Activity Types: Multimedia Presentation

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What are Multimedia Presentations?

Although multimedia presentations are created in much the same way as eBooks (using MS PowerPoint or one of the other previously mentioned multimedia tools), the difference between an eBook and a presentation is in its delivery. eBooks are created with the intention that they will be read on a small screen. Presentations are created to be viewed at a distance from the display; therefore, there are specific rules that make the visuals clear and audience-friendly. These “A DOZEN RULES FOR GREAT PPTS” will help you construct great PowerPoints:

  1. 6 X 6 rule—Only 6 words to a line and 6 lines to a slide (Some texts now use the 7 X 7 rule, so either will be appropriate)
  2. In a bulleted presentation, use only fragments. If you use complete sentences, DO NOT use bullets! Remember that all bullet statements should begin with capitol letter. No periods at the end as bulleted items are fragments only.
  3. All Caps for title, headings, interest only—titles can be in all caps, but not all the words in the body of the text, too! Too difficult to read!
  4. Consistent font & size for headings/text (All titles same font size; all text in the body same font size)—It’s just a lot easier to read at a distance!
  5. Maximum of 2 fonts used throughout presentation—Poor choice of fonts leaves your presentation less readable! This is true for eBooks, too!
  6. Sans serif font used (Fonts without curls--such as Helvetica, Arial, Verdana)—At a distance, sans serif fonts are much easier to read.
  7. No more than 3 colors on the page (NO red/green together)—This is good design regardless of the purpose of your product. Three or more colors make the page busy.
  8. Text & background contrasting colors OR design template used—This is common sense! If the text does not contrast with the background, it becomes invisible or difficult for the viewer to read.
  9. No more than 2 graphics per page—Again, this is one of the principles of quality graphic design. Use graphics carefully! They have such impact when used properly and can really ruin a good presentation when used improperly.
  10. One and ONLY one transition in the presentation—Make the audience listen to you, not tune you out while they watch for the next “cute” animation.
  11. Add an Ending slide that says “Questions”—This will serve as a trigger to remind you that you are at the end of your presentation and focus everyone’s attention on your final comments!
  12. Remember to add a “Bibliography” slide if you used graphics, sound, or movie files collected from the Internet or from other copyrighted sources.

Delivering the presentation is another area that must be considered.

Check out the great video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tGq3tH4qSw) for a bit of humor to get the common PowerPoint mistakes across! Now, THIS is a teaching tool! You will not forget after watching this!

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project


Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu