A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Microsoft PowerPoint

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Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program which runs on Microsoft Windows and the Mac OS computer operating systems. PowerPoint is widely used by businesspeople, educators, students, and trainers and is among the most prevalent forms of persuasion technology. As a part of the Microsoft Office suite, PowerPoint has become the world's most widely used presentation program. It is comparable to OpenOffice.org Impress.



Absolute PowerPoint

Before there were presentations, there were conversations, which were a little like presentations but used fewer bullet points, and no one had to dim the lights. A woman we can call Sarah Wyndham, a defense-industry consultant living in Alexandria, Virginia, recently began to feel that her two daughters weren't listening when she asked them to clean their bedrooms and do their chores. So, one morning, she sat down at her computer, opened Microsoft's PowerPoint program, and used it.

Parker, Ian. Ohio State University, The. Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Animate to Explain - PowerPoint Motion Path and Keynote Actions

Animations are rarely used in presentations, possibly because using motion path effects on Microsoft PowerPoint or action builds on Apple Keynote is intimidating. Learn the basics of animations through an illustration of the BLK method.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Software>Podcasting>Microsoft PowerPoint


Animations Combination: Exploding Effect

In this presentation, you will learn how to create an explode effect on pictures.

Tohlz, Shawn. PowerPoint Heaven (2005). Resources>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Animations Combination: Leaf Motion Effect

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make the motion of a leaf moving in the wind. It can be easily done with the combinations of Motion Path, Spin and Swivel Effects.

Tohlz, Shawn. PowerPoint Heaven (2005). Resources>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Automatic Slideshow, Delay before Slide Advances

You are making a slide show which runs automatically throughout your presentation without the needs of mouse clicking or entering of keyboard. The automatic slideshow can be photographs presentations and etc. In every slide, you realize that the slide advances to another slide immediately after the last animation ends. The result? Audience does not have the chance to read your slides because it moves too quickly. You will need to make some delay so that all your slides will pause for a while before going to the next one. There are few ways to achieve this. This tutorial will cover two simple methods.

Tohlz, Shawn. PowerPoint Heaven (2005). Resources>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


The 'B' Key or Black Slide in Presentations

The B key blanks the screen during a presentation. It is advantageously replaced with a black slide for scheduled breaks to recapture audience attention. Keynote and PowerPoint techniques are presented to simulate the effect of a B key through a black slide.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Software>Podcasts>Microsoft PowerPoint


Challenging the Common Practice of PowerPoint at an Institution   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Explores how to have a technical community adopt a new communication strategy that challenges the common practice of PowerPoint. Reveals the sources of resistance to that communication strategy. Finds that resistance is diminished when learners see the strategy being used effectively by someone with credibility in that learner's community.

Neeley, Kathryn A., Michael Alley, Christine G. Nicometo and Leslie C. Srajek. Technical Communication Online (2009). Articles>Education>Presentations>Microsoft PowerPoint


Choose and Handle Presentation Remotes

Presentation remotes are both a blessing and a curse, depending on how easy they are to use and how familiar we are with them. They do free us from having to constantly stand by the keyboard, but misusing them turns off the audience. Strengths and weaknesses of four models are reviewed and advice for handling them is given.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Technology>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint



Chances are you have watched your best intentions evaporate under pressure, to find yourself tweaking PowerPoint slides in the desperate hours or minutes before your presentation, scrambling to make time for a quick rehearsal and hoping against hope that you'll be able to pull off a miracle. Indeed, if good intentions paid dividends, plenty of presenters would have tidy sums to add to their retirement nest eggs. Procrastination being the force of nature it is, however, no matter how much lead time presenters give themselves and no matter how many resources are at their disposal, more often than not, the presentation-development process devolves from noble ambitions to utter chaos.

Zielinski, Dave. Presentations (2002). Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Common Use of PowerPoint versus the Assertion-Evidence Structure   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Since 2001, harsh criticism of PowerPoint’s presentation slide structure has surfaced in several popular publications. Because Microsoft PowerPoint controls 95% of the market for presentation slideware (Parker 2001), its default structure certainly deserves scrutiny. However, what is more important than analyzing the default structure of PowerPoint is to analyze the slide structures that people actually use. For that reason, in technical communication, the key question is the following: what slide structures are commonly used for presenting science and technology?

Garner, Joanna K., Michael Alley, Allen F. Gaudelli and Sarah E. Zappe. Technical Communication Online (2009). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Microsoft PowerPoint


Comparing Powerpoint Experts' and University Students' Opinions About PowerPoint Presentations   (members only)

Technical communication instructors want to help students, as well as professionals, design effective PowerPoint presentations. Toward this end, I compare the advice of academic and industry experts about effective PowerPoint presentation design to survey responses from university students about slide text, visual elements, animations, and other issues related to PowerPoint presentation design and delivery. Based on this comparison, I suggest some topics, such as PowerPoint's Slide Sorter view, that technical communication instructors and other presentation instructors might address when they cover presentations in their classes or seminars.

Mackiewicz, Jo M. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2008). Articles>Presentations>Assessment>Microsoft PowerPoint


Continuity Bugs in Linear Slide Presentations

Whenever you take a non linear media and flatten it (make it linear), you introduce problems of two kinds: 1) Discontinuities in logic. The audience needs to remember what was connected to what, earlier in your presentation, to see the connection logic. 2) Discontinuity in time. As time passes, the audience remembers less and less of what they heard and saw. As a result, the memory fails to reconnect the time-broken strands of a disrupted argument.

When The Scientist Presents (2009). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Microsoft PowerPoint


Convince the Crowd With Presentations and Diagrams

Why just get by with a boring presentation when you can create a dynamite Microsoft Office PowerPoint® presentation or a colorful Microsoft Office Visio® diagram? Get ready to impress the big boss or the new team with simple ideas that go a long way.

Microsoft. Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Review: Critique of Your PowerPoint Presentation Titled "Sales Forecast, Third Quarter."

The subtle downplaying of expectations only heightened the shock and amazement this tour de force eventually triggered in the minds of everyone lucky enough to view the production.

Brown, Ross. McSweeney's Internet Tendency (2009). Humor>Reviews>Presentations>Microsoft PowerPoint


Does "New and Improved" Always Mean Better?

A few years back a Canadian company asked me to review their corporate presentation. They seemed pretty pleased with what they had created but asked if I could take a look at things with a professional eye and provide them with some constructive feedback. I rarely turn down these types of requests because every one of us can benefit from some objective perspective from time to time. They went on to tell me that they had been working hard over the years to improve the quality of their presentations and they even went to the extent of purchasing Macromedia Action (no longer available). This high-end presentation design package featured timeline-based slide orchestration, a boatload of new effects, easier media integration capability and a host of other features to be able to create `professional results in minutes'.

Endicott, Jim. Presenters University (2003). Articles>Presentations>Technology>Microsoft PowerPoint


Dumb-Dumb Bullets

PowerPoint is not a neutral tool — it is actively hostile to thoughtful decision-making. It has fundamentally changed our culture by altering the expectations of who makes decisions, what decisions they make and how they make them. While this may seem to be a sweeping generalization, I think a brief examination of the impact of PowerPoint will support this statement.

Hammes, T.X. Armed Forces Journal (2009). Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


An Effective Variant on the Assertion – Evidence Paradigm

Does Assertion follow Evidence, or Evidence follow Assertion as in the traditional scientific order? Some do not care about the order. But some prefer to see the evidence before an assertion is made – particularly if a question is raised prior to showing the enlightening visual evidence. When asked to probe this visual evidence for answers, their mind leaves the passive show-me mode to enter the active let-me-see mode. They are more involved and interested. When they discover the yet-to-appear assertion by themselves, under the friendly guidance of the presenter, they are more likely to be convinced by it and more likely to remember it when it is revealed. Two visuals illustrate the two cases.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scientific Presentations (2010). Presentations>Scientific Communication>Instructional Design>Microsoft PowerPoint


Embedding Flash Inside of a Powerpoint Presentation

Whenever people talk about "jazzing up" some of the Microsoft Office tools, PowerPoint always rises to the top of the list (but you can use this technique for any Office applications). We've all seen the presentations with that pat clip-art, the checkered fades, and those bullets that slide. Why not add some interactivity and exciting animation? Thanks to Microsoft's ActiveX technology we can.

Flashgeek.com (2006). Articles>Presentations>Multimedia>Microsoft PowerPoint


Free Microsoft PowerPoint Templates

Our templates are free and we do not offer any kind of support for our templates. You are responsible for editing and modifying the downloaded templates, backgrounds or products.

Kumar, Raja. PowerPoint.in (2009). Resources>Presentations>Document Design>Microsoft PowerPoint


Free PowerPoint Templates   (members only)

These Free Powerpoint Templates are a great choice for a wide variety of presentation needs.

Chaw, Brandy. Powered Templates (2006). Presentations>Graphic Design>International>Microsoft PowerPoint


Give Participants Something to Flip Over

Let me start off by saying that I do NOT like toys or other distractions in training. I’m NOT one to provide little widgets to keep participants’ hands occupied or provide cutesy pens or such trinkets. I’ve always viewed them as distractions that shouldn’t be necessary if your training is engaging and relevant.

Traut, Terence R. Presenters University. Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric>Microsoft PowerPoint


How PowerPoint is Killing Critical Thought

Bored students is the least of it – the bullet point-ization of information is making us stupid and irresponsible.

Smith, Andrew. Guardian, The (2015). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric>Microsoft PowerPoint


How Slides and Transparencies Stack Up to Micro and Ultraportables

Microportable and ultraportable projectors are changing how Corporate America presents information, sells products and trains employees and customers. Small enough to fit in a brief case, light enough to carry from appointment to appointment and easy enough to use without extensive training, these projectors deliver big, brilliant video, graphic and data images that are sure to grab and hold the attention of audiences.

Presenters University (2003). Articles>Presentations>Technology>Microsoft PowerPoint


Interactive Prototypes with PowerPoint

Have you ever wished your early design mockups could come to life, so you could try out the navigation, test an interaction, or see if a button label just feels right when you click on it? Sure, you could invest in a dedicated prototyping tool, but you can create surprisingly quick and effective prototypes with a software program that's probably sitting on your hard drive right now. It's PowerPoint.

Kelly, Maureen. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Design>Web Design>Prototyping>Microsoft PowerPoint



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