Designing Effective Presentations

Every educator today needs to learn how to present effectively. But how much do they know about what makes an effective presentation?

Garr Reynolds, author of the popular book Presentation Zen Design, notes:

“For many of us, there is a hole in our education when it comes to visual communication… In the past, the tools for creating high-quality graphics and multimedia presentations belonged only to a select few. Today, those tools are in the hands of virtually anyone with a computer. However, possessing the hardware and software tools and knowing how to operate them does not a designer make.” (p. 22, Presentation Zen Design).

Keynote iconMy colleague Dave and I are very passionate about Visual Literacy. We want to give educators the tools to develop their Visual Literacy skills, and presented recently to our fabulous Primary Leadership Team on Designing Effective Presentations.

Embedding the presentation here would not make sense. If you could understand the content of our presentation just by looking at the slides, then we would have failed in our job. There would be no point presenting if you could just read our slides! However, we did create some other resources which might be useful to share.

Handout

We wanted our audience engaged in our presentation. We didn’t want them to feel they had to take copious notes as we spoke. We prepared this handout, because there were a few key things we wanted them to take away from the presentation, and we thought this 1-page handout could be posted at a desk to refer to when designing presentations later.

Presentation Redesign


Finding Quality Images

Finding the right images to support the message you are sharing takes time – and is time well spent. This slide-doc takes you through how to find quality images. It is geared for teachers at our school, so bear that in mind as you look through.

Focus on the Audience

Really understanding what your audience needs and is hoping to gain from your presentation is important. We had participants in our workshop consider the needs of their audience using this handout we adapted from Nancy Duarte’s fantastic resource Resonate.

Know Your Audience

Additional Resources

Some of our favourite resources for presentation design can be found here:

We hope you found these useful! Please let us know if you would like further information about designing effective presentations.

iPod Touch Apps for Apple Workshop

Here are a list of apps I’m exploring in my workshop for Apple on Leveraging Learning with the iPod Touch.
Myspace text generator
Doodle_Kids
Doodle Kids
Free
Neat little app created by a 9 year old Singaporean boy. We’ve used it for fine motor skills, creativity etc. You can take screen shots of your creations and email them later.

garden
Flower Garden
$1.99
Neat little app where you plant, water and grow flowers and send bouquets via email.
_

sonic pics


Sonic Pics
$2.99
Fantastically versatile app for narrating over your own images. Either upload images to your photo gallery, or take screenshots to use. This app creates a video of your slideshow which you can email, send to your computer or upload to YouTube.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator
Number_Line
Number Line
Free
Excellent little app for ordering decimals, percentages and fractions. Would suit middle to upper primary.


iChoose
iChoose
Free
App which allows you to select from coin toss, yes/no, dice roll, card choice, rock/paper/scissors and many other options. Great for probability and statistics.

Math_Quizzer
Math Quizzer
Free
Choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication & division (or a combination of these) and then complete the questions. Multi-choice answers are provided below.

StepTrak_lite

Step Trak Lite

Free
Neat app which acts as a pedometer. Simple to use, really effective. You can upload your results to MapMyWalk.

_-
Glitter text generator
abc_Pocket_Phonicsabc Pocket Phonics
$0.99
I think this is a great little app for the early years. You learn to form letters, hear the sounds of each letter, then blend sounds to make words at the end. The Lite version has the first sounds only, but the full version has sound blends as well. Give it a go! See here for more details on how we used with with K2.

Early_Reader
Early Reader
$0.99
Another app for beginning readers. It covers the basic sight words, phonics, etc and is easy to use. You can turn the voice on or off.

English_Chinese_Dictionary
KT-Dict CE

Free
Chinese-English dictionary. See here for more details on how we use it at school.

Word_Magic
Word Magic
$0.99
This app has missing letters which the kids need to select from a list to complete the word. There are a range of settings you can customize, including lowercase or uppercase letters, the missing letters at the beginning, middle or end of the word, and the length of the word (to name but a few).

I will also be looking at the Voice Memo app, which comes preloaded on all iPod Touch and iPhones.
Glitter text generator
Art
Art
$0.99
Great list of historical artists, their lives, their art, and so much more. If $0.99 seems a little much, why not try the lite version, which is free.

muscular_system
The Muscle System Pro
$19.99
High quality images of the Muscular system, perfect for kids to take screencaptures to use in presentations.

skeletal_system
The Skeletal System Pro
$19.99

High quality images of the Skeletal system, which students can screencapture, making this app money well spent for inquiries relating to the human body.

Google_Earth_001
Google Earth
Free
Excellent iPod Touch version of the desktop programme created by Google. Absolutely awesome.

iPod Touch Apps for Apple Workshop

Here are a list of apps I’m exploring in my workshop for Apple on Leveraging Learning with the iPod Touch.
Myspace text generator
Doodle_Kids
Doodle Kids
Free
Neat little app created by a 9 year old Singaporean boy. We’ve used it for fine motor skills, creativity etc. You can take screen shots of your creations and email them later.

garden
Flower Garden
$1.99
Neat little app where you plant, water and grow flowers and send bouquets via email.
_

sonic pics


Sonic Pics
$2.99
Fantastically versatile app for narrating over your own images. Either upload images to your photo gallery, or take screenshots to use. This app creates a video of your slideshow which you can email, send to your computer or upload to YouTube.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator
Number_Line
Number Line
Free
Excellent little app for ordering decimals, percentages and fractions. Would suit middle to upper primary.


iChoose
iChoose
Free
App which allows you to select from coin toss, yes/no, dice roll, card choice, rock/paper/scissors and many other options. Great for probability and statistics.

