Fighting “Powerpoint-Death” by Science, Prezi or…?!

24 08 2010
Audience response radio frequency keypad with ...

Image via Wikipedia

Recently Kevin Clauson [@kevinclauson] made another great presentation, called the “Science behind Engaging Students in Class”. The presentation focuses on the use of “clickers” or an audience response system (ARS) to engage the audience (here mainly students in a class). It is an expanded version of “How to Fight Lecturalgia“.

First Kevin asks the audience questions about their knowledge/use of ARS -using the ARS system, of course-. Next he goes more deeply into the need to engage the audience (attention span, boredom) and then he addresses the successes and pitfalls of ARS.

Each statement has a scientific underpinning, and a reference to it.

For instance, one conclusion is that use of ARS improves performance with analytical type exam questions, but not with memorization exam questions.

Kevin stresses that ARS  it is just another tool, albeit a powerful one.

Of course you have to avoid the usual presentation-killer aspects of PowerPoint, like including too many slides, bullets and data, as so wonderfully illustrated by the famous “Dead by Powerpoint” presentation. I included it below, in case you’ve never seen it.

It also contains recommendations how to  improve your PowerPoint.

This following video elaborates on the same theme. It is called “Life after Death by PowerPoint”. Not an appropriate name, because it only magnifies Powerpoints killer-points. You might enjoy it though (if you can put up with the canned laugh).

Below is another presentation about the science of presentations. And although I noticed little science in it, I did find the CEO-presentation interesting because it discusses the use of live tweeting (and blogging) to give “contagious talks” (you know Twitter going “viral”).