Powerpoint Presentation Opinions Please

Shaun.P

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Original poster
Jul 14, 2003
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Hello everyone,

Next week I need to give a 5 minute presentation on a topic of my choice, as part of an application process to be accepted into High School teaching.

I decided to do my presentation on dyslexia. I haven't done many presentations before, and this is by far the most important one.

I was wondering if some of you could please look over it for me? With maybe some feedback in regards to the content and layout, and any suggestions to make it better.

Please watch it in full-screen for full effect!

Also, it's to be 5 minutes - timing myself giving the speech comes up at 7 minutes 30 seconds, is this running over too much?

Lastly, the following in my presentation does not look correct to me:

"Dyslexic people’s brain’s simply work differently.". Should it be peoples'?

Thank you for all your help. You will need PowerPoint 2007.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
Also, it's to be 5 minutes - timing myself giving the speech comes up at 7 minutes 30 seconds, is this running over too much?
1.5x suggested length, yes I'd say so.

A little over fine but 1.5x is too long.

"Dyslexic people’s brain’s simply work differently.". Should it be peoples'?
My understanding was that s' = s's so no. However the sentence does feel rather awkward and could be reworded.

The clusters should make the journey to the surface of the brain when during development in(could be replaced with "of") the fetus. When they don’t reach the surface, they are known as ‘ectopic cells’.
Also in slide 4 a lot of information appears at once, it needs to be broken down a little more as it is overwhelming.

The graph is slide 5 really needs the axis labeled.

I'll have another look a little later when I can spend a little more time but these jumped out at me straight away.

p.s. I'm dyslexic.
 

heehee

macrumors 68020
Jul 31, 2006
2,462
223
Same country as Santa Claus
One thing I've learned from my boss and Steve Jobs when making presentations is the word simple. I know it's easier said than done, 20% of my work is making presentations for my boss.

I've scanned through your powerpoint, it has way too many words. Probably less than 10% of your audience is going to read all of that.

I also think your animation is too slow.

Here is an article that might help you. Uncovering Steve Jobs' Presentation Secrets

Think about it this way—the average PowerPoint slide has 40 words. In some presentations, Steve Jobs has a total of seven words in 10 slides. And why are you cluttering up your slides with too many words?
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
Next week I need to give a 5 minute presentation on a topic of my choice, as part of an application process to be accepted into High School teaching.
Is this for a course to learn to become a teacher or to actually get a job as a teacher?

Just to expand on my previous statement about it being too long. One of the points of giving a suggested time in this case is that teachers in general have to plan to fixed timelines and get the idea of the lesson across in that time.

It wouldn't be a useful lesson if 2/3 the way through the class left for a different lesson and you didn't get the point of yours across.

I'd be tempted to split the "Dyslexia & Intelligence" slide into two. The first being biological side and the second being the "Intelligence" part. It just feels a little too clustered especially when compared to the relatively sparse following slide.
 

Shaun.P

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 14, 2003
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Omicron Persei 8
It's an application to be accepted to study the course to become a High School teacher in the UK. If I am accepted, after 1 year I will be a qualified teacher as I already have my degree (maths).
 

Shaun.P

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 14, 2003
1,599
13
Omicron Persei 8
One thing I've learned from my boss and Steve Jobs when making presentations is the word simple. I know it's easier said than done, 20% of my work is making presentations for my boss.

I've scanned through your powerpoint, it has way too many words. Probably less than 10% of your audience is going to read all of that.

I also think your animation is too slow.

Here is an article that might help you. Uncovering Steve Jobs' Presentation Secrets
Thank you for the input, it is greatly appreciated. My audience will be 3-5 other "candidates" and 2 people conducting the interview process.

The Dyslexia & Intelligence slide does need cut down, but the rest of it is pretty basic?

The main thing they are looking at in this presentation is your communication skills and your ability to express yourself.

How can I cut this down without compromising on completeness? Run through it faster, say less, or start deleting stuff?
 

heehee

macrumors 68020
Jul 31, 2006
2,462
223
Same country as Santa Claus
Thank you for the input, it is greatly appreciated. My audience will be 3-5 other "candidates" and 2 people conducting the interview process.

The Dyslexia & Intelligence slide does need cut down, but the rest of it is pretty basic?

