It seems in the 20+ years I have been in school, I have come across my fair share of boring presentations. I distinctly remember sitting in numerous college course, namely the large lecture ones, thinking….”Why am I paying for this? The professor posts all of the presentations and slides on their website. Why do I even bother coming to class?” I think as education forges ahead, we really need to rethink our method of information delivery. There are so many more engaging ways to share and present information.
Now, I am not saying that presentations don’t have a place in education, they most certainly do. However, they should not be the sole practice. We each learn and obtain information through various ways, and a presentation would only cover one of those ways.
Presentations are an important part of our learning process and journey. The true definition of a presentation has to do with the presenting of ‘something’ to another person. I think often times, especially in today’s society, the term ‘presentation’ is associated with a PowerPoint or Keynote slideshow. However, in reality, information can be presented to us through a multitude of venues like a book, a slideshow, a paper, images, verbal communication, videos, music, etc.
I believe that a presentation is a valuable part of our learning experience as long as the information is clear, and that is not the ‘be all, end all’ for a learning activity. I have found myself in many situations that a presentation, namely a slide show, was the ONLY means of a learning activity. Additionally, the presenter read all of the information right of the slides. One of my goals when I present information in my classroom, is to keep it short and sweet. I want the students interacting with each other and researching their own information. Art is a kinesthetic experience, therefore, presentations should serve the purpose of inspiring my students and providing them with foundational information. There are many benefits of PowerPoint presentations, they help the students with “understanding the content, in memorizing the content, the facility of presenting the content with the help of figures, tables, drawings, signs and symbols. The responses have proved that the entire teaching – learning process becomes interesting, live, meaningful and effective” (Indumathy, pp. 1).
If you find yourself in need of presenting a presentation, check out this article by Forbes on various ways to make sure your presentation is NOT boring:
INDUMATHY, R. (2011). A STUDY ON EFFECTIVENESS OF POWER POINT PRESENTATION IN TEACHING – LEARNING PROCESS OF MBA PROGRAMME WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO SNS GROUP OF INSTITUTIONS, COIMBATORE. Asia Pacific Journal Of Research In Business Management, 2(11), 1.