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When used effectively, slide deck presentations (such as Powerpoint and Prezi) can provide structure to your teaching, allow you to share illustrations, sound and video that complement your teaching, and can be shared with students after the session. Slides should support your teaching, not replace it. There are some common mistakes teachers make when they rely too heavily on the software

Here are some tips for creating effective slide presentations:

Don’ts
  • put the entire presentation on the slides and then read it
  • use more slides than is necessary to communicate your message
  • advance through the slides too quickly, or skip slides; each slide should be up long enough to discuss what is on the slide, not just read through it
  • use slides as a replacement for a handout/online course guide; this will result in cramming too much information into each slide
  • use distracting colors, images, clip art, sound effects; the focus of your presentation is the content and you, the deliverer of content
Dos
  • Be a compelling speaker! Visual learners benefit from slides, but can zone out during presentations.
  • Insert blank or minimal slides at key points so that your audience shifts focus from the slides to you, the speaker
  • Practice your presentation, being mindful of timing
  • Assess each slide’s importance. Often teachers skip slides during a presentation because they realize it is unimportant, or they do not have time to address it. Each slide should enhance your overall point and complement what you are saying out loud.
  • Think about how large your audience is and how big the room will be - can they read your slides from that distance?
  • Save your presentation in multiple places - in the cloud, on a flash drive, in your email
  • Have a backup plan for when technology is unexpectedly unavailable

PowerPoint Best Practices
  • Limit the number of fonts you use in your presentation
  • Use whitespace to make the presentation legible and elegant.
  • Use sans-serif fonts like Arial or Verdana because they can be read from a distance more easily.
  • Text needs to be legible - the larger your classroom, the larger your font should be.
  • Use color in your presentation consistently. Select a scheme for your presentation. Use color to highlight important points, emphasize relationships and set things apart from one another.
  • Remember to cite your images as you would any other source. Seek out images with Creative Commons Licenses to make this easier.
Slide section Recommended Font Size
Titles 36-48
Subtitles/subdivisions 30-36
Body 24-30
Tip! You may share your presentations via Scribd & Slideshare