The main thing they are looking at in this presentation is your communication skills and your ability to express yourself.
One more thing before I have to go, change the background. I just keep on staring in the middle and not read the words. Will try to give you ideas on how to simplify it on the weekend. :)
 

adpeace

macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2008
20
0
A couple of minor points:

I'm not sure if my Mac is a bit slow but the fading in of the text seems very slow and could do with being quicker (it takes >1s per fade-in).

I'm not sure I like the 'Basic Information' slide title - how about 'About Dyslexia', or 'What is Dyslexia?'

The first statistics page may be better represented as a pie chart.

I like the Picture Thinking slide - the alignment of the X symbol under the arrow is a little irritating though (it may look better centred under the image rather than left-aligned).

The correct grammar for your 'brain' sentence is "Dyslexic peoples' brain simply works differently." However, you could also re-word as "A dyslexic person's brain simply works differently" if you preferred?

Just ideas - looks good overall (if perhaps a little long as mentioned elsewhere).
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
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Very interesting presentation. :)

My comments:

1. Good rule of thumb, for a short presentation, not counting your introduction and ending slide, there should be 1 slide per minute. Consider cutting down the number of slides a bit. Otherwise you will be over time and maybe seem rushed. Plus as a teacher, you are expected to fill presentation times with your lesson plans.

2. Eliminate the fancy bullet animations. They're not needed and don't add to the presentation. Plus timed bullets can mess you up as they will continue to show -- even if you are answering a question. If you must, just have them simply appear when you click on the mouse button.

3. Slim down your bullets. Keep them simple and not paragraphs. Most folks won't read them anyway. And if you read your bullets, it will look as if you are unprepared. Rule of thumb; bullets should be bullets (short, one line at most).

4. Consider a pie chart instead of bar chart for Dyslexia Statistics.

5. Since time is an issue, suggest that you don't animate slide 2. Also, if any of those folks are not readily apparent to your audience, consider removing them. That way you won't get distracted during your presentation when someone asks who it is.

6. Looking at the first slide again, it looks like you messed up by not making the red boxes fit. Maybe it's just me. I would consider something different. Maybe just the word Dyslexia scrambled in big letters in a typical way it would appear to a person with Dyslexia with your name under. Then animate the change to the word Dyslexia.

YMMV.

Will you be using your computer to make the presentation? If not, be sure the one that you will supports your presentation. Also, you might want to save as PowerPoint 97-2003 format.
 

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
2,228
4
Pasadena CA
OK - I do lots of presentations - I use keynote usually, but here's my suggestions.:

Dump the animations on slide 1. Slide one should be static, and give the title of the talk, your name, and if room, your contact details, and the date/venue of your presentation

I like slide two - businessmen, creatives, world leaders.. that's a nice touch.

Drop the funky animations for bulletpoints - just fade them in.

Slide 4 has about 3x as much text as should ever be on a slide

Ask yourself this with EVERY slide :

Who is the text for? You, as your notes. Or the audience? If it's for the audiences, why do you need to say ANYTHING at all? Just print the thing and hand it to them

Final slide - drop the 'thank you' - a nice touch to always end on is to find a quote that phrases the message you're trying to make - there are websites that have libraries of quotes, something will come up - leave than on screen, and the FINAL transition should be just fading up your email address, or a key URL in a corner, for further info.

The slides with images = good. Get your message across with visuals on screen, and words from your mouth. With so many words on screen - what are you for? Find a way to visually represent each point you're making in some way. On the 'brains work differently' point - find some FMRI or something.

I don't like to blow my own trumpet - but here's me giving lectures, lots of peoples say I do a good job both presenting, and slide preparation :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa3-vrCEbW0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRq0sUP0KbY
http://vimeo.com/4432230

I resort to text were it's really necessary, but MOST of the time - just pictures to accompany the point I'm making. I know my subject matter is far more visual than yours - but you have to try really hard to MAKE it visual, then punctuate those imaging queues with your words.

Please do run a V2.0 of the slides past us - and let us know how it goes!

And yeah - 7 mins is FAR too much - never EVER knowingly go in with more presentation than the time you've been given. It's rude and annoying to the organisers or the people watching. Get it down to 4 or 5, plus time for a question or two afterwards.

