General Principles of Using PowerPoint
- First storyboard your PowerPoint presentation by sketching each slide showing
the placement of text and clip art.
- The general purpose of a PowerPoint presentation is to educate the audience
(your students) by capturing their attention and explaining the concept in
a manner that is easy to understand.
- One purpose of a PowerPoint presentation could be to display it in class
using a computer and a t.v. screen or computer projector. However, a presentation
could be designed as a computer-based activity that the student follows on
a computer in the classroom. Or, you could even have your students take a
presentation home on a floppy disk. Finally, even if you do not have a computer
in your classroom with PowerPoint installed, you can simply use PowerPoint
to make slides which are copied onto overhead transparencies.
- Keep the following principles in mind when creating PowerPoint presentations:
- functionality - Above all your students must be able to use the presentation. Be sure to critique your presentation from a student's perspective before you use it.
- organization - There are a number of arrangements that could be used in your presentation. Typically a PowerPoint presentation is linear in that each slide leads to exactly one other slide. This provides for a very structured lesson. However, you may wish to give the student choices and require higher-level thinking by giving him/her several choices from a number of slides. To give students choices you must learn how to insert a hyperlink to a specific slide in the presentation.
- documentation - Does the presentation contain the instructions necessary for a student to successfully complete the lesson? Do you have handwritten notes that remind you (the instructor) how to use the presentation. If you do not use PowerPoint that often during the school year, you may need to write out special instructions as a personal reminder.
- user interface - If the presentation is meant to be used by students on a standalone computer, can ALL of your students use the presentation without help from others? Each slide should be understandable with adequate directions. Even if adequate directions are given, is the presentation consistent? The student should have a pleasant experience with the lesson. Use meaningful icons, analogies, and metaphors so that a non-technology expert can follow the lesson. Also determine the exact audience before you create the presentation. Build your presentation around the amount of detail that the audience needs or wants to see.
- creativity - Nothing is less effective than a boring multimedia presentation. If you do not take advantage of the essence of PowerPoint, you may as well have used a boring worksheet. Be sure not to go overboard though and violate other principles listed here. Use a variety of multimedia elements such as text, sound, images, graphics, color, audio, and video. Animation can also effectively be used. However, be consistent with the use of color and text attributes. Use bold and italics sparingly and do not use more than tree types of fonts and styles.
- hyperlinks - While most people think of the World Wide Web along with hyperlinks, a standalone (offline) multimedia presentation actually should contain links between its slides. Constructivist learning can be encouraged with an intentional, well-executed presentation. An expert in a subject area (such as a teacher) can model a presentation to reflect his/her own mental understanding and lead the student to adopt that framework of understanding. Better yet, he/she can arrange the information (via hyperlinks as well as spatially & sequentially) so that the material could be understood (semantically constructed) in various ways. By the way, it is possible to create a hyperlink on a PowerPoint slide that connects a student to a Web page! You simply type the Web page's whole address including the "http://" (e.g. http://www.minich.com).
- space, arrangement, and physical layout - The student must be able to see important elements on each slide. Purposefully use active whitespace in your page to space out text and clip art. The student must also be able to move the mouse effectively and "find" hyperlinks. Sometimes "less is more" and an uncluttered arrangement leads to maximal understanding and navigability. Do not use too much text on a slide. As a presenter, it is your responsibility to explain details that the slide introduces or outlines. Do not use too much clip art on a slide. Do not add clip art just because you know how to. Clip art should support the purpose of the given slide.
Using Templates with PowerPoint
- Open the Microsoft PowerPoint program.
- Click the File/New menu command. Click the Presentations tab. Double-click one of the templates that PowerPoint offers as a starting point. For example, "Selling your Ideas".
- Click on the menu command View/Slide Sorter to see the slides that have already been created for you. Click the menu command Slide Show/View Show to run the presentation. To advance to the next screen, click the mouse.
- From the slide sorter view, double-click on any slide such as the first one. Single-click within any text box so that the cursor blinks in the text. Use the backspace and delete keys to type the appropriate text that you would like to use in the particular text box. To delete a text box or any other objects such as clip art, single-click the text box or piece of clip art so the size handles appear around that object. Press the delete key on the keyboard to permanently remove that object from the screen (as you would in Microsoft Word.)
- Return to the slide sorter view (View/Slide Sorter menu command) to edit any other slide in the presentation.
- To delete a slide from your presentation, simply single-click the slide in the slide sorter view and press the delete key on the keyboard. To rearrange the order of slides in the slide sorter view, click and drag a slide to a new position.
- Be sure to save the PowerPoint presentation to your computer's hard drive or a floppy disk. All of the clip art that is used in a PowerPoint presentation is automatically saved in the PowerPoint file unlike Web pages and associated graphics.
- To run the PowerPoint presentation in class, you open the PowerPoint file and use the menu command Slide Show/View Show. To immediately end a presentation without advancing to the very end, right-click your mouse and choose the End Show menu command.
Creating a PowerPoint Presentation from Scratch
- Click the File/New menu command. Click the General tab and double-click
the Blank Presentation icon.
- Choose the appropriate AutoLayout from the ensuing window if you have an
idea for the basic layout of the slide that you wish to create. You probably
would be creating your presentation's title slide (i.e. the first slide) so
the icon in the upper-left corner would be most appropriate at first.
- To add a new slide to your presentation, I recommend going to the slide
sorter view and clicking your mouse in the appropriate position of your slides.
Then use the menu command Insert/New Slide.
- Follow the directions where you are to click on text boxes and type the
- You can move and resize text boxes and other objects such as clip art. To
do so carefully single-click the border of a text box or other object when
the cursor is a four-headed arrow. Then drag the object to a new location
on the slide in order to move it. To resize an object, manipulate the sizing
handles around the border of the object just as you would resize a piece of
clip art or text box in Word.
- To insert a new text box on a slide, use the menu command Insert/Text Box.
- To insert a piece of clip art, use the menu command Insert/Picture/Clip
- To insert a picture that you took with a digital camera, a picture that
you scanned, or a graphic that you obtained from a Web site such as http://www.free-graphics.com
use the menu command Insert/Picture/From File.
- To make a word, phrase or piece of clip art hyperlink directly to another
slide in your presentation, first highlight the word or phrase (single-click
if it is a piece of clip art). Use the Insert/Hyperlink menu command and type
the slide number of your presentation that you want the word or phrase to
link to in the "Named location in file area". This allows your presentation
to have a more flexible navigation scheme besides linear. To create link to
a Web page, simply type in the Web page address in the "Link to file or URL"
area. Note that the menu command Slide Show/Action Settings can be used to
create these kinds of hyperlinks and other types of actions.
- To add slide transitions to a presentation, first bring up the slide sorter view with the View/Slide Sorter menu command. Use the Edit/Select All menu command to select all of the slides.
- Click the Slide Show/Slide Transition menu command. Click the arrow next to "No Transition" and select the desired transition. Click the "Apply to All" button. Note that you should use a consistent transition between all slides. It may confuse the viewer if you use two or more different transitions in your presentation.
- To add "builds" to bulleted items, single-click the text box that contains the bulleted items to select it. Choose the Slide Show/Custom Animation menu command. Choose an option such as "Fly From Right" under "Entry animation and sound".
- Click the Preview button to preview the animation and then click the OK button to save this effect.
- When you run a presentation, right-click the mouse and use the Pen menu command to highlight certain words on the slide.