So you want to create a presentation?

Whether you wish to give a presentation on a teaching topic, or your learners wish to use a presentation to demonstrate their understanding of a topic, there are several ways in which a presentation may be created and shared. And while Microsoft Office Powerpoint may still provide many templates and formats which have become standard over many years for doing so, there are many who have found more engaging ways to share information with an audience, whether simply in using Powerpoint in more creative ways, or in using other slide presentation tools which are now available.

What help is there to inspire creating more engaging presentations?

In the past presentations may have followed certain templates and made use of bullet-points, with presenters perhaps falling into the trap of simply reading the text from the bullet-points (which everyone could have read for themselves).

Chris Betcher has written about how he has encouraged pupils to change how they think about using Powerpoint to deliver their presentations, describing in this post how using only visuals with no text has transformed how learners view their presentation skills.

Cybraryman Powerpoint Resources – Jerry Blumengarten has collated and described a host of resources which support educators in their use of Powerpoint, either as a teaching tool or for pupil use, including links to tutorials, templates, and tips and ideas.

Pecha Kucha and Ignite were devised to make the presentations more interesting visually, as well as imposing specific limitations on time and number of slides – the aim being to encourage presenters to focus on what they want to say and present that information in a creative way but succinctly! Pecha Kucha comprises 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds. Ignite consists of 20 slides in 5 minutes, with each slide lasting 15 seconds.

Pecha Kucha: Tips, resources and Examples is a post by Catherine Cronin which describes features of different kinds of presentations, provides links to tutorials and tools for creating presentations, and also provides links to examples of student-created presentations in different styles. Jerry Blumengarten has also put together a host of resources about the use of Pecha Kucha in education at his Cybraryman Pecha Kucha page

There is Life Beyond Death for Powerpoint – an article by David Roberts on Times Higher Education which sets out how the use of images instead of text can revitalise a lecture in higher education. While this article is in a higher education context the principles of the findings can be applied to other areas of education.

10 Tips to Design Effective Presentations – a post by Med Kharbach on the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog, which provides tips and hints to designing more effective presentations. It also links to a presentation on the topic by Anitra Nottingham.

Powerpoint doesn’t suck; 10 ideas to make it great – a post by George Couros with tips and suggestions for making more effective presentations. These are aimed at use of Powerpoint but apply equally to any other presentation tool.

What tools are there for creating presentations?

There are many tools for creating presentations. here are just some of them.

Microsoft Office 365 Powerpoint – the ubiquitous Powerpoint presentation tool available online (and free to education users). Simon Haughton has described how he has encouraged primary pupils to create more interesting presentations using Powerpoint. Click here for the Cybraryman Powerpoint Resource page for educators. Chris Smith has put together a host of resources about using Powerpoint in education at his Shambles site.

Movenote –  a free online tool which has a two-screen view with option to have a slideshow format presentation displayed in the larger of the two screens accompanied by the presenter on video in the smaller screen.

Slideshare – free online service where you can upload existing Powerpoint presentations and then share with others online or embed on websites or blogs elsewhere.

Google Apps for Education Slides Presentation Tool – free tool as part of Google apps for Education which lets users upload existing Powerpoint presentations, or create from scratch within the tool itself (and includes templates as well as facility for importing further templates). These can then be shared by link (or kept private to the user or selected others) or embedded online elsewhere.

Prezi – free tool (with premium upgrades available for more features or greater storage, and with a free account for those with school email addresses) which hosts your presentation online in the cloud (though can also be downloaded for offline presentation). Prezi presentations are created on a zooming canvas – meaning you can zoom in on a part of a word, image, link or video or take your viewers on a journey by following a path, rather than simply presenting a series of slides in traditional format. Tom Barrett has collated ideas by educators of interesting ways to use Prezi in an educational context. Jerry Blumengarten has collated a host of links to resources related to the use of Prezi in education at his Cybraryman Prezi page.

Powtoon – a free online tool which lets users create a presentation with animated images, animated text which appears as if written by hand and much more.

Zentation – a free tool where you upload a video to YouTube, upload a Powerpoint presentation and match the two together using Zentation online tool.

Emaze – free online presentation tool which lets you create a presentation to which you can add video or audio (in the premium version the presentation can be downloaded either in html5 version for offline viewing, or as a pdf).


Powerpoint and other Presentation Tools – a page full of links to resources supporting the use of Powerpoint and many other alternative slide presentation tools at the Shambles website.

10 counter-intuitive, researched tips on use of video in education – a post by Donald Clark which presents advice based on studies about ways to ensure your use of video has maximum impact on engaging learners and does not have the opposite effect to what might be presumed by some to be effective.

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