Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Using PowerPoint: Turning a Crutch into a Powerful Ally (Part 2)

As we continue our look at the "PowerPoint problem" we'll start getting into some of the tactics that we can use to improve our presentations. Today we will look at how to reduce visual clutter in our slides and how to engage the audience more effectively by eliminating the burden of knowledge transfer.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Using PowerPoint: Turning a Crutch into a Powerful Ally (Part 1)

PowerPoint, which actually was originally called "Presenter," started with a noble enough purpose.  The tool was designed to provide users an easy way to create visual aids to communicate information more easily, quickly, and effectively than possible before. 

Some of you may remember a time when it was a serious chore to put together a presentation.  Ultimately you had to rely on transparencies displayed on an overhead projector.  You had the choice of drawing them freehand, ahead of time, or live; if you wanted to get really fancy you could type them or print a diagram  which could be transferred to transparencies using special transfer paper and special equipment.  This process took a lot of time, was messy, and provided mixed results based on the skills, artistic prowess, penmanship, and organization of the presenter.  PowerPoint provided a powerful new metaphor to make the process easier.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Introducing The Visual Enlightenment

What separates great design from merely good design? Why does one presentation bore while another wows? How do you stimulate a mind preparing it for learning and contemplation without bludgeoning it with the hammer of informational noise? Today, commonly available tools and resources make it easy for anyone to quickly create and communicate concepts, ideas, and facts. It can be a powerful tool and ally for some, and a disaster waiting to happen, for others.
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