The goal of a presentation is to effectively convey information that allows the audience to remember what has been said. That being said, there are several options as to how to give a presentation, specifically for a final project. For students, presentations can be given as individuals or groups, or for educators in seminars. The best tool for the job depends on whether the presentation will be visual or verbal.
When to Blog
Blogs are definitely the ideal verbal tool for presentations. They are becoming increasingly popular for e-portfolios, offering students the opportunity to review, communicate, assess, archive and display their work - including blogging for projects and presentations. Google has a great Keyword Planner tool that allows the writer to enter seed keywords and receive a list of suggested search terms. Microsoft’s Windows Open Live Writer is another solid option.
There are several pros to using blogs in presentations:
- Blog writing is informal, unlike academic writing. This style takes the pressure off students and also allows them to speak their audiences’ language. Blog, or web log, style is typically relaxed, which makes it comfortable and easy for students.
- Blogs allow for comments. Students can get feedback from peers, educators and even parents about their blog.
- Blogs are published. The students’ work is online and can help educate others about their opinion.
- Blogs can easily be linked to social media. Blogs are almost made for social media. A student’s project can easily be shared or linked to the school’s social media account.
There are also some cons:
- A blog doesn’t allow the student to practice his or her speaking skills. In today’s world - where it is a struggle to compete with online and handheld distractions for students’ attention - there aren’t as many real-world opportunities for students to practice their speaking skills.
- Blogs aren’t conducive to group projects. It can be hard to track who-did-what if only one blog is uploaded. Presentations give an entire group the opportunity to participate, even those that aren’t the strongest writers.
When to PowerPoint
When the presentation goal is to be visual, the presentation needs to be done in PowerPoint. Microsoft’s presentation software allows users to create fluid, cinematic motion in one click. Slides can be duplicated, morphed together, moved, etc.
There are definite pros to PowerPoint:
- PowerPoint is the standard when it comes to professional settings. It’s been offered in Microsoft Office versions for more than a decade. It’s highly-recognizable.
- PowerPoint can improve presentations. The software’s ability to use animations and images is a definite plus. Even basic shapes can enhance data and help get the point across.
- PowerPoint slides can be easily distributed. The slides can be printed or emailed. They can be uploaded to the cloud or saved on a flash drive.
Yet, there are also some cons to PowerPoint:
- PowerPoint requires some time to learn. There are a lot of options, which can seem overwhelming to users. Also, novices could put too much information on slides, ruining the entire purpose of using PowerPoint – which should be to enhance a presentation. No one wants to sit and read slide-after-slide.
- PowerPoint could be riddled with technical difficulties. The computer could stop working, power might be lost to the outlet or the overhead display doesn’t work right. These might seem like conditions that can be avoided, but you never know what can happen in a space that is unfamiliar.
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