Presentations – 7 Easy Ways for Creating a Powerful Presentation

Have you ever experienced the all too often death by PowerPoint? Or maybe, you were the guilty party during a presentation massacre. Guess what, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can prepare awesome presentations that will enhance and engage your audience. You just need to follow a few simple principles to create great PowerPoint presentations that even Tom Antion can enjoy. So, read and apply the following tips to your presentations to capture your audience’s attention every time.

#1 – Remember Who’s the Show

Your PowerPoint is not the show. Your audience came to hear you and that’s what they want. Don’t disappoint your audience give them what they want. Prepare your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation not replace it.

#2 – Limit Your Slide Text
The biggest problem with most slides is the content; there is way too much text. Don’t try to place all your information on your slides. It turns your presentation into a boring reading assignment. It turns you into a boring speaker and you will lose your audience. Keep the text on your slides to a minimum and deliver the message yourself.

#3 – Keep Your Slides Simple

PowerPoint is so amazing that you can become mesmerized by all the bells and whistles available to you. There are animations, sounds and special effects galore. But, you don’t need to use everything in one PowerPoint. Simple slides with few special effects are usually the best. A slide with only a picture (that relates to your message) and one keyword can be very engaging. Try it, you will be surprised.

#4 – Choose Your Fonts Wisely

It is very important that when you do use text that it be readable. It needs to be large, the right color and the right font. The size of your fonts should be large and bold. If you are using a small font to get everything on a slide you have too much text. The color of your font should contrast with your background color like black on white or white on blue. However, you should avoid colors like red, yellow, orange or black for backgrounds.

Also, you should avoid using too many fonts. Choose a serif font (like Arial) and a sans serif (like Times New Roman) that will complement each other. Save fancy fonts for the title slide or the ending slide.

#5 – Use Pictures and Graphics

Pictures and graphics must be colorful and large. Your pictures should be at least 50 percent of your slide with limited text. Your slide engage and attract your audience not bore them. Appropriate pictures and graphics (not clip art) are your most effective types of content, especially pictures of people your audience knows.

#6 – Use Video

Insert video into your PowerPoint for a change of pace, especially if your presentation is a long one. A good video from You Tube or a similar site can be used to add humor or relief from the usual routine. Or even better create some of your own videos.

#7 – Tell a Story

People enjoy stories and will be much more receptive to what you have to say if you have captured their attention with a story. Stories help you connect with your audience and get them to accept you and your message. So, make sure that your content, slides and pictures tell a story.

A Guideline in Creating a PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint is one of the most popular slideshow presentation software used by computer users in the world. This program allows you to create presentation slides that could be viewed on any computer. Through the setting in this certain program, you can develop attractive and readable slides for you and for your audience. Here are some valuable steps to help you develop or create attractive slideshow.

First, find the PowerPoint program in your computer system and open it. You will see dialog box after you open the program. Find the option of Blank Presentation and click it.

Second, you have to find a format of AutoLayout. Then you can start working on the layout of the title slides by clicking OK in the large box. Write the title of your presentation here. Then, do the same thing in the smaller box. However, you will write subtitle here instead of the title itself.

Third, you can continue to the next slide. You just need to click the button of Common Tasks toolbar to have the new slide for content. You can choose the layout for the slide by choosing one from some options that you can simply find in the dialog box of AutoLayout. You can keep adding new slides until you can hold all material until for your presentation on them.

Fourth, you can continue to check and edit your work. You can move from a certain slide to another by clicking the button that you can find on the lower-right corner of the PowerPoint window. Move from slide to slide by clicking the button on the lower-right corner of the PowerPoint window. The upward-pointing arrows allow you to take a look at the previous slide, while the downward-pointing arrows will bring you to the next slide.

Fifth, you can save your slides if you have done checking all of them. To save your file, you can click the button File in the menu and choose Save As. You will see dialog box that requires you type a certain name for your slide. The file will be saved to the hard drive of your computer.

Now you are ready to use your slides for your presentation. Preparing anything well before deliver your materials will be perfect to do.

Teaching the Present Progressive – Give Up Explaining the Grammar!

When teaching the present progressive, or continuous, tense, we often concentrate on structure: you have a subject, followed by the auxiliary, “be” followed by the “-ing” form of the verb. A lot of teachers have started calling this verb “the -ing verb”, and rightly so, as I am convinced that virtually nobody can say for sure what the correct term for it is.

Would you call it the gerund? No, because the gerund is the noun derived from a verb, not a verb itself. Here we have a completely different discussion, and another lesson to prepare. You probably do a free time/interests lesson where you ask the question “what do you like doing?”. Your students have the opportunity to practise real gerunds, as in sentences like, “I like playing football, going skiing, painting, reading, shopping...”

You, of course, as a serious ESL professional, know that in a sentence like “I am having a shower”, the “-ing” verb is actually the present participle. Are we sure about that?

participles or adjectives?

If I say, “I am tired”, I know that “am” is the verb and that “tired” is obviously an adjective, given that “to be” is a verb of state, and an adjective is used to add detail to a noun, in this case a pronoun, “I”. But tired is also the past participle of the verb “to tire”. Just as past participles can be used as adjectives, so can present participles: The match was tiring, this film is boring” etc. Expressions like “running water” or “living space” contain “-ing” adjectives.

When saying “I am” we are invariably talking about a present state, so what’s the difference between “I am tired”, and “I am working”? To say “I am working” also indicates my present state, even if technically speaking “working” is the present participle, not an adjective. Interestingly, in French there is no present progressive tense, they use an adjectival phrase which translates, “I am in the process of to work”. A fine line indeed between adjectives and participles!

All these thoughts have led me to believe that they should not discussed with your students, being indeed pointless grammatical debate that will not help them one little bit to communicate more effectively. Instead of trying to have your students build sentences from pre-defined parts, i.e. aux + verb+ing = present progressive = something happening now why not make a mind map of all the possible things we could say starting with “I am”. After all, “I am English” is a present, just like “I am working”. You could brainstorm emotions, physical condition, nationalities, age, jobs, and what is happening now. This way, rather than focussing on meaningless grammatical structure, you are giving your students functional language that they can use outside the classroom.