Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Presentations in Written Form

I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to effective communication, especially when one uses PowerPoint. I believe that in the best presentations that the projected visuals should be necessary, like a map or a piece of artwork being discussed. I don't think that the role of the slides should be as summarized subtitles to the talk. I think that the person who is speaking should be essential to the presentation -- and not just to answer questions.

From this point of view, the worst offenses can be identified when PowerPoint presentations are put on web pages as stand-alone instructional materials. To learn about FERPA, I don't need to read a boring document written in sentences and paragraphs. No, I can download and view the registrar's PowerPoint presentation. Each thought in its own frame. Each idea briefly expressed.

Today I decided that these narrator-less PowerPoints are nothing more than very poorly illustrated comics. Maybe I'll run with that thought and make the presentations for my spring classes in Comic Life.