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Blog Post

Summary of “Mind-Blowing PowerPoint. No, Really!” by Richard Goring

Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Have you ever wondered how to improve your presentations? Or why some presentations are so boring? Or why some experts recommend you do not use bullet points to present information? Then this talk presented during the ATD 2019 International Conference & EXPO is for you! Richard Goring answers all these questions and covers 6 different techniques you can use to make your PowerPoint presentations better.


Introduction


No one likes death by PowerPoint but there are neuroscientific discoveries that make the case against the average text slide even worse. According to research, the brain uses the same regions to listen as it does to read. So, what happens when we reveal a slide that is a wall of text and start talking? Normally, students start trying to read the text, but when they do that they make it very hard for their brain to process what you are saying. The result is, not only is all that text boring, it is also hard to process.

So, what would be a better option? To present information visually and then talk about it. This is effective because of a phenomenon called “dual coding of information” in which two different streams of information are processed in two separate places in the brain. Studies show that using this technique increases the chances of retention and recall compared to information only coded one way.

PPT Tips

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  1. Making a specific part of your content pop (location in the video 13:34)
    1. Use the free shape tool to create an object that will cover everything except what you want to highlight.
    2. Make the object semi-transparent.
    3. Add a Fade animation to make it appear.
    4. The result is that when you are presenting the  opaque object will cover everything except the image you want to stand out.

 
2. Making different elements in a slide pop (location in the video 16:00)

  1. Use the freeform tool to create different shapes of the things you want to highlight.
  2. Create a rectangle that covers the entire slide.
  3. Select first the rectangle and then the shapes
  4. Go to Drawing Tools > Merge Shapes > Substract to cut those shapes out of your rectangle.
  5. Make the rectangle semi-transparent.
  6. Add a Fade animation to make it appear.
  7. The result is that when you are presenting the  opaque  rectangle will cover everything except the shapes you "cut out" of it. This will make these stand out.

 3. The Quick Access Toolbar (location in the video 19:42)

  1. This toolbar can be located above or below the ribbon on PowerPoint. You can add to it all your favorite tools by right clicking on the tool’s icon and then selecting “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” from the drop down menu.
  2. As a bonus, the facilitator offered the customized Quick Access Toolbar from his company BrightCarbon that you can access here:  https://www.brightcarbon.com/resources/quick-access-powerpoint-toolbar/

 4. Using the Morph Transition (location in the video 34:00)

For those of you that have Office 360 you can use the Morph Transition to create an animation effect of sliding an object from one place to another. It can also change the shape’s size, color, and a few other attributes.

 
5. Creating triggers and toggle switches (location in the video 43:14)

  1. Adding a trigger: Let’s say you want to have an image you can click on to reveal some a text box. In order to do this:
  2. Add an entrance animation to the text box: Animations> Add Animation> Select Entrance animation
  3. In the same tab go to Trigger> On Click of> Select the image.
  4. Adding a toggle switch: Next if you want to have the option to click on the image again so the text box disappears do the following:
  5. Add an exit animation to the text box: Animations> Add Animation> Select Exit animation
  6. In the same tab go to Trigger> On Click of> Select the image.
  7. The result is that when you are presenting you will have the option to click on the image to reveal the text box and then click on it again to hide it.

 6. Creating “hotspots” (location in the video 47:37)

  1. Let’s say you want to create a menu from an image. You want to use hyperlinks but cannot select the text or individual sections of the image to link them.
  2. Place an object on top of the image you want to be clickable.
  3. Right click on it and add the hyperlink.
  4. Make the object transparent.
  5. The result is that when you are presenting you will be able to click on the transparent objects to use them as hyperlinks.

 

In Summary


The brain processes reading and listening in the same area so it behooves the savvy instructional designer not to present the learner with text and then start talking. Instead, you should take advantage of the “dual coding of information” and present information visually and then talk about it in order to increase retention, recall, and overall impact. The PowerPoint tips presented were:

  • How to make a specific part of your content pop
  • How to make different elements in a slide pop
  • How to use the Quick Access Toolbar
  • How to use the Morph Transition
  • How to create triggers and toggle switches
  • How to create “hotspots”

Lastly, if you want to see these specific tips in action head over to the BrightCarbon website (https://www.brightcarbon.com/resources/mind-blowing-powerpoint/). They also have a bunch of other additional goodies so definitely pay them a visit (https://www.brightcarbon.com/resources/)!


Further Reading

 

  • Brain activation for reading and listening comprehension: An fMRI study of modality effects and individual differences in language comprehension https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3081613/
  • To Your Brain, Listening to a Book Is Pretty Much the Same As Reading It https://www.thecut.com/2016/08/listening-to-a-book-instead-of-reading-isnt-cheating.html
  • Are Audiobooks As Good For You As Reading? Here’s What Experts Say https://time.com/5388681/audiobooks-reading-books/
About the Author

Hi!

My name is Pilar Luchaire. I currently work for Audible as a Trainer and Instructional Designer.

I am passionate about learning how to become a better leader and sharing my journey with others.

If you have any questions about my blog posts, training, ID, or just want to chat feel free to reach out to me!

 

Pilar

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