Crush Your Powerpoint! Presentation Designc Skills Every College Instructor Needs to Know

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At 9:0pm On 3/8/17 I attended Crush Your Powerpoint! Presentation Designc Skills Every College Instructor Needs to Know presented by Matt Gambino at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.

Crush Your Powerpoint! Presentation Designc Skills Every College Instructor Needs to Know

Today, the atmosphere was a little more sedate. Since coffee would not be arriving until 10:15am again. Instead of rushing to the conference early to meet colleagues, share ideas, and talk shop, most people seemed to be a little slower in arriving today. I came early and spent some time chatting with Matt before the session. Today’s material will be focusing on using the capabilities of the program, rather than new bells and whistles. I think that’ll be fine for me. I’m really only looking to keep the students reading the material.

Matt works with EdTech Skills. He wants actionable, repeatable method.
College students aren’t thrilled with powerpoint lectures: 4% are great, 34% are OK, 62% are poor. Chalk presentations are 69% great, 25% OK, and 6% poor

Challenges include:

  • Students don’t read the content
  • students don’t read to be prepared
  • it is difficult to achieve a balance of information
  • information is sedate and readers just read off the sheet

Crush It!

We’re hoping to get more milage out of the visuals you have in an effort to liven up what you already have. We’re hoping to up the retention factors. Publishers should be providing the imagery to help you.

There is a 4-step process

Finish It First

Set the Hook. Tell them what they’ll learn by the end. Give a visual to show where you’ll end up.

There is a ten-minute window of attention that most people will give you. Begin with a visual, soundbite, or story which showcases the end result of the lecture. Next, show them how easy it is with a short demonstration. Finally, walk through the process slowly while inviting questions.

Easy ways to regain that attention: Stories are the easiest. they are personal , promoting fear, joy, and more. Slides are nice. Statistics are also great because they can be easily adjusted, and often cause people to perk up.

Unplug Everything

Many people when they hear they’re making a presentation… open powerpoint. This is unfortunate.

The best, first step is to create the material or plan with unplugged devices. Put yourself into the mood, and encapsulate what you’re trying to get to. Brainstorm and/or mindmap. Consider ways in which you can adjust the images to go with the materials you’ve created. Feel free to push outside the normal imagery and give it your all.

Plug in!

Ensure that the opening image will incite and entice people. Or, black. People love to see imagery. If the most important concepts are backed up with images which are easily forgotten. Half of high school dropouts claim their classes were not interesting, so they left.

Design your slides not to stand alone, but rather as a stepping off point for your lecture/discussion. Its not what they’re hearing, its what they feel.


Set your guides to thirds, equidistant. This is called the rule of thirds. Where the lines intersect are called Power Points. Keeping your focus points on the central power points make the slides more harmonius, and visually appealing.

Adobe Color CC is an internet applicaiton that lets you try out, create and save various color schemes. It will create color schemes based on imagery

State your purpose. Who will use it and what for. Gather. Gather the information you need. Group. Group the information in ways the reader can absorb it easily without distraction.

Use Smart Art to adjust your images. Cut them and paste special (microsoft image). Then ungroup and adjust the resized images together without having to work through smart art.


We wrapped up with a short revisitation of the points here, including Make connections through the materials.