Doug
 

Shaun.P

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 14, 2003
1,599
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Omicron Persei 8
Very interesting presentation. :)

My comments:

1. Good rule of thumb, for a short presentation, not counting your introduction and ending slide, there should be 1 slide per minute. Consider cutting down the number of slides a bit. Otherwise you will be over time and maybe seem rushed. Plus as a teacher, you are expected to fill presentation times with your lesson plans.

2. Eliminate the fancy bullet animations. They're not needed and don't add to the presentation. Plus timed bullets can mess you up as they will continue to show -- even if you are answering a question. If you must, just have them simply appear when you click on the mouse button.

3. Slim down your bullets. Keep them simple and not paragraphs. Most folks won't read them anyway. And if you read your bullets, it will look as if you are unprepared. Rule of thumb; bullets should be bullets (short, one line at most).

4. Consider a pie chart instead of bar chart for Dyslexia Statistics.

5. Since time is an issue, suggest that you don't animate slide 2. Also, if any of those folks are not readily apparent to your audience, consider removing them. That way you won't get distracted during your presentation when someone asks who it is.

6. Looking at the first slide again, it looks like you messed up by not making the red boxes fit. Maybe it's just me. I would consider something different. Maybe just the word Dyslexia scrambled in big letters in a typical way it would appear to a person with Dyslexia with your name under. Then animate the change to the word Dyslexia.

YMMV.

Will you be using your computer to make the presentation? If not, be sure the one that you will supports your presentation. Also, you might want to save as PowerPoint 97-2003 format.
Thank you for all your input! The red boxes are not meant to fit, when the presentation is viewed in full screen mode it is meant to look like a sort of collage of boxes - the parts that lie out with the frame are not seen.

The computer I need to use has PowerPoint 2007 installed. I have used PowerPoint 2008 (mac) and I've ran a compatibility check and it appears to be okay (so far!).

I think a pie chart is a great idea and will stop that particular slide from looking so empty! I will change it!

I think also dropping the animation in slide 2 will help speed up the presentation so I will change that too. I deliberately picked a wide variance of "celebrities" from different backgrounds so hopefully most of them will be recognised!

Some of the bullets do need slimmed down - I will work on that and post an update!


OK - I do lots of presentations - I use keynote usually, but here's my suggestions.:

Dump the animations on slide 1. Slide one should be static, and give the title of the talk, your name, and if room, your contact details, and the date/venue of your presentation

I like slide two - businessmen, creatives, world leaders.. that's a nice touch.

Drop the funky animations for bulletpoints - just fade them in.

Slide 4 has about 3x as much text as should ever be on a slide

Ask yourself this with EVERY slide :

Who is the text for? You, as your notes. Or the audience? If it's for the audiences, why do you need to say ANYTHING at all? Just print the thing and hand it to them

Final slide - drop the 'thank you' - a nice touch to always end on is to find a quote that phrases the message you're trying to make - there are websites that have libraries of quotes, something will come up - leave than on screen, and the FINAL transition should be just fading up your email address, or a key URL in a corner, for further info.

The slides with images = good. Get your message across with visuals on screen, and words from your mouth. With so many words on screen - what are you for? Find a way to visually represent each point you're making in some way. On the 'brains work differently' point - find some FMRI or something.

I don't like to blow my own trumpet - but here's me giving lectures, lots of peoples say I do a good job both presenting, and slide preparation :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa3-vrCEbW0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRq0sUP0KbY
http://vimeo.com/4432230

I resort to text were it's really necessary, but MOST of the time - just pictures to accompany the point I'm making. I know my subject matter is far more visual than yours - but you have to try really hard to MAKE it visual, then punctuate those imaging queues with your words.

Please do run a V2.0 of the slides past us - and let us know how it goes!

And yeah - 7 mins is FAR too much - never EVER knowingly go in with more presentation than the time you've been given. It's rude and annoying to the organisers or the people watching. Get it down to 4 or 5, plus time for a question or two afterwards.

Doug
Thank you so much for your information. I love the idea of ending with a quote - it's something a bit different.

I will change the text effects.

I like the idea of ditching all that text (that I know how to explain without reading the text) and popping in pictures of brain scans.

Thank you everyone for your input I'm picking up a lot of useful advice!

On a separate note - I would like to involve the audience in my presentation somehow. Either by passing something around the room, or asking questions to the audience. I want my presentation to involve the audience as it will look good from a communication perspective. However, I have found it difficult to think of something in this regard relating to dyslexia.
 

