CSE610 - Week 2 - PowerPoint

PowerPoint today and in the future

      PowerPoint! Everyone's been exposed to PowerPoint
. It's a very helpful tool as a visual aid, as a guide for lecturing, as reinforcement of key points, and as a stand alone presentation. It's as a hindrance when the lecturer reads directly from the screen, the imagery is distacting or poorly designed, the duplication of speaker and screen produces redundancy, and the visual becomes a crutch for the speaker. "Presentation Zen" paraphrases it as "death by PowerPoint."

      PowerPoint and its wannabees is here to stay and truly has its value. To enhance that value, the evolvution of electronic presentation is in a position to move forward into the next new and improved phase. "Presentation Zen" refers to Steve Jobs as a great presenter with slides that get to the point and support his talk. On the over side, it says that Bill Gates' slides are distracting and don't support his intent.

      We can improve our PowerPoint presentations by:

  • not repeating the "death by PowerPoint" errors, such as
    • too many words, too much text
    • distracting and unrelated imagery, especially animated imagery
    • unnecessary and distracting sounds
  • knowing the audience
  • telling the story
  • not using numbers, statistics
  • using supportive well designed imagery
  • connecting with the audience
  • knowing and making the point of the presentation clearly
  • adventuring and taking risks by trying new innovations.

      A few presentations that may direct into new frontier are a couple YouTube clips (life after death by Powerpoint and the longer version) and a very simple PowerPoint presentation!

PowerPoint features and adventures
      Since PowerPoint is program within the Microsoft Office package along with Word, many of the features are very similar, more or less. For example, under the Save feature, one can do the same as in Word but also a movie. Images and textboxes have more flexibility in placement and you can include sound and automation.

      Features to be considered are
Sound (voiceover, jingle on one slide, song over several slides, using a CD)
Saving as a movie or website
Animating images or
Transition between slides
Automation and timing
Charts (connected to Excel)
Gathering and displaying images (Internet, Photoshop, scanning)
Presentation (screen arrangments)