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Effective PowerPoint Presentation Tips

written by: Kathy Foust•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 7/5/2011

PowerPoint is one of the most powerful tools in online learning. Many online teachers use PowerPoint as a way to present concepts to their classes. Have you ever wondered how to make a great PowerPoint presentation? Use these tips to make the most out of your PowerPoint presentations.

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    What is PowerPoint?

    PowerPoint is a very popular Microsoft software commonly used for presentations. Its popularity stems from the ease of use and multiple formats that can be utilized. This article will provide you with PowerPoint presentation tips to help your students to use this program as well as how you can make your PowerPoint presentations more effective. If you need information on the technical points of PowerPoint then click this link and it will take you to a series on PowerPoint usage.

    To make sure you have created an effective online presentation that your students will actually look at and use to enhance their learning, use some of the PowerPoint presentation tips below. These tips should help you to create an effective and successful class presentation.

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    PowerPoint Uses

    Powerpoint is the virtual online lecture. With so many features, lectures in the form of Word documents have been replaced by Powerpoint usage. But lectures aren't the only way Powerpoint is used. Powerpoint is also used to convey images, overlays and specific step by step instructions. Use Powerpoint in your online classroom to share information in varied formats to ensure that your students grasp the concept you are trying to teach!

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    Making the Presentation

    • Use a variety of formats. If you want to post a lecture then you can do that in Word rather than powerpoint. Those that do well with lectures will make the best use of them; however, powerpoint offers the options of charts, diagrams and so much more that it would be a waste to use it simply for a written lecture.
    • Make your information flow. If you are discussing the Civil War followed by a chart, make sure that chart pertains to the information discussed on the previous page.
    • Give assignments that use the powerpoint presentation. It's a system of checks and balances. The powerpoint may have a lot to offer your students, but if they don't have a reason to look at it, then they never will. If there is an assignment involving the powerpoint, then they have to look at it or fail the assignment.
    • Use diagrams and charts. Visual aids are not just for children. Many people learn better from them.
    • Make your presentation entertaining. If you're teaching about plant parts, do it on an interesting plant that has multiple uses. This will help hold the interest of your students. If you're teaching about how muzzle loaders were used in the Civil War, then maybe you can discuss particular features or how some were more effective than others.
    • A good way to ensure that your students read the powerpoint and get the most out of it is to have a question and answer sheet that goes along with the powerpoint. Try to go in some type of order so that the powerpoint doesn't have to be restarted over and over again, but make your students think as well.
    • A good way to develop your powerpoint is to think of yourself as a student doing a thesis. You want to convey information. You want to entertain. You want to be professional about the entire process. You want the reader to look forward to the next piece of information that you put in front of them. This is what you want out of your powerpoint as well.
    • Determine your main points to be conveyed. Introduce your main points one at a time and then get more detailed about each one in a variety of ways. For example, if you are discussing how to bake a cake, you might list all the ingredients first and then have a visual demonstration of those ingredients or explain the job of each ingredient as it pertains to the cake.
    • Do not simply throw a load of information at your students in one format and expect them to understand. Everyone learns differently. This is the great thing about powerpoint. You can add in virtually any format thus making it easier for your students to process information. It won't hurt if you add a bit of humor to your presentation!

    Source: author's experience taking online courses