Hello <<First Name>>
Welcome to this week’s issue of The Teaching Space Extra. I hope you have had a great week.
Normally I cover several different topics in this email, but today, I am keeping it simple and focussing on one: presentation slides. Specifically, the decks you produce in Google Slides, PowerPoint, Keynote, etc for teaching sessions. Incidentally, everything that follows could apply to the delivery of a regular presentation too (as opposed to a teaching session).
Recently I conducted an informal poll in TTS Staff Room (The Teaching Space Facebook group) asking “how often do you use presentation slides in your teaching practice?” Here are the results:
- Every session: 24%
- Most Sessions: 59%
- Rarely: 11%
- Never: 6%
It’s fair to say we use slides rather a lot, so it’s worth using them well.
I’ve been exploring visual communication of information to support teaching and learning for a while now. It is my ONE THING for the year (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, check out this podcast episode). This has involved reading current research and carrying out my own mini-experiments. I’ve been looking at good and bad practice too.
Examples of bad practice I’ve seen include:
- Many, many bullet points at varying levels
- Paragraphs of text on slides (which the teacher or trainer reads out loud to students)
- Inconsistent, distracting design
- A complete misunderstanding of the purpose of a slide deck.
We’ll explore why these practices should be avoided during this week’s podcast episode.
Image source: TechGeek
Not My First Time
You might recall I’ve talked about how teachers use slide decks before, in episode 45 of The Teaching Space podcast. In this episode, I shared ten tips to improve your use of slides:
- Use a consistent design
- Use images carefully
- Pay attention to fonts
- Avoid text heavy-slides
- Try shortlinks
- Embed video
- Keep animation minimal
- Use audience participation
- Use QR codes to share slides
- Try GIFs
These tips still stand with perhaps two adjustments. I would suggest dropping animation entirely, based on my research. I’m no longer using GIFs in presentations either, but that is largely down to my audience. GIFs can be a good alternative to video and used sparingly, reinforce a message with a little appropriate humour. Do remember who your audience is before you decide to insert a humorous GIF in a presentation.
This Week’s Podcast
So that leads me on to this week’s podcast:
Five More Ways Teachers and Trainers Can Improve Presentations
I hope you enjoy the episode and welcome your feedback.
That’s all from me today. Have a great week.