Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Developing, Designing and Delivering: The Case for Powerful and Productive Presentations

Ken Shelton and Robert Craven made the case today for why we must change the way we present if we really want our audience to be engaged and understand the message we are trying to convey.  Very simply, the most effective way to communicate is VISUALLY!   The brain can process visual images at the speed of a jet plane, text at the speed of a prop plane and sound at the speed of someone walking.  When choosing photos for a presentation there are several important things to remember.  Pictures in color are most easily interpreted by the eye and should be high quality.  Images should be chosen to carefully relate to the topic and can be used to evoke emotional responses.

Leonardo da Vinci said "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." The same is absolutely true for the PowerPoints or Keynotes we design to share with others.  There is actually research that confirms that it is more difficult for someone to comprehend information while reading a slide filled with text as the presenter reads the information outloud.  Slides should not be filled with overwhelming graphics or multiple lines of text but rather with meaningful, purposeful images to develop a central message around and limited to no text.  Video and audio can also be used if they provide a thought provoking purpose.

Finding just the right images takes time and it is highly encouraged that you spend some time building your own library of photos. It is also suggested that you encourage your students to take photos for a classroom library for their use in creating powerful presentations.  If you need more digital cameras for the classroom you can ask parents to donate old ones after Christmas each year since many get new ones. Free use photos can also be found on websites like Stock.Xchng, openphoto, flickr, morgueFile, Wikimedia Commons, PD Photo, or PUBLIC-DOMAIN-PHOTOS

As you approach your next PowerPoint or Keynote remember there really are no rules, spend the majority of your time finding the right images that you can talk from and put yourself in the place of the audience - if you're engaged then they will be too!

1 comment:

dayle timmons said...

Love having that list of websites for free pictures. Seems like this would be a great CLC topic or even a whole group PD topic for the fall.