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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Librarian offers tips on presentation

By Eric Bergman/reporter

Put on a Good Show: Only You Can Prevent a Bad PowerPoint Presentation offered NW students points for making class presentations effective, concise and remembered.

Danelle Ellis, NW staff librarian, presented the PowerPoint seminar twice Feb. 26.

Ellis started by explaining what causes a bad PowerPoint slide show. First, the presentation is generally over the top, she said.

“Far too many changes, too many pictures and more distract from the presentation,” she said.

One needs to add only what is needed to have the point clearly addressed to the audience and not to rely on the PowerPoint “as a crutch,” Ellis said.

“Audio visual aids are for when you are not able to express by words what you need to show the audience,” she said.

They can include, but are not limited to, pictures, graphs, video clips and audio. Basically, Ellis said, the speaker should keep the presentation simple so as not to bore or distract the viewers.

Ellis cited three key points for a perfect PowerPoint presentation: slides, transitions and animations.

The slide is the main focal point that is viewed during the presentation and where everything takes place. Ellis said it is imperative to have this set up properly and to know everything can be changed on the slide. It is similar to the proverbial blank canvas. She said a nice feature at the bottom is “Click to Add Notes.” This area lets the presenter make notes only he or she can see, prompts to help jog the memory. 

A transition is taking the speaker and the viewers from one slide to the next. Ellis said these can vary greatly. Speed, style and sound are the variables with many selections under each category.

Animation is how the transitions take place and what occurs within the slide once displayed.

“Custom animations become distracting as the audience will read and view everything before listening to you,” she said. “So keep it simple.”

Other items presentations should consider include the size of the audience. If it is a fairly large group and space, the speaker should try a test run of the presentation to verify all slides look proper, backgrounds are simple, transitions work and the font is large and clear, Ellis said.

“Have a B-plan,” she said.

In the event of audiovisual equipment failure, one wants to carry out the speech or presentation properly.

For more information about PowerPoint, contact Ellis at the NW Library, visit http://library.tccd.edu, e-mail ask.librarian@tccd.edu or call 817-515-8223.

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