plan to have students create presentations:

Another rule I really like is Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule. Kawasaki, a venture capitalist and columnist for Entrepreneur magazine, gives and receives a lot of presentations in his line of work. The rule is simple: have no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes, and have no font smaller than 30. His idea is that your presentation will be more engaging and effective when you keep things concise and easy to read.

Even if they're just presenting a poster or other product, helping them make their presentation more effective is as important as the content itself (if not more so). I hope you'll share your ideas for better PowerPoint presentations in the comments as well.