Delivering a Slideshow Presentation

Recommendations and Pitfalls for the Traditional Slideshow

Why Presentations Get a Bad Rap

When I was in the army, we joked about "death by PowerPoint."  And it was a real problem.  When planning operations or giving status updates, many of the officers were required to put together very detailed slideshows — and when presenting information to military personnel who are far from home and running short on sleep, putting an audience to sleep is easy.  And if you pack your slides with detailed contour maps and paragraphs of notes, you will literally knock them cold.

In the classroom, we face a similar problem — students are often tired, overworked, and distracted.  So whether you're a teacher presenting to your or you're a student presenting to your classmates or a teacher highlighting important course content, it's hard holding the attention of a classroom.

Part 1: Planning a Presentation

One of the hardest parts of presentations is that we typically assign them as group activities.  This requires a level of planning and coordination that's often very difficult, especially when you want everything to hold together a single, coherent message.  In "How to Give a Great Group Presentation," ThoughtCo gives a direct overview on planning, rehearsing, and delivering an effective presentation.  In their "Guide for Giving a Group Presentation," VirtualSpeech provides a more comprehensive discussion that also considers your sense of "presence" in the room.

Key Takeaways for Planning:

Part 2: Designing Your Presentation

The two sources listed here, "Top Ten Slide Tips" and "The 7 Deadly Sins of PowerPoint Presentations," offer important advice for producing informative and engaging presentations for a variety of audiences.

Key Tips from the Five Professional Modes: