Better Looking Presentations

This post is for all who do presentations but specifically to those working on their presentations for #ECOO13 this summer.

I hope that you’re not just firing up Keynote or Powerpoint or LibreOffice and filling in the blanks in a template to call it a presentation.  While this works, keep in mind audience engagement.  They want to hear YOU and the presentation behind you on the big screen helps guide the development of your topic.

This guide works best when it’s attractive and has the imagery to support your message.  I had the fortunate good luck to have a superintendent who delivered the very best presentations.  He was a master story teller and masterfully worked with Keynote as his presentation tool.  I actually booked some time with him one afternoon to learn how to be as effective as him.  That’s impossible but his tips did help me quite a bit.

He broke the mold about presentations long before it became popular.  He never started with a template (unless you called a blank screen a template…) and just filled his presentation with imagery, thoughts, and guiding principles to support his message.  In particular, he always included images of children doing things to support this message.  It was so effective.  You just wanted to hear his stories and follow along with the pictures.

His colours were right too.  At the time, we had just licensed Adobe Photoshop Elements for all Ontario schools and he made good use of it.  Before a picture got into his presentation, it went into Elements where he would use the eyedropper to get the colour codes from the images so that any text or drawing that he would use looked so professional.  Wow, this was one application of Elements that I hadn’t though about…and I was on the OSAPAC team that licensed it.

You can use it or find an even easier method using Pictaculous.  So, for example, this image from an infographic that I had made for myself at one time might make it to a slide in a presentation.

And, I’m bad with colours.  My philosophy has always been things go better with green.  So, this slide might well look like

and, of course, the complimentary colour with green is yellow.

Throw that up on a data projector and watch your audience gag!

Fortunately, Pictaculous comes to the rescue.  It’s very simple and even bypasses the need to use the eyedropper to get colours.  Of course, you’ll use Elements for more involved things.

All I need to do is upload my image and seconds later, I’m presented with the colour palette and suggestions for colours that will work well with the presentation.

Could getting the colours right get any easier?  There’s even an option for use with your Smartphone.

This will be really helpful for students who often confuse design with content!

Good luck with your presentations, Ontario Educators!

 

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3 thoughts on “Better Looking Presentations

  1. Good advice, Doug!
    Two books that I go back to again and again when creating presentations are both by Garr Reynolds: Presentation Zen and The Naked Presenter. http://www.presentationzen.com

    He combines some thoughts on both the technical aspects of presentation design and the narrative of an exceptional presentation.

    He is inspired by Nancy Duarte’s work in Slide:ology – I have that one too but I haven’t read it yet.

    Garr Reynolds might be a great speaker to have at ECOO one year…combining the art and technical aspects of creating a powerful message would be really valuable to teachers!

    Like

  2. Thanks for the affirmation I needed. Will start putting “les histoires improvisationelles” next week, and will totally not be using a template. Lots of pictures of examples, lots of chances for participants to create their own, lots of pictures showing classes working through process! Thanks for book recommendations, too, Brenda!

    Like

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