Make your slides more visual

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slidesLifelong learning staff can improve teacher presentations and student learning by helping your teachers make their slides more visual.

In an advanced intensive daylong workshop, multimedia consultant and expert Diana Howles offered numerous strategies on using words, images and sound in slide presentations at the big LERN conference.

Slide presentations do aid in student learning, especially when the slides follow good practice in multimedia design.  Here are five of Howles’ no-cost tips for good practice.

1. Move copy from lists to diagrams

Whenever appropriate and possible, change bullet points or lists in your slides to information topologies, or charts and schemas that indicate relationships between the points. The information topologies (diagrams, flow charts, circles) are free in PowerPoint.

2. Create single large images

At least one of every three slides should consist of a large visual, usually a single image, with only 1-7 words on the screen that describe the concept or point that the visual helps make.

3. Use teacher notes feature

Instead of speaking to the slides, have your teachers make notes in the slide show below what your audience will see. Their whole approach and effectiveness will change when your teachers stop talking to the slides, and start talking to your students. The notes feature can make that happen.

4. Reduce words

Reduce the number of words on a slide.  There are many words that are unnecessary to convey the message.  Take out those unnecessary words.  For example, change the following on your slide, “There are many words that are unnecessary to convey the message. Take out those unnecessary words.” Instead, put this wording on the slide, “Take out unnecessary words.”

5. Say it three times

For a major concept or point (sometimes called a sub-unit), first state the point or lesson or important concept.  Then explain it, providing details.  Then recap the concept and reiterate in a summary statement the major points.  This three part explanation: stating what you are going to cover, then covering it, then summarizing what you just covered, helps increase the learning.  Do this for an entire slide show, or even major concept or point within a slide show.

Howles will be a featured presenter for the Certified Faculty Developer (CFD) online program and designation beginning in February.  Click here for more on the upcoming program.

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