Presentation Principles and Techniques

In 2012, Garr Reynolds wrote a book called Presentation Design:  Principles and Techniques. In his book, he gives readers tips and advice on how to make better presentations that will keep its audience’s attention. When most people create power point presentations they use lots of bullet points and try to get lots of information on the slide. Reyolds says that this is not the way to do it.  Instead, he suggests using bullet points only when there is no other option. Then he tells what the other options are.  First, don’t try to cram information on there and don’t use charts that are unnecessary. This makes your power point took cluttered and your audience will not even know what all of it says or is for. Reynolds says to use pictures that take up the whole screen then add just you main topic to it. This will grab the audience’s attention and keep them much more interested and listening to what you are saying. Reynolds says to do this even with quotes, get a picture that fills the whole screen and put the quote on top. One thing that I hadn’t thought of that Reynolds say to do is if you have a slide with say six points on it instead break it up into six slides. Get a big eye catching photo for each and add a few words that summarize the point. Another thing that I thought was a great idea is to use your images to guide the view around the page. If you have your statistic in the upper left hand corner get a picture of people looking up at the corner. This will help your audience when they are looking at the page; it keeps their attention where the speaker wants it.  Next Reynolds brings up the point of keeping your sides balanced; don’t have everything over on one side. He also brings up using the “rule of thirds” meaning don’t have everything right in the middle of the frame, it makes it uninteresting. Instead if you imagine putting a grid on top of your slide that is a three by three, your information and pictures should be right where the squares intersect, not out in the middle.

Keeping all of this in mind when creating a PowerPoint or any presentation is important. Doing these things will help keep your audience interested but it will also help them retain the information because instead of them worrying about reading the slides and built points and talking notes they are simply giving their full attention to the speaker. This is most important in schools; teachers don’t make power points this way. Instead they put lots of information on them and expect kids to be writing down not just what is on the slides but also what they are saying out loud which some times can be very different information. This splits the student’s concentration and leaves them frazzled and having learned nothing. Teachers should instead incorporate Reynolds ideas into their presentations. Then way students would be able to better concentrate, learn and retain the information taught to them.   

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