English
6700

Technical Editing & Production

Spring
2013

 

Oral presentation readings

 

Effective PowerPoint Presentations

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Readings

Effective PowerPoint Presentations

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Is PowerPoint evil?

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Tufte, Edward.  PowerPoint is Evil.

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Graph design

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Be default, PowerPoint creates 3D graphs. Change them to 2D.

The reasons for 2D in PPT are the same as for any graph design. They are easier to read.

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Color choices

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Favor cool colors (for example, blue, green) over warm colors (for example, orange, yellow) for graph slides.

These findings suggest that technical communicators should choose color schemes with salient differences in color between background and graphical elements like bars.

The color combinations that were rated highest were the slides with white background/cool bars and those with black background/cool bars. The blue background/cool bar slides received the lowest ratings.

These findings suggest that participants perceived slides with cool colors to be most attractive, but that ratings for attractiveness also depended on sufficient contrast between background color and bar colors. The slides displaying all cool colors, the blue background/cool bar slides, were also the slides that displayed the least backgroundto- bar color contrast, and these slides by far were rated as the least attractive.

Participants rated slides with warm colors as less attractive than slides with cool colors, except when background and bars failed to contrast, as in the blue background/ cool bars slides. It may also be that the warm colors were considered too “intense” by the participants to be rated as attractive as the cool colors.

From Mackiewicz, J. Perceptions of Clarity and Attractiveness in PowerPoint Graph Slides

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Background color

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A light or dark background has little affect on whether or not people like the slide design. However, dark backgrounds, such as the black background are easier to read in dark rooms. In light rooms, use a light background with dark text.

Some guidelines say to have change the slide design scheme to fit the room. Once you figure out how to change PPT schemes, it's only takes a few seconds.

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Fonts

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Don't use fonts less than 18 points.

Sans serif fonts work best since there is not chance of a bleed into the serif.

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Transition

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Transitions are easy. DON'T

They are distracting and add nothing to your message.

Also, put all of the points on the slide at once. Once bring up each bullet separately.

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PowerPoint's basic problem

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“Presentations do not have a problem with lack of information. Most of the time there is too much. The biggest issue is the way you present your PowerPoint presentation.”

Many presenters think, "If it's new and dynamic; it will make my PowerPoint presentation much better."

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Slide content

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Write text for the audience, not the speaker. Don't create a set of speaker notes. Give the audience the main points. The text should be important points that the listener should take away

Write text that the audience can understand without the speaker there.

Give enough information so the listener can understand it. Ignore the 5-7 words per bullet rule and give the person the right amount of text.

One topic per slide. You don’t have to put fill the slide with bullets or text

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Clipart

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Any graphic must contribute to your message. Clipart rarely does that. Thus, avoid it.

And, no, two people shaking hands does not add anything.

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Common PowerPoint mistakes

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Five PowerPoint mistakes to avoid

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No thank you slide

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The last slide should be the main point you want the audience to remember. Not "thank you" or "questions."

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Don't end with a thank you slide

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Presentation parady

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Every presentation ever (YouTube)

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Life After Death by PowerPoint

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Life After Death by PowerPoint

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Visuals for Speaking Presentations

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full research article

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Visuals for Speaking Presentations

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