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I'm making a PowerPoint

  1. Sep 17, 2008 #1
    ...and hopefully, it will land me a job teaching. So I really need to impress some folks in a couple of weeks.

    I have good experience working with powerpoint--actually, the show I am doing is about making them, and that is why I was asked--but I'm doing it on Earth Science; so I wanted to know if anyone knows of a good site I can take pictures of rocks and minerals from.

    I already know the background music I am going to use: The Who's "Long Live Rock."

    Be it dead or alive (and I'm hoping people will appreciate my allusion to living and nonliving things).

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2008 #2

    Some people (including me) might not like the background music: isn't it too loud?
  4. Sep 17, 2008 #3


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  5. Sep 17, 2008 #4


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    If you're looking for a job teaching, be mindful of things in your presentation that will distract from your main point (such as music). It's one thing to start with a little clip to get everyone's attention, but it can be overdone and distracting if you're trying to talk over music for your presentation.

    You can be entertaining without resorting to gimmicks that distract. Focus on the lesson you're trying to give, and make sure everything about that lesson is perfectly clear, including modifying font sizes, animating things for emphasis or to have figure labels enter in a logical progression so only the thing you're talking about at the moment is the center of everyone's focus, etc.

    I try to remind people that using technology for technology's sake is not a good teaching approach. We have some great technological tools that can be very powerful in the classroom, but they need to be applied judiciously. Dazzling and entertaining your audience doesn't mean they are learning. Sometimes, plain, old-fashioned, low-tech approaches work better than the hi-tech approach, and the good teacher can tell which cases are best for hi- or low-tech approaches.
  6. Sep 17, 2008 #5
    Following talks about all of the MB points in detail
    (Either see the powerpoint slides at the bottom or use content list on the left)

    I love these commandments lol (from Slide I)
    The 10 Commandments for giving badly presentations David Patterson
    I. Thou shalt not be neat
    Why waste research time preparing slides? Ignore spelling, grammar and legibility. Who cares hat 50 people think?
    II. Thou shalt not waste space
    Transparencies are expensive. If you can save five slides in each of four talks per year, you save $7.00/year!
    III. Thou shalt not covet brevity
    Do you want to continue the stereotype that engineers can't write? Always use complete sentences, never just key words. If
    possible, use whole paragraphs and read every word.
    IV. Thou shalt not expose thy naked slides
    You need the suspense! Overlays are too flashy.
    V. Thou shalt not write large
    Be humble: use a small font. Important people sit in front. Who cares about the riff-raff?
    VI. Thou shalt not use color
    Flagrant use of color indicates imprecise research. It's also unfair to emphasize some words over others.
    VII. Thou shalt not illustrate
    Confucius says “A picture equals a thousand words.”
    Dijkstra says “Pictures are for weak minds.”
    VIII. Thou shalt not make eye contact
    You should avert eyes to show respect. Blocking screen can also add mystery.
    IX. Thou shalt not skip slides in a long talk
    You prepared the slides; people came for your whole talk; so just talk faster. Skip your summary and conclusions if necessary.
  7. Sep 17, 2008 #6


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    Just remember what George Patton said: "No one ever won a war by making powerpoint slides for their country! You win a war by making the poor SOB on the other side make powerpoint slides for his country!"

    Or something close to that.

    None the less, the list is missing a number X.

    X. If you use Roman numerals, at least use them properly. Three is IIV, not III. Eight is IIX, not VIII. (This is a common mistake caused by the prevalence of liberal art majors teaching math in grade school and middle school).
  8. Sep 17, 2008 #7
    ooO, I missed it!

    X. Thou shalt not practise
    Why reserch time practicing a talk? It could take several hours out of your two years of research. How can you appear spontaneous if you practice? If you do practise, argue with any suggestions you get and make sure your talk is longer then the time you have to present it.
  9. Sep 17, 2008 #8


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    I don't practice - at least no out loud. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to say and usually have a lot I could say. What I actually say depends on how the audience reacts and how I'm doing on time. I just make sure I know what parts have to be said, no matter how I'm doing on time.

    One caveat, though. I have to do this a lot. I don't think I could have gotten away with not practicing when I started.
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