PowerPoint vs. Prezi -- Many, Many Tips

I asked my students at elmhurst-college to send me articles they find online about Prezi and PowerPoint. The list is long and not meant to be read in totality. However, these are good links with good reminders.

Avoid “Death by PowerPoint”

Awesome Visuals


anonymous asked:

I really need some advice right now. I have to talk in front of my class tomorrow and I get really nervous when doing things like that. Please tell me of some ways that I can not be so nervous or maybe calm myself down before I do it.

kk so I actually love presentations, because I am very good at bullshitting my way through them. I was not always this way! I used to hate them because I would get very self conscious. I went from getting 70s on presentations to 95+ hehe… and this doesn’t happen magically, it takes time (at least for me it did).

  • If you have an interesting slideshow, it is almost guaranteed that no one will actually look at you
  • If you fake confidence, you slowly excel at it.
    • My hands used to sweat and get cold during presentations because I would be so nervous… so I started using them! When I speak, I use gestures (don’t overdo it tho).
    • Also for a shaky voice, speak louder. I know it sounds like… “but my voice is shaky because I don’t speak loudly??” honestly if you try to progressively get louder you will become more confident with what you’re saying
  • Try to understand what you’re saying… don’t just memorize it!
    • You will speak rather than present, and listeners like that
    • You will also have less “uh” and “um” if you’re not struggling as hard to remember what you’re trying to say
  • Remember that others are presenting too… so they have no right to judge you because you’re all in this together!
    • I was always afraid that I’d fuck up and people would laugh at me but they usually only laugh when you make a joke or something
    • some people can be bitchy but just ignore them because in the grand scheme of things who cares about them?
  • You’re presenting for a grade… 
    • but you’ll do better if you present by imagining your teacher is trying to learn something from you as opposed to simply wanting to fail you
    • Have fun with it!! The more creative you are, the more you enjoy doing it… and the higher the grade, generally.
  • Use this as a way of improving! Don’t think that this presentation is like… the end of the world. Rather, use it as a small step where you can make mistakes so you can later improve 
  • Have fun!! 
    • Imagine your audience is filled with your fav characters…
    • or that your presentation holds the key to some huge plot twist…
    • Make videos if you can!!! Videos usually get you a higher grade and get the eyes away from you during the presentation… so make your presentation like, intro, video, explain and it will make it connect so well
    • Make your videos fun (if you’re in hs… I’m not sure about college)! like, we always played characters in ours, or made them trailers, or cheesy commercials

You got this babe

I never give clinical advice from the podium.

Dave Hingsburger, a public speaker on developmental disability issues primarily from the caregiver’s point of view (although he also uses a wheelchair from a non-developmental disability)

But seriously.

If you do any public speaking on disability of any kind, including developmental disabilities, including autism?

Memorize this.  Or memorize something that means the same thing, a phrase you’ve made your own, to suit your own needs.  I’d feel awkward saying “clinical” because I’m not a professional, so I’d say something like “I don’t give that kind of advice from the podium”, then I would be prepared to explain exactly why.

Because if you do this kind of public speaking long enough, someone will ask you to explain ”what to do about” something pertaining to their child, their coworker, their friend, their sibling, their student, whatever.

And it would not be remotely ethical for you to even try to answer such a question.  Even if you really thought you had an answer.  I’ve made this mistake more than once, but when i heard Dave say “I never give clinical advice from the podium,” everything clicked into place – this was not only something that I had trouble doing, it was also something I should not be doing or trying to do in the first place.

Why is it unethical to try and give such advice?   Well, you don’t even know the person.  Or if you do, it’s not your business to spread their business in front of an audience, no matter how large or small.  But generally you don’t know the person.  Even when you do know the person, advice can go drastically wrong.  Imagine how much more disastrously wrong it could go if all you know about this person is essentially a sound bite from someone who knows the person.  

And no matter how well they know or think they know the person, they could be giving  you inaccurate information or leaving the most important parts of the information out.  

