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Presentation bingo

March 29, 2010

I conduct a session every year on how to use PowerPoint effectively. It is well attended and people seem to benefit from the information. I’m always looking for ways to make sessions more interactive, though, and the other day I came across an image that gave me an idea. The result is a game you can play while watching a presentation.

Each square on the “Presentation Bingo” board represents an effective practice for using presentation software. When the presenter follows one of the practices, you check off a square. The first person to check off two crossed lines of squares wins. Unfortunately, you can’t check off some items until the presentation is finished, and you can’t expect presenters to exhibit every practice every time. Still, twenty-four options should be enough for the game to work. If you don’t want to use it as a game, the board makes a colorful handout on behaviors that presenters should strive to emulate.

This is not a new idea. Presentation guru Dave Paradi created a PowerPoint Bingo game years ago. Paradi’s version is a single board with text only, and you are primarily looking for poor practices. I decided to take a positive approach. I also opted for a generic name, since many people use Keynote, Prezi, Google Presentations, etc. The board was created in Flash; the squares will come up in a different order each time you load the page.

You can find Presentation Bingo at http://tinyurl.com/presbingo/. IMPORTANT: when you print, select landscape mode and “Shrink to fit.” If you want a sheet with two cards, use http://tinyurl.com/presbing2/. I see the game primarily as a tool for workshops, but students could use it to give each other feedback on a class presentation, or a brave instructor might hand it out to a class.

This is only the first version, so please help me improve the game. You can offer suggestions for game rules, additional practices, better explanations, clearer visual representations, etc. as comments on this article or by email to learning@nd.edu.

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