I feel like I need to go back and change not just one slide that I have made, but all of my slides from all of my presentations – someone please grab the visual first aid kit!
I exaggerate. I do tend to keep the amount of text on the minimal side, but I have made some basic errors such as being addicted to white backgrounds, not using animations and contrast to direct the audiences’ attention to where I want it to be. In this week’s task, I will also incorporate elements of storytelling as set out by Garr Reynolds; interestingly I have worked with a professional storyteller before – Phil Dermott – the man is a legend, and brings stories to life. Also, I will adopt almost all of the David Phillips suggestions.
Light Bulb Moment
I have been using PowerPoint, Google Slides and occasionally Keynote for years. I knew that I didn’t like the templates that come with the apps, so I would more often than not make up my own or download from third-party websites such as Slides Carnival.
I would pick the one that best suited the theme of my lesson (technology) and that was pretty much my only criteria. The only other thing that I paid attention to was making sure the text was easy to read, and that is wasn’t Comic Sans!
Watching and reading this week’s material truly felt like a light bulb – moment, in terms of what I was’t doing!
I have decided to go with the following, truly boring and uninspiring slide, I had in a presentation on how to create a positive digital footprint. The target audience* for this was school leaders and college counsellors at an ACAMIS conference, so I felt that I could make it look like this; I promise that the other slides were much more interesting – in fact I used Petcha Kutcha for the remaining section * later I would also use the same slide with grade 11 students preparing for college applications.
You can see I put little or no effort into this slide. It literally has a white background and black text. What was I thinking!? It was a hugely important slide, as it contained the instructions for the main group activity for that session.
So I set out getting feedback from teachers and Grade 12 students, using a variation of the Equity Protocol. I spoke to the students and teachers, giving them the context of the presentation to build up a solid level of understanding. I then asked them to write down on sticky notes, answers to the questions below. Each person had 90 seconds to answer the following 3 questions (I based these on the essential questions from the unit):
- What did you see that would make it engaging to the audience?
- What do you think could be enhanced?
- What do you see that would hinder learning?
Afterwards, the group placed the sticky notes on the whiteboard, in the correct question category. I then read the responses. Finally I reflected to the group on what I had learned; hoping that my colleagues and students would not make the same mistakes as I!
Here are some snapshots:
1. What did you see that would make it engaging to the audience?
- Easy to read text overall
- The title was larger than the rest of the text
2. What do you think could be enhanced?
- Add colour
- Add images to enhance to presentation style
- Give out printed version for referral during the task
3. What do you see that would hinder learning?
- Too many instructions
- Text is too small
- It is not exciting – nothing there says, this sounds like a fun activity!
Based on this feedback and the design principles from this week’s resources – I will aim to do the following:
- I will design the slide to cater for my initial target audience – teachers.
- Have 1 message on the slide, instead of the 4 messages currently on it; remove the non essential.
- I will create an additional 3 slides, again 1 slide per message.
- I will summarize each sentence into a word or picture.
- I will use a dark background with contrasting text.
- I will use animations to change the colour of the text during the presentation; not shown in the screenshots.
- I will use a maximum of 6 pieces of information per slide.
Putting Pen to Paper
Now, onto the new slide design, on paper and with no tech! I annotated each design, which you can see below.
After the paper designs were completed, I created the digital versions using Keynote – check them out below:
Seeing the World Differently
I really enjoyed this week’s task, as I learned some basic tricks that can have a huge impact on visual aids in the class. It certainly has me rethink my use of presentations in the classroom, never again will a sentence find their way onto my slide shows. I found it quite fun to do away with my laptop when redesigning the slide, as it forced me to think more deeply about the message I was trying to convey.
Slide image attributions:
- Footprint – Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
- Crime scene – Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
- Facebook logo – Image by Josh Borup from Pixabay
P.s. A word on my font choice. I chose something that was neither too masculine nor too feminine, something that was easy to read and powerful. So I selected the magnificent Orator Std, created by John Scheppler.