Resources for Presentations

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Learning how to discover, develop, and share ideas and then doing it is what higher education is all about. When we work within the context of Malone’s Mission Statement, that means that we could be changing the lives of the people who surround us. Presenting concepts and ideas in a clear and coherent way is how we “close the loop” in our personal, academic, and professional endeavors.

We hope that what you see below will help you in your quest for delivering content clearly and effectively.

Improving “the look” of Presentations

Malone University Presentation Templates

Especially if you are representing Malone at a conference or to an outside group, you may want to use a ‘Malonified’ PowerPoint or Keynote template. You can download these from the Information Technologies tab of Malone Xpress.

Poster Presentations: Wide-format printing and tools for authoring

There are a thousand different methods for putting together a poster presentation. The Information Technologies and Media Services Help Desk can assist you in the creation of items for your board. You might also choose to create your presentation using a layout program like Adobe InDesign available in several of the computer labs and can be installed on other Malone-owned computers.

When you have completed your file, you will need to PRINT IT. You can print up to 11″x17″ full color prints on campus. We have partnered with a local company called Repros to do larger. Visit FAQ183 to get pricing information and contact information. They can print 24″x36″ or even 36″x48″ posters in less than 24hours turn around time.

Alternatives to PowerPoint

That data projector can show things other than PowerPoint. There is a variety of presentation software out there. Some of them are web-based and others are installable programs. If you are in a classroom that has a SMARTBoard, you may want to checkout SMART Notebook.

The Worst PowerPoints Ever

Winner of the "Worst PowerPoint Slide"

The projector manufacturer InFocus had a contest to find the “Worst PowerPoints” ever. Check out the winners here. My favorite is the winner for worst powerpoint slide. I am happy to say that it was created by an IT department!

Improving the Delivery of Presentations

Use of Kensington Wireless remote

One of the worst things about using PowerPoint is being tethered to the computer in the room when it is time to advance your slide. You can overcome this through the use of a wireless presentation remote.

We like the models from Kensington. They are inexpensive and ultra-reliable. They also stow easily in your satchel, pocket, or purse. We sell these (at cost) through the IT Help Desk or you can purchase them online or at stores. One of the great features is that they are omnidirectional. This means that you can put the remote in your pocket and click to advance your slides without having to take it out or point it at the computer. Don’t forget to grab your receiver when you leave the room!

Backchannel Communication

We and others have written about backchannel communication before. There are tools that can be used to pull these conversations into the foreground. My new favorite tool for live tweeting during an event is Twitterfall. You can give your audience a #hashtag and set up twitterfall to monitor any posts that use that tag. You might also use the freeform text poll in a service like Read more about that in the next section.

For more information on using Twitter in the face-to-face and online classrooms, take a look at Dunlap and Lowenthal’s article in the Journal of Information Systems Education titled: Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. This is a link to the journal through EBSCO, if you are off campus, you will need your library barcode off your id to access it. Many thanks to my classmate Adonis Baptista for sharing this with me.

Poll the Audience

Using technology to poll the audience is another popular trend in the classroom. You can use hardware solutions like TurningPoint. There is a 25 user TurningPoint kit available for checkout from the IT Help Desk. You might also use a web service like You can sign up for a free account for educators to use the service or pay a yearly subscription to gain access to additional features.

Cognitive Loading

It is important to think about the concept of Cognitive Loading when preparing to give a presentation. You should also consider your delivery method when constructing your content. A presentation given as a recording, say on eCollege, should look very different than a presentation given in a live setting. Cognitive loading involves using the two available input channels to the mind, audio and visual, to their maximum capacities.

Live Presentations should have a certain amount of repetition and redundancy built in to assure that your audience receives your message whereas…

Recorded Presentations should have ALL extraneous information and repetition removed. Remember that a recording can be rewound and played again. You might even encourage your audience to rewind (read: give them permission) when they are not sure they understood info given the first time.

For more information on preparing recorded presentations you can check out resources like Mayer’s Multimedia Learning or one of his newer titles that is available from the Malone Stacks. Here are the seven highlights covered in the text:

  1. Multimedia Principle: Students learn better from words and pictures than from words or pictures alone. Make use of both channels, visual and verbal.
  2. Spatial Contiguity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen.
  3. Temporal Continuity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
  4. Coherence Principle: Students learn better when extraneous words, pictures, and sounds are excluded rather than included.
  5. Modality Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text.
  6. Redundancy Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and on-screen text. Eliminate redundant material.
  7. Individual Differences Principle: Design effects are stronger for low-knowledge learners than for high-knowledge learners and for high-spatial learners than for low-spatial learners.

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