PowerPoint presentation tips and resources
Would you like to make attractive and professional-looking computer presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint, to deliver digital presentations effectively, and how to evaluate presentations.
This page offers guidelines for effective presentation, online tutorials to learn or improve your skill with PowerPoint, useful online resources from Microsoft and other sources, guidelines for assessing PowerPoint assignments, and sites where you can get free PowerPoint templates and copyright-free graphics, sound, and video for your presentations.
- presentations (formal and informal) for delivery via a computer or with slides
- overhead transparencies
- small flyers, signs, etc.
- Keep some light on in the room, preferably as far away from the screen as possible.
- Face the audience as you discuss the slides in your presentation.
- Use three or less slides per minute.
- For easy reading, use fonts that are at least 24 point (follow templates!)
- Try to use dark backgrounds and light type on slides in good settings - low light/good data projector and screen. If you are not sure about the setting, use light backgrounds with dark type.
- Avoid reading each slide. Slide content should provide a simplification of information that you explain in greater detail.
- Try not to lecture for more than 10 minutes. Break up lectures with active learning exercises.
- Audiences may find printed copies of slides useful. Slides can be printed three to a page to allow space for notes.
- Plan for contingencies with a paper handout and presentation on alternative media.
useful online resources
- Presenters University (sponsored by Proxima) - how-to articles by presentation experts, free templates, and other useful information
- Indezine.com Microsoft PowerPoint resources - links, articles, and tutorials
- Road Tools Laptop presentation tips - font size and selection, color, seating
- Google directory > Computers > Software > Presentation > Microsoft PowerPoint
- Secrets of PowerPoint's drawing tool
evaluating powerpoint presentation assignments
PowerPoint assignments are an effective assessment tool that encourages higher level thinking. There are a variety of strategies to evaluate PowerPoint presentations: ways to assess research, presentation content, technical PowerPoint criteria, and teamwork if the assignment is a group project.
- RubiStar's free rubrics for project-based learning activities. See Multimedia section to generate a PowerPoint assessment form with custom categories. Based, in part, on Pastore's Multimedia Project Evaluation Rubric, adapted from Multimedia Mania....
- Project Presentation PowerPoint Evaluation Form, open-ended, question-based form from Westfield State College.
- Scoring Power Points - by Jamie McKensie, From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal, Vol 10|No 1|September|2000 - article with useful guidelines for creating compelling and persuasive presentations, "antidotes for Powerpoint poisoning."
free powerpoint template sources
- from Presenters University
- from Microsoft - for Windows and for Macintosh
- from Sonia Coleman (208 for personal use) and tutorials
- from WebSiteEstates.com
copyright-free graphic, sound, and video resources
- Internet Archive - an impressive number of moving images, audio, and text digital artifacts. Internet Archive's WayBack Machine holds 10 billion web pages archived from 1996 including an interesting collection of Web Pioneers. The Prelinger Archives contains over 48,000 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films.
- Claremont Colleges Digital Library - CCDL's mission - "facilitates learning and transforms scholarship by providing the technological infrastructure for disseminating teaching and research materials to students, faculty, and scholars."
- Library of Congress - especially for researchers. See the Minerva Web Preservation Project of digital primary source materials.
- free clip art and media from Microsoft
- Google directory - Computers > Graphics > Web > Free (These sites are often laden with advertising to pay the rent.)
- Active learning with PowerPoint - from the University of Minnesota. "Despite the fact that so much has been written about PowerPoint’s weaknesses, instructors still feel compelled to adapt PowerPoint to the classroom. This tutorial is designed to help you capitalize on those aspects of PowerPoint that lend themselves best to engaging students interests."
- PowerPoint 2003 Basics Tutorial from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
- PowerPoint in Education - increasing the impact of lectures and presentations, from Microsoft
- Patrick Crispen's PowerPoint Files - see Now That I Know PowerPoint, How Can I Use It to Teach? (Example of saving PowerPoint presentations in HTML and Macromedia's FlashPaper to create an online PowerPoint presentation) and other useful resources.
book tutorials - for those who prefer paper
- How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 by Ellen Finkelstein (2003)
- Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac OS X - Visual QuickStart Guide by Steve Schartz (2004)
microsoft's online PowerPoint resources
[Note" web site changes regularly, so if you hit a dead link search the site.]
- for macintosh users
- for windows users
- "Crabby Office lady" - columns "with an attitude" began in 2004, covers all Microsoft software
- Tips for Teachers (all Microsoft software)
- Choosing the best graphics format for the job
food for thought...
- Learning to Love PowerPoint by David Byrne (Wired Magazine, 9/2003)
- PowerPoint is Evil by Edward Tufte, (Wired Magazine, 9/2003)
- PowerPoint Makes You Dumb by Clive Thompson (New York Times, 12/14/03)
- Is PowerPoint the Devil? by Julia Keller (Chicago Times, 1/22/03)
- Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as a Powerpoint presentation - by Peter Norvig