Jaro65

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Mar 27, 2009
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Seattle, WA

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
2,228
4
Pasadena CA
I've been 'doing' the astro-soc circuit in the UK for about 5 years, and tonight, actually, was the last astro-soc talk I'll be doing in the UK for a long long time. I've got a load of presentations at the UK Space Conference in a few weeks - and then fingers crossed, I'm emigrating. The two YouTube talks were at a science festival, so it was aimed more at the general public than astro-geeks :) The Vimeo one was at NASA's JPL, telling them what us enthusiasts do with their pretty pictures, possibly the most nerve wracking talk I've ever given!

I LOVE doing talks, and I've been lucky to get my dad's brains, and my mum's gift of the gap. Combine that with an interest in a really cool subject matter, and it's sort of a perfect storm for presenting really. It's nice to know people enjoy seing what I can blather on about, and if people come out the end of it with 'cool pictures' - that's awesome. If they come out with a challenging question (and I got one tonight ) it means they've understood it all which is even MORE awesome. One of the nicest things I've been told after a talk "Wow - I had NO idea". It's a special opportunity to invite someone into a world you find so fascinating and share it.

Like life - it you can find where your interests and your abilities intersect, you're SORTED.
 

James Craner

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2002
1,707
170
Bristol, UK
I would just make one additional comment about the first graph. I don't think you need a graph at all. If you want people to remember something keep it simple. You just need the two points as a simple table

% of Population with Dyslexia

Severe 3%
Mild 5%

A pie chart does not work as it will be 92% green with two small segments that will presumably have a label 3% and 5% - people will then need to read the labels so you might as well just have a simple table instead.

Unfortunately the table does not come out very well on this forum post, but I am sure you get what I mean :)
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
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A pie chart does not work as it will be 92% green with two small segments that will presumably have a label 3% and 5% - people will then need to read the labels so you might as well just have a simple table instead.
Maybe something like this would work.

Dyslexia Statistics.jpg

Easy to see the data (percentages) this way and it fills up the slide.
 

James Craner

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2002
1,707
170
Bristol, UK
This is what I meant. The problem with pie charts is people need to read the labels. Now if you wanted to give the impression that Dyslexia was affected by a small amount of the population, then a pie chart may work, but in this case I think the OP was trying to show it is more common than most people believe. To reinforce this it is sometimes easier to put in simple terms such as it effects one person in every 12.5. Anyway here is my suggestion.
 

Attachments

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
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This is what I meant. The problem with pie charts is people need to read the labels. Now if you wanted to give the impression that Dyslexia was affected by a small amount of the population, then a pie chart may work, but in this case I think the OP was trying to show it is more common than most people believe. To reinforce this it is sometimes easier to put in simple terms such as it effects one person in every 12.5. Anyway here is my suggestion.
Interesting.

I think that the case could be made either way.

For comparison here is my slide suggestion changed to match your slide's wording:

Dyslexia Statistics 4.jpg

Your slide suggestion:

Dyslexia.001.jpg

This provides the OP some options -- one of ours or maybe something else.
 

James Craner

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2002
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170
Bristol, UK
Yes I agree, I think you can use either. When ever you do a slideshow, the win is trying to have a story that people will identify with and remember.
 

Shaun.P

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 14, 2003
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Omicron Persei 8
Interesting.

I think that the case could be made either way.

For comparison here is my slide suggestion changed to match your slide's wording:

View attachment 216447

Your slide suggestion:

View attachment 216445

This provides the OP some options -- one of ours or maybe something else.
I am going to stick with the pie chart - I want my presentation to be as colourful and visual as possible.

I've made some changes to the presentation, (still isn't finished). It's a bit more streamlined.

I'm having some trouble though with the playback of the presentation.

When I go to a new slide, the first bullet point (or first animation) seems to occur straight away. This seems to happen on most pages. I would just like the header to appear on each page and me to click to proceed to the next slide. It used to do that but now it all loads automatically!

What have I done!?

Edit: Fixed it. Had something to do with the timings I had rehearsed and it applied them to the presentation.

Lastly : can anyone think of a good education / learning related quote?
 

