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PowerPoint Rebellion: One Professor’s Pioneering Experimentation with Interactivity

Applies to: PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2003

Author: Robert Lane and Dr. C. June Maker

Date Created: March 10th 2009
Last Updated: June 14th 2012

...Continued from Page 3

Build Reusable Materials
Place Only One Idea on each Slide

Build Reusable Materials

Figure 7

I’ve found that having all my ideas organized in PowerPoint this way is very efficient. I do add new materials now and then, but for the most part, I can show up at an event and launch into reusable material that was created years ago. Whether I’m speaking for 15 minutes or training for several days, all that content is available for display, with little preparation time necessary. Of course, it does take a chunk of time initially to set up that structure and it helps if you can get some technical support in doing so. Otherwise, if doing this on your own, take time to learn some basic interactive presentation design techniques. That will help you avoid frustration.

Place Only One Idea on each Slide

I’ll share one more principle that is critically important to visually interactive speakers: Place only one idea on each content slide. Figure 9, for example, lists a defining characteristic of Interpersonal Intelligence. While discussing that topic, there’s no reason viewers should be distracted by other bullet points on the slide. Those five words are all I need at the moment. Multiple ideas belong only on switchboards.

Figure 9

Using this principle has several advantages. First of all, it’s more effective. Audience members can focus on the simple visual material you display and then rapidly return attention to you as the speaker. They need not visually sort through a confusing mess on the slide to understand your point. Secondly, having only one idea per slide allows you to set up menus and then dynamically access single concepts at a time, in any order—or not show them at all. Having that kind of flexibility helps you adjust timing and relevance to viewers. Finally, the one-idea approach lets you construct categorical collections of related speaking topics. I have many such categorically arranged sections in my network that feature examples of children’s assessment performances. While discussing an idea, I can display pictures one at a time that address particular issues, from numerous different perspectives. It’s a very elegant way of expressing meaning clearly.”

Visit the Aspire site for more information about the visually interactive presentation style discussed above, where you will find free tutorials, video demonstrations, and PDF guides.


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