|Invigorate Your Presentations
has come a long way from the stand-and-deliver method
a "strictly chalk board" method of instruction,
overhead, transparency, and slide modes of presentation,
and our present-day "high-tech" presentation
techniques. Although speech, slate, and slides maintain
a viable presence in today's classroom, teachers continue
to search for better ways to visually stimulate their audiences—and
for good reason. An optic-driven society has come to
expect it. Fortunately, the local computer store, with
of software choices, has made it all possible.
There are as many reasons for using presentation software
packages as there are products on the market. Advantages
to the instructor/user are:
- Personal professional development.
Preparing presentation software is a skill in demand
in the real-world job market.
- Supporting reform. Increased use of instructional
technology is recommended by major reform initiatives
in science education.
- Increased comprehension and retention. Visuals
with oral presentations have been shown to increase audience
comprehension and retention of the
The two most common software
applications in use today are HyperStudio, by Roger Wagner
Publishing, Inc. and PowerPoint,
by Microsoft, Inc. After several hours experimenting with
either of these programs, you will be able to make your
presentation "transparencies" in one-tenth
of the time.
is user-friendly. It is a proven package
with all the bells and whistles kids love. There
are large assortments of pre-made sounds, graphics,
templates from which to choose. It costs $100+.
The most widely
used presentation software is PowerPoint. Chances
are that you may already have it on your computer
if you have invested in the Microsoft Office Suite.
PowerPoint is an industry standard and a proven performer
schools and businesses. It has gone through a number
of upgrades, so any pre-existing bugs have been worked
out. Because of its extensive use, we are going to
offer step-by-step instruction on the use of the
To create your first presentation, choose either the
AutoContent Wizard or Pick a Look Wizard. Wizard programs
make seemingly difficult operations effortless. Each
new window in the AutoContent Wizard has specific instructions
to allow easy navigation. Just keep clicking the "next" button
(a rule of thumb with almost any Wizard), to be led through
the series of steps. When you have selected the desired
presentation style, you will have called up an editable
outline. Insert your presentation text into that outline,
frame by frame. Each number on the outline creates a
new slide. To finalize, click on the "Finish" button
and your presentation is ready for viewing. Click on
the word "View" in the menu bar and choose "Slide
Show." You are now able to sit back and admire your
No matter which presentation software that you choose,
you will experience a great deal of satisfaction from
the presentation exercise. You will have advanced your
technical knowledge while addressing current science
reform initiatives, and an appreciative audience will
*Adapted with permission from Rawls, G.J. (1998, March).
Something Old, Something New...Presentation Software
to Liven Your Show. Missouri Science news Notes, 4 (9),