This is not to mention whether the person themselves would want to be discussed among strangers, even anonymously.  I had a lot of respect for a mother who said that for the first time in years, she would be able to show pictures of her daughter in her presentations.  She’d done it for years without even thinking ofher daughter’s opinion.  Then she started asking her daughter every time, and making sure she knew it was always okay to say no.  Year after year, her daughter said no.  This year, her daughter said yes, and then, and only then, would she show her daughter’s photos again.

It’s a matter of safety, it’s a matter of dignity, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of knowing your limitations as a speaker.

And if you do like this idea, and you do have to use it during a presentation, give credit to Dave Hingsburger, the video it’s on is called “The Ethics of Touch”.  The video is too expensive for most people to afford (I received it as a gift), so you may never see the video unless you know a person or agency that has a copy.  But this quote is from that video, so if you’re going to give him credit, mention the name of the video the quote is from.

But seriously.  Hearing this made me a lot more comfortable in telling people ‘I can’t do this.”  Because I never felt right doing it.  I never even felt I could do it, which really nobody can.  But I had this weird idea that because  the question was asked, I was doing something wrong  by not answering.  Dave’s quote gave me permission not to do that.


This Week on Great Talks

Susan CainThe Power of Introverts — TED (2012)

Susan unpacks the social myths surrounding introversion in this passionate and personal appeal.

Elizabeth GilbertYour Elusive Creative Genius — TED (2009)

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love shares her ideas about the nature of genius and how to manage the inherent emotional risks of creativity.

Bret VictorInventing on Principle — CUSEC (2012)

Bret Victor explores his personal philosophy on making things by showing how to create new things based on your beliefs.

Mike MonteiroHow Designers Destroyed the World — Webstock (2013)

Mike argues that designers are directly responsible for what they put into the world but don’t consider this impact enough.

Malcolm GladwellChoice, Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce — TED (2004)

Malcolm Gladwell describes the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce.

Merlin MannInbox Zero — Google Tech Talk (2007)

At Google, Merlin Mann details his philosophy on email and how to manage the competing priorities it introduces.

Max Temkin, Cards Against Humanity — XOXO Festival (2013)

Max shares the origin of Cards Against Humanity and proves that you can make great things without knowing what you’re doing.

On a personal note, thanks for all of your support and submissions. More great talks coming very very soon. Submit your favorites here. Thanks to strle for giving me the idea for this post.

Surviving Big Presentations
  • Breathe slowly and deeply – steady breathing helps your body to relax and calms your mind
  • Have some water with you to sip in case your throat gets dry
  • Visualize holding hands with someone you trust
  • Try to enjoy what you are doing: stay relaxed and calm
  • Build your confidence by taking opportunities for smaller mini-presentations during the course
  • Perform it to a friend the day before - ask what you could improve on - plus it counts as practice!
Planning decisions and activities when you are presenting

If you’re asking a group you’re presenting to do an activity, it’s important to decide in advance how the activity will work.

If you want your group’s input about the activity, plan in advance how you will solicit it. If you want them to choose a topic, plan in advance how that choice will happen. Just asking the group what they want isn’t enough. Things go much more smoothly when you plan the ways input and decisions will happen.

Some examples of how to do that:

  • “Break up into small groups. Your group can talk about either popsicles or hamburgers.”
  • “There are two options. We can either talk about experiences with discrimination or tactics for countering it. Let’s vote. Raise your hand if you want to talk about experiences. Raise your hand if you want to talk about tactics.”
  • You can also gauge which direction to go in by questions or comments your audience is making.

Don’t ask your group to make a complicated decision without support. Either make the decision in advance, or plan a straightforward way to make it in the moment with your group. Winging it is generally awkward and ineffective.

I was actually thinking about leaving science and medicine. The reason for that was as I was going around speaking to faculty members…as I was looking for jobs…the questions I was getting were about how my career was going to help me shape getting the next paper, getting the next grant, how are you going to do arguing for space and promotions…These [topics] had nothing to do with the reasons that I went into medicine or science. It was in the back row of [my former patient Hayden’s] memorial service that I sat there and decided I was not going to consider grants, publications, promotions or space. Instead I was going to design every experiment in my career toward making sure that other families didn’t have to go through what Hayden’s went through.
—  Jim Olson, pediatric oncologist at PopTech 2013. More PopTech talks to watch on World Cancer Day: