Tag Archives: education resource lesson collection idea resources

What’s Your Next Presentation

17 Jun

When I first started teaching eight years ago, I was so excited to finally get to use PowerPoint, no writing on the chalk board – yes, I had a chalk board – for my students. Fifty slides later, I still cringe when I hear the break glass sound effect, I knew I was off to a bad start. I had a great technology and no idea how to use. With a lot of practice, collaboration and seeing other professional examples I was able to begin creating some amazing PowerPoints. Eventually I also branched off into Keynote and finally Prezi. In the end, it was not about the presentation, but the content that drove what I was presenting to students.

People will disagree – I’ve noticed that in a Mac and PC world – but in my mind Keynote and PowerPoint are relatively the same. They are both slide/presentation programs where you can create your notes: bullets, pictures, movies, graphs and charts. I do feel that KeyNote is more sophisticated, you have more options and your ability to export into many formats has me enjoying that app a bit more.

When I first started using Keynote I was a bit overwhelmed with too much choice. I was confused on where to go, what to add and how much. I was reminded of my days when I started on PowerPoint and had too much going on – the emphasis was on the show and not the information. Over time, presentations became better, succinct and I was able to get creative. I still had one problem, both PowerPoint and Keynote are very linear – you start at point A and end at Point B. Creatively, while I had more options with Keynote, I was still restricted to a straight across format, I wanted something a little more free form.

Enter Prezi, Prezi. I liked how Prezi gave me a space, and I was allowed to create. I can upload my own pictures, video and create text however I like it. I can add shapes, I can adjust the orientation so presentation zooms in, out, up down or any direction I choose. This is great for my students as it can challenge their thinking, put the focus on the content and deliver in a manner that is not necessarily linear. At the same time, I can embed my presentations – fully interactive – on my class blog or via Twitter. I know I can do this, to a degree, with Slideshare on my PowerPoints or Keynotes, buy my students desire something much more highly interactive.

On a closing note, Prezi is not perfect. While they have a viewer app on iPad and iTouch, they viewer does not support certain image types like SWF or even certain video types. So, I just use my computer in those instances. Whatever your choice in presentation tool, keep it concise, make it fun, and doing use too many breaking glass sound effects.

A sample Prezi on Storytelling
Sample Prezi

My first Prezi, still some work to do, but a good start My first Prezi