Tips for Using PowerPoint Presentation

But such technical tricks have never significantly improved a lecture. On the contrary: by increasing the technical fetish the concentration on the medium increases, the lecturer moves even further away from the centre. And that’s not exactly what it’s supposed to be.

The following advice helps to make the presentation situation rounder and more pleasant. The audience gets a better impression and more focus on the contents of the presentation. In short: communicate instead of present.

Tip 1: Empty slides at the beginning and at the end

The lecture begins and the presentation person PowerPoint starts at the front. For about half a minute, you watch the presenters work with the PowerPoint interface (open directories, open presentation files,check, close the last used files/do you really not want to …, click away update call, start screen presentation).

When you give a lecture,you want to be the center of attention, tell people something and, if necessary, throw a diagram or a quotation on the wall. Once you click around in the PowerPoint interface, you’ve already made it clear what it’s all about: you’ll show people a boring presentation and stand and talk next to it.

Insert an empty, black foil at the very beginning, as well as the last foil. Five minutes before the beginning of the presentation you start the presentation – and you can’t see anything on the (screen) wall. As soon as you want to see something, press the arrow key or the space bar and the first picture appears. At the end just like that.

Tip 2: Blackout the presentation with shortcut “b

During your presentation there are many phases in which you do not need a slide. Do you as a teacher leave the overhead projector on during the whole lesson?

In these phases you want the audience to focus on YOU and not study the slide you talked about five minutes earlier.

More about this: 3 tips for using the beamer

The quickest way to do this is to press the “b” key (for “black”) during the slide show. The image will immediately turn pitch black. The shortcut “w” for “white” works accordingly. But who needs a rectangle of white light behind them? Forget this shortcut immediately. The key shortcut “b” works equally with Microsoft Office, Apple Keynote and OpenOffice/LibreOffice Impress.

Tip 3: No “Welcome” slide, no “Still questions?” slide, no “Thank you for your attention” slide

It is well known that of lectures, circus performances, concerts … the beginning and the end remain in the memory. An estimated 95 percent of all slide sets ever projected with a beamer contain a slide with “Welcome” or similar at the beginning, the last one is “Thank you very much for your attention”.

What you want to achieve with it is a friendly, positive atmosphere. The nice host may also put a doormat with “Welcome” in front of the door for his party. But the positive atmosphere depends decisively on how positive or nice the host is towards you, whether he communicates with you or not. If he mumbles to you without eye contact an unmotivated “Hallokommtrein”, then the doormat doesn’t change the fact that the party is almost over before it has begun.

Now this doormat or the “Welcome” foil doesn’t bother you either. But whoever has a “Welcome” slide feels released from the duty to communicate with the audience, to show the audience that he really welcomes them. It’s already on the film. Therefore a mumbled “Hello, my lecture is about …” is enough.

So leave out the stupid greeting foil. YOU do that. Look at the audience, beautiful body language, and say that you are happy to be allowed to speak here. Or say that you have been forced, but that you will give your best and hope that the audience will benefit from it anyway.

The same applies to the unspeakable “Noch Fragen?” slide. Should the audience address their questions to you or to the slide? Are your listeners completely debauched that they can’t remember your spoken invitation to contribute for more than two seconds?

At the end you want to be polite once more, to embellish the atmosphere once more. You can do that yourself. Switch the beamer to black and face the audience’s gaze.

When you have the last attention, say what there is still to say and say goodbye. If you absolutely need more aesthetics, project a picture of a beautiful flower meadow onto the wall. There is no more uncharming conclusion to a lecture than a speaker who stands before the text “Thank you very much for your attention” and says: “I want to thank you for your attention”.


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