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PowerPoint Tutorials

The latest version of PowerPoint for the Mac at Emily Carr University is PowerPoint 2011. Tutorials of newer versions of PowerPoint may also be accessed at the Lynda.com site.

PowerPoint for Mac 2011 Essential Training   (by David River)

Faculty must first login to Lynda.com using your Emily Carr credentials, by clicking on the login link below to access all of the files in the above tutorial.

Login to Lynda.com

lyndaCampus provides unrestricted web-based access to the entire lynda.com library of instructional videos for all current registered students, faculty, and staff at Emily Carr University.

10 Powerpoint Tips for Preparing a Professional Presentation

“Presentations – whether they are made with Powerpoint or other applications, are a great way to support a speech, visualize complicated concepts or focus attention on a subject. However, a bad presentation can achieve the opposite. Badly designed slides with too much text or bad graphics can distract or worse, irritate the audience. Read this short guide that will help you create presentations with a professional look and concise content, avoiding the most common mistakes.”

Criticism of PowerPoint

(From the Wikipedia article on Edward Tufte http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Tufte Edward Rolf Tufte is an American statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University. He is noted for his writings on information design.)

Tufte has criticized the way Microsoft PowerPoint is typically used. In his essay “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint“, Tufte criticizes many properties and uses of the software:

  • It is used to guide and to reassure a presenter, rather than to enlighten the audience;
  • It has unhelpfully simplistic tables and charts, resulting from the low resolution of early computer displays;
  • The outliner causes ideas to be arranged in an unnecessarily deep hierarchy, itself subverted by the need to restate the hierarchy on each slide;
  • Enforcement of the audience’s linear progression through that hierarchy (whereas with handouts, readers could browse and relate items at their leisure);
  • Poor typography and chart layout, from presenters who are poor designers and who use poorly designed templates and default settings (in particular, difficulty in using scientific notation);
  • Simplistic thinking, from ideas being squashed into bulleted lists, and stories with beginning, middle, and end being turned into a collection of disparate, loosely disguised points. This may present an image of objectivity and neutrality that people associate with science, technology, and “bullet points”.

Tufte’s criticism of PowerPoint has extended to its use by NASA engineers in the events leading to the Columbia disaster. Tufte’s analysis of a representative NASA PowerPoint slide is included in a full-page sidebar entitled “Engineering by Viewgraphs” [8] in Volume 1 (page 191) of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board’s report.

Tufte argues that the most effective way of presenting information in a technical setting, such as an academic seminar or a meeting of industry experts, is by distributing a brief written report that can be read by all participants in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the meeting. Tufte believes that this is the most efficient method of transferring knowledge from the presenter to the audience. The rest of the meeting is then devoted to discussion and debate.

See also PowerPoint is Evil by Edward Tufte

Mark Conguista gives his talk ‘PowerPoint: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

– but this really applies to any presentation or talk involving graphics and media.

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