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Superhero 12: John UnruhFriesen on Presentation Zen

The focus of this breakout session at the Superhero Conference was to look at presentations and how we can make them better. It was one of the more popular sessions at last year's event, and I wanted to be sure to see it! 
John UnruhFriesen shared how PowerPoint bullets are all our students see.
Following the Explore...Explain model of Ramsey Mussalam's Keynote, he began by having us begin by creating our own presentation via Google Docs.
Here is my finished model:

In Google Presentation now, when searching for images to include, you can now see only images that have been labeled for reuse!
Always size from the corner. Filling the entire screen is better!

Malcolm Gladwell in Blink asks, "How many seconds does it take for a student to judge your effectiveness?" Gladwell says, "10!" When we see something good right away, that sets the mood for the way things will go in the rest of the time.

How many bullets do we see in meetings? We do the same thing in the classroom!
Unruh-Friesen sees 5 keys to presentation:

  1. Eliminating the "non-essential!"
  2. Empty Space
  3. Simplicity
  4. Elegance
  5. Subtlety
DaVinci-Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!

Eliminating the "Non-Essential!"

We see many examples of "un-zen " presentations!

If it is not necessary to design more, it is not necessary to design more!
Flipcharts-Too much info! Ugly

Focus on the images, use more slides, keep it simple


  • Powerpoint Karaoke
  • Put the bullets on the speaker notes.
  • Give the students only 20 words total on the screen.
Powerpoint is actually better at this right now than Google-where notes can be displayed for the teacher, but the students only see the presentation.
By doing this, you can also make the presentation non-linear and jump to slides that satisfy student curiousity.

Some suggest the following:

The 1-7-7 Rule
  • One main idea per slide
  • Insert 7 lines of text max
  • only use 7 words per line
Kawasaki-10-20-30 rule
  • No more than 10 slides
  • No more than 20 minutes
  • No less than 30 point font
But does it work? John UF says "No!"
What do people focus on. Putting the image on the left, and words on the right in English speaking room, is better. Reverse it if you have more Arabic speaking students.

If a bullet is important enough, it deserves it's own slide!
Turn on the lights
The Power of Story -"What Would Don Draper Do?"

Use the Rule of Thirds!

Use Good Images
Avoid this...

Too small, too big, bad text, stretched wrong, clip art, watermark, Comic Sans

Do This!
Fill the screen!
If pictures say a 1,000 words let them!
A 2008 Study showed that participants who saw 2,500 images for 10 seconds each had an amazing 87% retention rate 72 hours later. Compare this to 10% retention for what we hear!


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