I have spent most of educational technology career supporting secondary students. Projects and Presentations are always a plenty… but what I noticed is typically students have great presentations and poor content or great content and poor presentations.
“Rarely, are students able to deliver a compelling message in a visually stimulating and engaging way with purposeful use of media and graphics.” – Lisa Johnson
So… being Type A, a perfectionist, and someone that relies on visuals to communicate… I went a googling in order to create a comprehensive guide (and yes, I also staged a few Lego Minifigure pics in my back yard for emphasis too.)
I’m Ravenous for Research… What Resources Do You Have For Me?
While I found several excellent articles, I didn’t want to share a list of articles and resources with students and teachers. That would be overwhelming at best and neither party has time to dig through each resource and make sense of it at this time of year (or frankly… at any time of year).
So, I combed through the 80+ articles, slide decks, and infographics curated above and condensed them in to one infographic with 7 distinct categories. My favorite resources I gleaned were:
- 40 Ways to Screw Up a PPT Slide
- 11 Design Tips for Beautiful Presentations
- Slide Bandits: Your Slides Are Being Robbed
After perusing the slide decks on presentation savvy… it became abundantly clear that it is not PPT or Keynote that is the problem… but the lack of slide design and visual acumen that plagues presentations… so I took the best tips and ideas from the pros and created a menu of Do’s and Don’ts for students and teachers alike.
What Have You Cooked Up For Us Today?
So naturally… I decided to put an end to the drama and support the visual literacy cause with the infographic below (offered as a FREE PDF download). I spent countless hours dissecting the 80+ slide decks, articles, and infographics from the pros to curate the Ultimate Guide of “Do’s and Don’ts for Slide Design for Students” which addresses theme/template, layout and slide design, use of images, visuals, video, color, text and font.
Translating the Resource: Yolanda Barker, my former colleague now stationed in Qatar, asked me if I would share the graphic so it could be translated in to different languages… in her case… Arabic. If this is an interest of yours as well, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be more than happy to share the Canva design with you so you can translate it for your students and/or teachers.
What Does This Mean for Teachers?
While I ultimately designed this resource for students… I can tell you that everyone benefits from a clear and compelling message devoid of extraneous bullet points, wonky text formatting, and awkward stock templates… Truthfully, many of these design principles can be adapted to our emails and other communications as well… so…
“the next time you send out an email communication or prepare a handout or presentation… remember a dose of design goes a long way for readability and retention…” – Lisa Johnson
My new favorite blog, “The Visual Communication Guy” posted this MUST READ article “Why Ugly Handouts Are Bad For Teachers (and everyone else)” which not only provides a rationale for basic editing principles but a fantastic before and after pic too.
Beyond the need for clear communication, providing students with opportunities to excel at media literacy ultimately prepares students for the labor force and beyond…
Stay Tuned for The TechChef Visual Design Summer Challenge
I didn’t learn and adopt visual design principles overnight… but I will say that I have come a long way from the original presentations I created 5+ years ago. If you are looking for a summer PD challenge, dig up one of your old or particularly bad PPT or Keynote presentations and stay tuned…
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