Saturday, October 24, 2009

Help for Power Pointers

With the tsunami of presentations ahead of me next week and in an effort to avoid 'death by PowerPoint bullets', I shared some of Garr Reynold's tips about making effective slides with my students. (I didn't share Guy Kawasaki's motto: 10, 20, 30; ten slides, twenty minutes and font size thirty buy you should look him up on Google authors. He's hilarious.)

Here's my top ten:
10. Don't use the power point bullet
9. No animations or transitions or if you absolutely must, no more than one type.
8. No cartoons and even worse, clip art.
7. Use the image on the slide as the eye's 'candy' for what the ear will hear.
6. Cool colours for the background and warmer for the foreground
5. Text should be minimal -think Zen flower arrangements
4. Slides should be a visual support - they don't tell your story; you do.
3. Use large font - Kawasaki says size 30 because this guarantees minimal text. (Also good for older teachers!)
2. Remember the power of the negative space on the slide. Don't fill every corner.
1. Never, ever, ever read from your slides.

I also recommended they make the slides interactive when possible and to this end, is an easy tool for them. You can make a variety of interactive maps, charts and diagrams in seconds, grab the embed code and paste it to your blog or wiki. (Here's a short tutorial I made for the students on using Cartle.) Of course, Chartle is great for teachers too which is why I've posted it here. Try it out and pass on these tips to your students.

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