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PowerPoint: say no for a week

January 29, 2013

No PPTToday I conducted some informal research. I checked eight classrooms down the hall and discovered one using the blackboard while the remaining seven had PowerPoint on the screen. Six of the seven screens displayed bulleted text.

February 3-9 is “Just Say No to PowerPoint Week.” The idea is to swear off PowerPoint for one week and explore alternatives that might help you learn how to create better presentations.

I believe that PowerPoint per se is not the problem, but stepping away from it is one way to start addressing the issue of classroom visuals. Several articles in this blog provide strategies you can try:

  1. Eleven+ ways NOT to use PowerPoint
  2. Hara Hachi Bu – Presentation Zen
  3. Seven (+?) resources for better PowerPoint

My number one tip for improving presentations is to move away from bullet points and use more visuals. If your students absolutely must have an outline, then create a PDF document and distribute it electronically at the end of class. I have conducted several workshops based on the book, Presentation Zen, and participants find Garr Reynolds’ ideas very compelling. Below is one iteration of the Keynote slides from that workshop ; note that there is virtually no text on the screen unless participants are involved in an activity.

The Nashua Telegraph apparently kicked off “Just Say No to PowerPoint Week” in 2009, but the event isn’t widely known. It seems to be accepted as taking place the second week of February but I could not find an official home or sponsor. The folks at SlideRocket promoted it a couple of times.


Tip ‘o the hat to Sidney Eve Matrix

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2013 12:42 pm

    It’s like fasting, eh? Generally, when people fast, they gain clarity.

  2. Kristin Lewis permalink
    January 30, 2013 8:58 am

    Very timely post. I was just looking for resources for my students on effective PPT slides. I am horrified sometimes when I look back at my own slides!


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