Take a look at Google Docs. Here’s proof that creativity can trump tools. Since it was made with software that does not support animations, this little demo is like making a stunning photograph with a pinhole camera instead of the latest mega pixel DSLR.
Although this presentation is clearly a promotion for Google Docs, but I think it serves as a great reminder that our creativity doesn’t have to depend on software. This cool show was made one frame at a time then played back to give the illusion of an animation.
We communicate with texts and tweets. We update our friends with our current status on facebook, control video games with our body movement and watch movies on our telephones. When I can do a quick interview, put a video on YouTube, upload it for the local/national news, and embed it on any blog in a very short time…I wonder – what is the future of presentation software? I’m not suggesting that a video replaces a presentation – but does our audience expect more than a set of slides to accompany our talks?
In the video above, I asked Matt Long – a participant in a local competition – to help me with a short promo for the event. The result was a little piece that the news, weather channels, etc. could run almost immediately. This experience made me think about the ways I presented in the past vs the tools available today. As an ex-salesperson, I wondered…how would I make presentations to my most important clients now? We can make presentations on the internet without traveling – but they still tend to be static slides. Are we using the available technology effectively?
If I want to share an idea with you, in just a few minutes using very affordable hardware and software – a camera and After Effects (or Movie Maker or iMovie or YouTube editing tools…), I can create a message. Just like using PowerPoint – the message can be well or badly done, but the format helps to engage.
I’d love to hear from expert presenters and consultants –
– what tools are you using now, and what will you be using in the future?
– has the latest version of PowerPoint (which allows a bit of text over video at least) made this tool viable for the future?
How should be thinking about our presentations? Are we using the right technology if we stay with the tools we know? I do know that a video is far more likely to be engaging than a series of slides with bullets. Can we harness that and make more effective presentations?
I’ve been presenting since the days of writing on transparencies and overhead projectors. From Harvard Graphics to the latest version of PowerPoint – the tools have always seemed to shape the message. I don’t blame PowerPoint like some do. I just wonder if we can get past how easy it is to follow the dots to boring and use our tools in a more effective way. At a time when self published video is so accessible, when a plethora of easy to use software presentation platforms are available, is PowerPoint still relevant?
If it is, how do we make a leap to the kind of engaging experience we have all come to expect? What’s your opinion?
OpenOffice is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite. An open-source project, it is compatible with all other major office suites. The product is free to download, use, and distribute. Get OpenOffice as a download or on CD.
A collection of five tools, OpenOffice includes Writer, Impress, Math, Draw, Calc and Base components. The interface will look familiar to MS Office users. This suite was designed as one complete office package. Opens and saves in Office compatible formats. This free software could really help with your classroom budget.
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. Go here and check out the screenshots and features – then download and install.
Options for More Efficient Work
Using the Tools/Options menu, you can customize settings to create a more efficient work environment. Often people just leave the default settings, but there are a few changes you may want to modify if you intend to use PowerPoint on a regular basis. Continue reading →
Free 8 unit tutorial for K-12 teachers using PowerPoint.
Links to other free presentation software and tutorials.
Microsoft offers specific resources for educators. Find a range of free educational resources, grant and scholarship information, lesson plans and more.