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PowerPoint is one of the most effective tools in presenting information to an audience in a class, workplace and public lectures. However, the effectiveness of information presented in PowerPoint largely depends on the presenter’s ability to make some interesting and informative slides. Tim Washer (2009), attempts to highlight some of the issues that affect the effectiveness of a PowerPoint presentation and how one can solve these issues. The purpose of this discussion is to provide an article reflection. The aim is to determine the importance of Washer’s article in developing quality skills in presentations using PowerPoint tool.
Tim Washer introduces his argument with a short advice he gained from his father- ‘redundancy signifies ignorance’ (Washer, 2009). He argues that redundancy in PowerPoint presentations is one of the most frequently observed mistakes in presentations. To solve this, Washer suggests a few ideas to reduce redundancy. First, he suggests that before writing a PowerPoint document for presentation, the writer must do a thorough homework. For instance, it is important to inquire for information on what question other people would like to be answered in the presentation.
Washer argues that this makes a presentation relevant and ensures that the opinion of the audience counts. Secondly, Washer suggests that a good presentation should have three to eight words to deliver an idea. He suggests that the font size should be at least 30-point. Thirdly, Washer suggests that using visual presentation is a powerful technique in conveying message, especially because human minds understand pictures more easily than written information. He suggests some sources of visual presentations such as Corbis.com and ShutterStock.com.
In addition, Washer suggests that developing a story relevant to the topic is an easy way of conveying some information. He suggests some sources of reference, including WSJ.com and NYTimes.com, where one must develop a story with the ‘problem-solution-results’ formula. Finally, Washer suggests that the maximum time for presentation suing PowerPoint should be 20 minutes, and that it is important to finish early. To finish off, he repeats that redundancy is a vice in PowerPoint presentation.
For the most part of the article, I tend to agree with Tim Washer for a number of reasons. First, I agree with him that redundancy affects the process of conveying information to the audience. In fact, Washer points out an important factor in the effectiveness of presentation using PowerPoint- that people tend to get bored when the idea is presented in excessive words.
In addition, I further agree with Washer’s methods of reducing redundancy. For instance, it is evident that most people do not seek the opinion of a few members of the target audience. I agree with him that the use of visual presentation is important in attracting the concentration of the audience. It is that human minds understand ‘story-like’ information with ease.
The information presented by Tim Washer is consistent with my previous experience with PowerPoint. In fact, I understand that redundancy and the use of small fonts makes the presentation boring, whereas stories and graphics make it interesting. However, Washer has suggested some sources of graphics and a formula for developing stories that I did not know. With this new information, I intend to support the quality and effectiveness of my future presentations, in addition to recommending it to my colleagues and students. In fact, Washer’s article is necessary to fellow students and colleagues intending to present their work with PowerPoint tool.
Washer, T. (2009, spring/summer). How do you make a PowerPoint Presentation Less Boring? Texas Magazine, p. 23