Talk Back: Presentation Design for Kids

Paul Romani

PowerPointTalk Back: Presentation Design for Kids

In Wednesday’s ‘Talk Back’ class, we studied about presentation design using PowerPoint.
To begin with, we looked at two examples: one good and one bad.

Pear Tree's Talk Back Course

Bad Example vs Good Example

Pear Tree's Talk Back Course

Bad Example vs Good Example

From these examples, the students had to understand why the bad example is bad:

  • The slides are pretty much all text
  • The text is in a boring Times New Roman font
  • The presenter can literally read the text off of the screen
  • The presenter doesn’t need to be there. The viewer can read everything themselves. In fact, they’ll probably do that, and not be listening to the presenter.
  • The colours are bland and make the text hard to read
  • The picture is too small to see

In contrast, the good example is very different!

  • The only text is a title
  • With the presenter, the pictures would be basically meaningless
  • The title is in clear, striking colours with a readable font / font size
  • The picture is the most important part of the page
  • The question and the picture engage the reader, making them active participants in the presentation, rather than passive listeners

Here are some more good examples to inspire the students:
Pear Tree's Talk Back Course
Pear Tree's Talk Back Course
Pear Tree's Talk Back Course
After this, the students were given different reading material based on their age and ability.
PiggybookFor example, one student was given Piggybook by Anthony Browne.
Piggybook is a picture book that cleverly uses images (including metaphorically) to communicate underlying themes and ideas.
In this case, the book is about equality between men and women, especially in the domestic environment.
Because of the more complex imagery, it requires a good level of critical thinking skills – skills which we worked on during our first ‘Talk Back’ class last week!
Another student was given the poem ‘Alzheimer’s’ by Bob Hicok.
Hicok’s ‘Alzheimer’s’ poem is truly amazing! It can be read both on a superficial and profound level when using critical thinking skills.
After reading their own texts, the students had to write the outline of a speech about their understanding and the hidden meanings.
Then, they had to convert their speech outline into PowerPoint presentation designs.
Their presentation designs had to follow the principles discussed previously, e.g. not bullet points, focus on images and titles, etc.
The students did exceptionally well, especially with respect to their critical thinking skills!
Alzheimer's Presentation Slide Alzheimer's Presentation Slide
Piggybook Presentation Slide Piggybook Presentation Slide
Developing PowerPoint skills was the objective of this class, however, and this will take time to master.
Next week, we’ll be working on delivering speeches. Time for some public speaking!