When PowerPoint goes bad

What are your pet peeves about using PowerPoint? Is it the tool itself or how people use it?

I use PowerPoint, and think it is a good way to engage students and staff, and can be used as a way to spur enjoyment, engagement and interest in your subject. But that’s more about how the tool is used rather than the tool itself. So, here are some observations I’ve made over the years about PowerPoint, and how people use it ‘badly’:

  • Font – Inconsistent use of fonts across the slide deck, or even on the same slide. Using fonts that really don’t work on screen (like Times New Roman), or using Comic Sans. Please. Don’t.
  • Images – So you found Google images or another such image search. You’ve copied the image to your slide and it looks good. It doesn’t. That small image might look OK on your screen, but test it in a classroom or lecture theatre, you’ve stretched it so much it’s pixelated so much it’s almost unrecognisable.
  • Words – Writing your whole lesson in PowerPoint and spending half the lesson with your back to the class so you can read from the projector screen. Same goes if you stand behind the lectern PC and read of that screen instead.
  • Bullet points – PowerPoint makes it too easy to use them, but that doesn’t mean you should (yes, I can see the irony as I’m using them here too).
  • Colour / Templates – Just because you can lots of colour or standard PowerPoint templates doesn’t mean you should. Keep it simple so your key message shines through – the more colour / mess on the slide will only detract or hide your content.
  • Charts / Tables – Do you really need that chart or table that shows 50 different points of information.
  • Animation – I’ve never found animated stars or arrows to help the presentation. If the slide is structured properly you shouldn’t need them.
  • Clipart – Please. Don’t.
  • Volume – You may feel that your one hour presentation needs 100 slides. I’m pretty sure your audience/class doesn’t. 

If in doubt about any aspect of your use of PowerPoint, the best time to find out how you’re doing is now, while you’ve time to go and check it all out and not half way through the most important presentation of your career. Would you rather a slightly awkward conversation in private now or suddenly realise the conference venue has emptied for lunch 45 minutes early, just after you start your 16th of 135 slides?

Go find your friendly learning technologist (yes, we are friendly!), ask us to look over it and tell you what we think. We will be honest but we’ll be critical and, most importantly, constructive. We will offer support and suggestions, we will give your pointers on how to cut the information on the slides (and how to deliver it too, if you want) and we will be there to help you feel comfortable creating slide decks in future and deliver them. Every learning technologist I’ve ever met will do this, without question and without judgement; we’re just happy we can offer our expertise and make your job easier (and more successful).

There are plenty of online tutorials and help websites if you want to find out yourself about using PowerPoint ‘well’. Try sites like this and this and this.

If in doubt this video – Life after death by PowerPoint – will help you see the error of your ways.

Image source: EU PVSEC (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

eLearning Webinar (YouTube Live Stream) – Adobe Presenter Video Express, June 26, 2017 at 14:00 EDT

In this week’s eLearning LIVE STREAM, I will share with you Adobe Presenter Video Express or PVX for short. I will discuss why I feel this might be a great alternative for some over Adobe Captivate. If there is the time I will also answer any specific questions related to advanced actions, new releases, alternative software and other eLearning related topics.
Follow the link right now to set up a reminder for yourself so you get notified when this LIVE STREAM goes live.
Use the same link to join the LIVE STREAM while it’s in progress.

Webinar (LIVESTREAM) – Adobe Captivate Text to Speech

Monday, June 19th, 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I will be reviewing the main features of the Text to Speech capabilities in Adobe Captivate. I will be using Captivate (2017 Release) for the demonstrations, however, most of these demonstrations will work with previous versions of Adobe Captivate going all the way back to Adobe Captivate 5.
Follow the link below to set yourself a reminder, or click the link when we are live to join it.
If you enjoy this video, please share it with your colleagues. If you want to find out about new videos as they are released, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Paul Wilson

Share Your Captivate Tutorial with the eLearning Community

Not a Captivate tutorial, but instead a tutorial on how to create a LIVESTREAM to share your Adobe Captivate tutorial with the rest of the Adobe eLearning Community. If you find this video useful, please share it with your colleagues, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel when you get a chance.

Criando campo de texto com validação e atribuindo variável – Parte 2

Nesta segunda parte de como criar um campo de texto, vou ensinar a bloquear o campo para que as pessoas não passem para o proximo slide com um nome vazio.

Iremos bloquear utilizando Ações Avançadas e Variaveis é bem interessante quando começamos a travar ou criar uma maior interatividade em nossos projetos educacionais, fazendo com que as pessoas se engajem, participem mais e não ficar apenas pulando slide por slide.

Abraços.

Fabio Oliveira

Criando campo de texto com validação e atribuindo variável. Parte 1

Olá,

Neste tutorial mostro como construir um campo com entrada de texto e validação ou seja, usuário não poderá prosseguir se não digitar um nome correto no campode texto e tabém como passar o nome digita a um campo de texto utilizando uma variável. Em um próximo tutorial, irei mostrar como atribuir Ações Avançadas com Variável.

Abraços

Fabio Olvieira