Math_Quizzer
Math Quizzer
Free
Choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication & division (or a combination of these) and then complete the questions. Multi-choice answers are provided below.

StepTrak_lite

Step Trak Lite

Free
Neat app which acts as a pedometer. Simple to use, really effective. You can upload your results to MapMyWalk.

_-
Glitter text generator
abc_Pocket_Phonicsabc Pocket Phonics
$0.99
I think this is a great little app for the early years. You learn to form letters, hear the sounds of each letter, then blend sounds to make words at the end. The Lite version has the first sounds only, but the full version has sound blends as well. Give it a go! See here for more details on how we used with with K2.

Early_Reader
Early Reader
$0.99
Another app for beginning readers. It covers the basic sight words, phonics, etc and is easy to use. You can turn the voice on or off.

English_Chinese_Dictionary
KT-Dict CE

Free
Chinese-English dictionary. See here for more details on how we use it at school.

Word_Magic
Word Magic
$0.99
This app has missing letters which the kids need to select from a list to complete the word. There are a range of settings you can customize, including lowercase or uppercase letters, the missing letters at the beginning, middle or end of the word, and the length of the word (to name but a few).

I will also be looking at the Voice Memo app, which comes preloaded on all iPod Touch and iPhones.
Glitter text generator
Art
Art
$0.99
Great list of historical artists, their lives, their art, and so much more. If $0.99 seems a little much, why not try the lite version, which is free.

muscular_system
The Muscle System Pro
$19.99
High quality images of the Muscular system, perfect for kids to take screencaptures to use in presentations.

skeletal_system
The Skeletal System Pro
$19.99

High quality images of the Skeletal system, which students can screencapture, making this app money well spent for inquiries relating to the human body.

Google_Earth_001
Google Earth
Free
Excellent iPod Touch version of the desktop programme created by Google. Absolutely awesome.

Tech-Tip Tuesdays & Wired Wednesdays

After the success of Fruity Fridays last year, we decided to introduce our staff to two new initiatives this year: Tech Tip Tuesdays and Wired Wednesdays.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator

usb_saschaaa

I have graciously been given 5 mins at the beginning of every staff meeting to talk through a tech tip for teachers. I will be sharing a range of things, from IWB ideas, to simple things such as tabbed browsing. It’s nice to have a regular slot to push some technology info that will hopefully be useful and relevant for all teachers.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator

On Wednesday mornings from 7:15am, Katie (our Teacher Librarian), Haidee (Grade 3 teacher and in-campus Studywiz expert) and I have made ourselves available to all staff requiring tech help, support and/or ideas.

Wired Wednesday 1 (Medium)So far it’s been running for two weeks, and I am thrilled at the turnout we’ve had.

Week one we had some looking at IWB techniques (like these ones from @pennyryder), some looking at the new library catalogue and ways of navigating it, another group was getting support with StudyWiz, one teacher wanted advice on how to set up a Google site and another was about to launch her first blog.

Week two saw more diversity: our Chinese Language team were all here for tips on using the IWBs, another teacher was learning how to merge cells in a table and add colours, the wireless keyboard/mouse was being demonstrated, and our Principal came in wanting to know more about Twitter.

wired wednesday 2 (Medium)We have had positive feedback from many people about the Wired Wednesday format. They like the flexibility of being able to pop in with problems related to them, they appreciate not having to be locked in to attending every week, and they feel they have someone to go to get help.

I know how they feel. Recently, when I was learning how to use Prezi, I thought a lot about how much easier it would be if I was sitting next to someone who knew how to use it already. Thankfully, @RobinThailand was only a tweet away, but even so, having someone physically there would have made all the difference. I believe having access to someone to work alongside is so important in learning, particularly with technology. It ties in nicely with Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development.

I love the public face technology is being given in our school. It is clear technology is valued, as our admin team has been so accommodating, not only in these two ways, but by leading by example. Let me explain…

Last year, I was talking up 2 new books in the library, Presentation Zen and Slideology, while also giving some feedback about 2 presentations I attended at EARCOS 09. In my presentation to staff, I modeled a couple of slides from different workshops I attended. I won’t share the slides I considered dire, but I’m happy to sing the praises of Kim Cofino, whose gorgeous slides made her presentation sing. [Her presentation Connecting Across Continents can be found here.]

Anyway, our admin team have since been leading the way, ensuring their presentations to students, staff and parents use fabulous visuals, limited text and are delivered with confidence. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes! Staff meetings become more interesting and engaging. Imagine that?!

Not only that, but other teachers are also making their presentations more visually interesting. I know of a teacher who created a fabulous presentation for parents when we had a meet-the-teacher type of evening last week. It went down a treat. [I have told a few people about Prezi too, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing a few of those crop up soon enough!]

It feels like we’re at the start of something big.

Photo Credit: Saschaa