Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How NOT to Use Powerpoint

Now you all know how much of a technology advocate I am. However, there is a side of me who knows that not all technology is effective.

Take a look at this humorous video about how NOT to use technology. According to Don McMillan, this is a viewpoint on how people (teachers included) should NOT be using PowerPoint.

Any thoughts?


Marianne said...

This was funny and so true. Powerpoint presentations should provide a general outline of what you are presenting. It's like using index cards with visuals. You can provide some statistics but it shouldn't be overdone of cluttered looking.

The key purpose to a powerpoint presentation is to guide your talk. You should only include what is absolutely neccessary. If everything is verbatim, there is no need to talk. Just hand out the printed presentation and call it a day.

It is a natural human reaction to read what is put before you. A powerpoint presentation with too much detail does not engage your audience, it distracts them (as does colors and animation). The way you present the information is what should capture their interest. It should only assist a powerful and motivational speaker.

It is also true that you must check your presentation for spelling and grammar. It's easy enough to run a check. I also believe that the font you use should be appropriate for your topic and says something about you.

Simple adjustments can empower you in creating a successful powerpoint presentation which inspires and satisfies the observer/listener. Keep them interested, make it informative and speak to them, not at them.

Michelle said...

I'm so glad you posted this video; hilarious and truthful. So many people use Powerpoint for presentations and do the following:
-write word for word what they want to say instead of just writing a brief description
-do NOT use spell check and it only takes a few seconds to correct slides
-use excessive amounts of bullet points, especially for information this is not as important or relevant as others
-use whacky color schemes to try and get the viewers attention, but sometimes make it hard to concentrate or focus
-include too much data, especially with charts, graphs and historical dates, which makes the slides lose their effectiveness

And these type of mistakes make the use of Powerpoint less efficient in conveying the overall message of the speaker.

I think if people were trained better in the use of Powerpoint and how to create an effective, concise presentation, more Powerpoint presentations would be better and worth listening to.

Ever been in a class where a professor or student has a Powerpoint that literally taken forever to explain and go through because he or she did not write a clear, concise presentation? Powerpoint is suppose to help with presentations; not become it. If a person writes their whole presentation, including interpretation of graphs, charts, photos, etc., why would anyone need to listen to the speaker? We could all just watch the screen and read for ourselves.

Overall, I think Powerpoint is a great tool to use for presentations and within the classroom but I think that the proper use for Powerpoint presentations should be reiterated in the classroom.

Heather said...

That was an excellent video. For someone like me, who is not at all a visual learner, powerpoint presentations are hard to follow when done right, but when done in any of the ways he described forget it, I'm lost. Teachers need to keep in mind that there students are not all going to be receptive to powerpoint presentations and should keep them as easy to follow as possible.

Francine said...

This video was hilarious but definitely very true. Though I've never been taught via a PowerPoint presentation before college, I can definitely see how younger students might become distracted or bored if the presentations are not presented in a clear, concise manner.

Students likely do enjoy seeing a visual to add to a teacher's lecture, but the students shouldn't be distracted by the PowerPoint's features but rather be motivated, inspired and convinced to continue learning about the subject. As far as spelling and grammar errors, there should really be no excuse for misspelled words or improper use of grammar in a presentation to students. Spell-check is a great tool, and just as we should encourage our students to use it, we should be sure to do the same as teachers.

I, personally, don't have too much experience in creating PowerPoint presentations myself, but I do realize the importance of keeping the presentation simple, clear and inspiring. As teachers, we want to be sure to keep children interested and motivated at all times when teaching a lesson.

Dr. Luongo said...

Glad you all enjoyed this and got some value from it.

I know I did!

tpalm44 said...

This was a powerful aid to a presentation I just completed for another class I'm taking this semester, Principles of Curriculum.

Power Point for me allows me to speak freely without having to dig deeper for ideas, because they are ultimately their at the click of your mouse. However, I get bored with professors or teachers or only read verbatim from their slides. Slides are just supposed to highlight specific things and then you should elaborate from your own experience or speak from detailed knowledge of the subject.

I find that if you use audio clips appropriately or videos it can grab the student a lot more readily than a simple formatted lecture.

Power Point or Keynote has endless options and as the world adapts to technology so does the student when they use technological gadgets at younger and younger ages.

Jaclyn said...

Naturally, after discussing this video in class, I HAD to check it out! I wish my previous teachers/professors could have watched this. I've sat through so many lectures with word for word, overly animated PowerPoint presentations that I've lost count. The best part is, this guy probably wasn't even trying to BE helpful, but in reality, he's pin pointing all the things NOT to do, and it really does aid in how to create an effective presentation. I'm so glad you posted this, Dr. Luongo. I needed a good laugh!

Chris said...

This video is funny but unfortunately it's the truth. Teachers need to look at PowerPoint (and any other educational technology for that matter) as assistance to guide them, not the end all and be all.

When teachers use a PowerPoint that has every word that is spoken, students will lose focus and not pay attention because they know that they can always go back and read the PowerPoint (The same is true with teachers that write their entire notes on the board).

I see a lot of students that do Powerpoints put too much time into graphics and animation and get lazy when it comes to the information itself and making sure it is correct. (To me, having spelling errors when using a program that checks your spelling just shows complete laziness).

While this video was intended to be funny, everything that was said in it was entirely true and every teacher and student should take note of these common mistakes.