PowerPoint – Discussion Question


PowerPoint Please respond to the following:

  • Compare and contrast the best and worst visual presentations** you have experienced as an audience member.  Then, create a list of three “must do” and three “don’t do” from your experiences.
  • Discuss how much of a good presentation** is the visual aspect and how much is the speaking or presenting aspect. Discuss which you feel is more important.

**Chapter text included in the attachments**

 In a separate post, follow up on one or more of your fellow students in a substantive post of up to 200 words that furthers the discussion. For example, you may support or politely challenge a post with your own insights or experience, make a suggestion, or ask probing follow-up questions. Support your positions with explanations and/or sources, as appropriate, but try not quote. (choose one)

a.  Robert Thomas:

Professor and class,

The best visual presentation I have ever seen was a demonstration on the necessity of social media in non-profit organizations.  This was a power point presentation, but the presenter only used that program to elaborate what he was discussing  and also provide levity to the presentation.  He was animated, witty, and right on topic.  

The worse presentation I have seen was a presenter who just basically read the power point presentation right off of the screen.  He was monotone and completely uninteresting.  I got absolutely nothing out of the presentation.  It would have been better just to read a pamphlet on the subject.

To address the second segment, I believe that a program like power point needs to compliment the presentation.  The problem is that many presenters rely on power point for the entire presentation. This is not enough. The visual presentation needs to be stunning and colorful.  It needs to compliment the presenter.  

The presenter needs to be interesting and exciting.  He needs to interact with his audience.  Body language is very important for the presenter.  He needs to be quirky and humorous and one with the audience.  When he refers to the visual, it should be to compliment his talk.  

b.  Matthew Ervin:

In my experience visual presentations will be performed over a web conference as often as directly in front of an audience. At one point in my career I was attending nearly 5 presentations per week. Here is the list of Do’s and Don’ts I have created.


  • Keep the presentation of each slide consistent
  • Keep the information short, and add links for additional information
  • Check the format on the machine you will present from


  • Get side tracked with people in the room (When presenting to an online group)
  • Write full page paragraphs
  • Skip back and forth on the presentation

 The percentage of a presentation that is visual will change depending on how you are presenting. When presenting in person, the speaking aspect become much more critical. Maintaining good eye contact and body language will be critical to the presentation. The presentation slides will still have an impact but less so than in an online web conference. In a web conference you can’t make eye contact, or use body language to convey confidence or make a point. The graphics and layout of the presentation in combination with the tone you are speaking will have the heavier impact. Remaining focused on your entire audience, and following the slides is critical. 

c.  Ted cameo Hinton: 

Some of the worst visual presentations I’ve seen are usually excessively long slides with normally long drawn out paragraphs with nothing that appeals to the eye or support the data being read.

From experience 3 must do’s are:

1. Include pics

2. Provide only key points

3. Make slides professional yet visually aesthetic

3 Don’t do’s are:

1. type out long paragraphs

2. use plain background

3. not use pics/images to backup and support data

A good presentation is 50 percent visual and 50 percent speech. You can have a great presentation however if you’re a monotone speaker or read verbatim from the slide the presentation as a whole may not be received well and vice versa.

d.  Emily Poist:

I have definitely sat through many death by power point type presentations, all of which could have had simple improvements that would have caught my attention better – and I am sure many other people’s as well.  It sounds pretty repetitive I am sure but I think audiences really like to see more pictures and graphics and less words on a slide.  Slide shows I have sat through have had so many words on each slide that it leads the reader to actually read the slides rather than listen to the presenter.  This is frustrating for the presenter and the people sitting through the show alike.  As presenters we want our audience to pay attention, and as an audience we want to be captivated by the briefer not put asleep by a bunch of words on a slide.  The presenter should be somewhat animated, but not too animated as to distract the audience.  The slides should not be read word by word to the audience, since most likely the audience can read and they aren’t there to read, they are there to listen to the presentation.  If any words are present on the slide they should be quick and to the point, not paragraphs, since the bulk of the information being presented should be what the presenter is actually saying out loud to the audience. The combination of how the presenter speaks and what is presented on the slides is most important – not specifically one or the other.

Must do

  • Dark background, light text
  • less words, more pictures
  • only main points on slide

Don’t do

  • read from the slides
  • light background, light text
  • fill an entire slide with words and no images
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