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Tips for Faculty Creating PowerPoint Presentations
Posted by on 16 February 2012 08:53 AM

Note: These instructions are for faculty teaching online or hybrid courses—not students.

Rowan Global faculty can create PowerPoint presentations and use Camtasia to record voice-over narration for their lectures. Here are some tips for creating effective and professional PowerPoint presentations. Following these recommendations is optional and is not required.

General information

  • We strongly recommend having at least one lecture per week, but you can certainly have more than one.
  • Online videos (i.e. YouTube videos) are not a substitute for voice-over lectures.
  • We label all lectures in numerical order (i.e. Lecture 1, Lecture 2, etc).
  • With Camtasia, you will record lectures in one sitting—not slide-by-slide (as previously done in Adobe Presenter). Don't worry, there is a Pause button. Because of this, we strongly recommend that faculty break up their lectures into shorter segments (about 5-15 minutes in length) and write out a script for each. For example, Lecture 1 is 20 slides all together and is typically 45 minutes long in class, but you would break it up into smaller recorded segments. Each segment would be its own PowerPoint file (i.e. Lecture 1-1, Lecture 1-2, Lecture 1-3, etc) and be approximately 15 minutes in length.

Composing slides

  • Check the spelling and grammar of your presentation’s content. 
  • On each slide, use key phrases about your topic. Choose only the top three or four points about your topic and make them consistently. Simplify and limit the number of words on your screen. Try not to use more than three bullets per slide. 
  • Limit the number of slides. We strongly recommend that faculty break up their lectures into shorter segments (about 5-15 minutes in length).
  • Avoid specific dates and page numbers. Important: Do NOT use or say specific dates or page numbers (i.e. From the textbook, overviews, syllabus, etc.) in slide content or when recording your voice-over narration. We recommend using Chapter numbers instead of page numbers because if another edition of the text is released, specific page numbers are likely to be changed.
  • Write a script (optional). If you do not want to improvise when recording your voice-over narration, you can create a script for each slide. Type your script in the Notes section in PowerPoint. Text entered in the Notes section can be imported and viewed when recording in Camtasia.

Be consistent

  • Consistently use the same font face, color and size for slide titles on all slides.
  • Consistently use the same font face, color and size for body text on all slides.

Easy to read

  • Avoid clutter. Including a headline/title, several bullet points, and an image (optional) on a slide is recommended. 
  • Limit punctuation and avoid all CAPITAL LETTERS.
  • Avoid fancy fonts. Sans serif fonts (i.e. Calibri, Arial, etc.) tend to be the easiest to read on screens in comparison to decorative or serif fonts.
  • Use contrasting colors for text and background. Dark text and light backgrounds are easiest to read.
  • Align text left or right. Centered text is harder to read and tends to look unprofessional. Text aligned to the left or right is easier to follow.
  • Use simple backgrounds.

Transitions and animations

  • Avoid excessive use of transitions and animations. 

Using images and graphics

  • Use images only when they add important information or make an abstract point more concrete. 
  • Use graphics to emphasize key points. A well-chosen chart or diagram can often convey much more to your audience than bulleted text can. SmartArt graphics, introduced in Office 2007, enable you to create a professional-quality diagram easily. 

Reduce the file size of images

High-resolution images can dramatically increase the file size of your PowerPoint file. Prior to inserting images into your presentation, images should be saved as:

  • 72 DPI: For images used on webpages and e-mail.
  • 96 DPI (recommended): For images inserted into Microsoft PowerPoint and Word documents.
  • 150 dots per inch (DPI): For images displayed using a projector.

You can edit an image’s file size/resolution by using an external graphics-editing program, such as Preview (Mac only) or Adobe Photoshop or Elements (Mac and PC), or directly in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 (PC only).

  • To reduce an image’s file size in Adobe Photoshop or Elements:
    1. In Adobe Photoshop or Elements, go to Image (in the top menu) and click on Image Size. 
    2. Type 72, 96 or 150 inthe Resolution text box.
    3. Click OK.
  • To reduce an image’s file size in Preview:
    1. In Preview, go to Tool (in the top menu) and click on Adjust Size. 
    2. Type 72, 96 or 150 inthe Resolution text box.
    3. Click OK.
  • To reduce an image’s resolution in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010:
    1. In PowerPoint, click the picture that you want to change the resolution for.
    2. Under the Picture Tools tab, in the Adjust group under the Format tab, click Compress Pictures
    3. To change the resolution for the selected picture only and not all of the pictures in the document, select the Apply to selected pictures only check box.
    4. Click Options.
    5. Under Target Output, click the resolution that you want. 
    6. Note: The Email - 96 DPI target output is recommended.
    7. Click OK.
    8. Click OK.

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