James Craner

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2002
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170
Bristol, UK
If you are going to do a pie chart, then use Sushi's layout as 3D Pie charts are the worst. The 3D perspective can fool the eye into making the Mild and Severe slices appear smaller than they are. Also you have no labels yet on the chart so the audience will be guessing what the % are.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
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The red boxes are not meant to fit, when the presentation is viewed in full screen mode it is meant to look like a sort of collage of boxes - the parts that lie out with the frame are not seen.
I understand your collage concept. However, to me, and it might just be me, it seems like you are mixing slide content. For example, a slide with red boxes like yours and the green one in the middle would be fine.

However, when mixing with your name, it looks out of place to me.

For example, you could have a splash screen with red boxes like you have with the green one in the middle. Then the follow on slide would have Dyslexia and your name in text.

IMHO, it seems you are mixing two concepts and it doesn't flow well.

Since you like animations, maybe you can lead off with would be the word Dyslexia and your name underneath, but scrambled. Then upon pressing the mouse, the words unscramble themselves.

Gives a very vivid concept of Dyslexia.

Of course you could do it in reverse if you thought it flowed better.

I'm having some trouble though with the playback of the presentation.
I would suggest that you not make your presentation automatic. Instead manually advance slides/bullets.

What have I done!?
I would suggest using a 2D pie chart instead of a 3D one. Three-D pie charts often distort what you are trying to project.

Plus you need to add percentages to the Pie chart.

I see where you removed some of the text. That's good.

IMHO, for a 5 minute presentation, it seems that you have too many slides. I would suggest eliminating a 1-2 slides. You don't want to appeared rushed when giving your presentation.

Lastly : can anyone think of a good education / learning related quote?
Possibly:

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn."
-- John Cotton Dana

or

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself."
-- Chinese Proverb
 

iAlan

macrumors 65816
Dec 11, 2002
1,143
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Hey Shaun,

My input would mirror a lot of what has been said. But I would like to reinforce the 'keep it simple' rule - and v2.0 of your presentation is a great improvement in this regard.

You want the audience to focus on you, not the slides - by this I mean if the audience is reading or watching a variety of animations, they are not focusing on you. The slides should not be a crutch, they should support your spoken message - remember that when someone attends a presentation they are there to see you (this applies to almost all presentations, including your's too I think)

I present a lot (a real lot actually, around 30-35 presentations a year, but am by no means an expert!) and I rarely have text slides and if I do there are 3-6 words per bullet point and 3-5 bullet points on any of these slides. Actually, sometimes I just have 1 word per bullet (eg: your text on slide 3 'Tends to run in families' could be changed to 'Hereditary'). The text in bullet points should also support your key message and your v2.0 bullet points are a better reflection of this, but go a step further and cut the written text down and speak a little more (eg: on slide 5 cut 'when reading, writing and spelling' from the 1st bullet text and you could say this during the presentation).

By limiting text and incorporating other visual elements kind of helps the topic too!

Your allotted time of 5 minutes really isn't much time, and rather than rushing through a number of messages in this short time why not focus on one-or-two - you know the topic much better than I do, so how can you slim it down? I think slides 3, 5 and 10 are OK as they are, and a combination of (7, 8 and 9) on one slide would be better, or at least tie them together a little more as if they were one slide - and this is all you need (so 4 slides excluding title and closing slides - and thats a minute per slide to be within limits).

And lastly, this is a pet peeve of mine - I don't like presentations on dark backgrounds. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I just don't like!

Good luck with your representation and let us know how it goes.

Cheers,
Alan
 

sushi

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Jul 19, 2002
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Actually, sometimes I just have 1 word per bullet (eg: your text on slide 3 'Tends to run in families' could be changed to 'Hereditary').
Great suggestion.

Your allotted time of 5 minutes really isn't much time, and rather than rushing through a number of messages in this short time why not focus on one-or-two - you know the topic much better than I do, so how can you slim it down? I think slides 3, 5 and 10 are OK as they are, and a combination of (7, 8 and 9) on one slide would be better, or at least tie them together a little more as if they were one slide - and this is all you need (so 4 slides excluding title and closing slides - and thats a minute per slide to be within limits).
Well said.

I had a professor that suggested two things to keep in mind when creating a presentation, paper, seminar, etc.

One is the KISS principle:

K --> Keep
I --> it
S --> Simple
S --> Stupid


The other was the Bikini principle:

Make it long enough to cover the subject but small enough to make it interesting.

Both of these principles have served me well. :)

I would add to these two principles, that you need to know your audience.