Reflections on Powerpoints

We had our back to school night about a month ago and I remember having teachers from the school share examples of powerpoint presentations they have used with parents and thinking quietly that there has got to be a more effective way of communicating.  Back to School night presentations are usually full of information, details, dates, routines and procedures and important information that parents need to know.  I had never thought of a back to school night as a time to communicate a story.  In the same way I prepare my students to write stories I can also see my presentation as a similar kind of story.  I should be starting the same way as my students do.  A piece of paper with a story board.  Where do I want to go while talking? What is the significant message? What is the desired outcome? What is the genre and the theme? Who are the important characters?

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I prepared a handout for the evening with much of what was in the slides and now am reflecting about why I was even talking to them.  Essentially they could have come to my class, taken the handout and left and gone home.  Would they have had the same information? Maybe.  The difference is they got to meet me, hear my speak and share about my philosophy.  Was it more engaging for them to be there? Of course.  I reflected, however, on whether I was really allowing them to take away my message and my main purpose.  The purpose being for them to hear how I will care for their children, help them learn and the journey that we will go on through the year.

After listening to the videos in the Course 3 page I started planning my new presentation to parents which I could use next year.  I started thinking about the story I wanted to share and the kind of images I wanted to communicate.  I am looking forward to creating this presentation and then using the principles in future presentations I use with students and others.

One thought on “Reflections on Powerpoints

  • Tim,
    I love your thinking! I agree that we should think of PPT as a type of ‘storytelling’ and take into consideration the six key abilities, mentioned in Garr Reynold’s blog, as they relate to the art of presentation. Reflecting back on my own style, I find that all PPTs, that I have created in the past, were too text heavy and yes, they were basically my ‘parent handout’ as well!In the future, I will be aiming for more clear and concise messages, strictly down to the point, with text/pictures that compliment my message


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