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Microsoft PowerPoint - Lesson 1

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Course Content   ::   PowerPoint Lesson 1   ::   PowerPoint Lesson 2   ::   PowerPoint Assignment

Microsoft's PowerPoint is Microsoft's slide-based presentation software. For this course, you are welcome to utilize alternative presentation software. However, all instructions, support, and software access is limited to PowerPoint. (i.e. You are on your own to learn an alternative.)

At some point or another in your professional career, you will be tasked to develop a presentation using software, this may be for a traditional presentation or for something less common like prototyping software. Therefore, it is important to learn basic analysis skills related to the development of presentations as well as the basic development aspects of using presentation software.

This section of the course will be taught in three lessons. The first lesson will introduce you to examples of good and bad presentations, alternative uses for presentation software, the basic analysis and design process for presentations, and the PowerPoint environment. The second lesson will introduce you to the most common elements of developing a PowerPoint presentation. The final lesson will introduce you to slightly more advanced tasks within PowerPoint.

What qualifies as a good or bad presentation?


Some alternative uses for presentations.

  • Kiosks
  • Stand-alone, interactive presentations
  • Prototyping

Presentation Analysis and Design

Designing an Influential Presentation by Ellen Finkelstein

  • Audience
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Navigation
  • Graphics
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Style

Presentation Guidelines

Gleaned from Harold Wainer's Visual Revelations: Graphical Tales of Fate and Deception from Napoleon Bonaparte to Ross Perot

Some issues:
  • Overcrowded (or too much information on one table)
  • Printing is too small
  • text contains jargon
  • numbers are overburdened with significant digits
  • table/graph contains useless information or information that is not addressed
To improve:
  • Start with an explicit statement of purpose
  • The principle goal of any presentation is communication
  • To effectively communicate, we need to
    • Make assumptions about the audience
    • Understand the communication medium (technologically)
  • Center all material in a 6"x9" (in an 8.5"x11")
  • Use no more than 30 characters per line
  • Use no more than 15 lines per overhead
  • Use 36-point type for major headings, 24-point for the rest
  • Limit the number of fonts used to no more than 2 (sans serif, no caps, use bold-face discretely)
  • Resist seduction by color (can harm legibility and rarely helps except for emphasis)
  • These rules have some flexibility
  • Limit number of equations to 2 or 3 per overhead, 5 per hour
  • limit number of significant digits to two

Rehearse and practice under real (or worse) conditions.
Point to screen and not transparency when presenting.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, November 21). Microsoft PowerPoint - Lesson 1. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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