Avoiding “Death by PowerPoint”

-By Lauren Oczypok, Educational Technology Instructional Designer

As we all know, as educators or leaders of professional development sessions, sometimes it may be easy to fall into a “PowerPoint funk” per say.  We would like to provide you with some ways that you can spice up your lectures/PD to prevent both you and your students from suffering “Death by PowerPoint”.

  1. Banish Bullets!  According to a recent article published by John Orlando with Faculty Focus and research by Mayer & Moreno,  bullet points can actually confuse the audience.  They are getting two messages from two competing channels (your voice, and the visual PowerPoint slides).  Because these channels are most likely moving at different speeds, the audience doesn’t know how to focus on one or the other and the important message you are trying to convey ends up lost in translation.
  2. Use more Images.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Instead of having your students read the same words that are coming out of your mouth, give them a complementary picture to go along with what you are talking about.  This will force students to listen to what you actually have to say instead of focusing on reading the words on your slides.
  3. Try a different tool, like Prezi.  If you are bored with PowerPoint, most likely you’re students are too.  Start out by switching a few of your PowerPoints lectures for Prezi presentations to get your students more engaged.  Prezi‘s features are unlimited and constantly growing.  With its more interactive interface; you will have more fun creating it, and your students will be more interested in the content being presented leading to success all around.  Check our Ed Tech Training Schedule for a session on Prezi!
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