Swinburne Design academic Professor Per Mollerup has produced a guide to help presenters create professional looking slide presentations. PowerNotes covers the planning, design and delivery of a slide presentation and offers practical tips for improving presentations.
"We've all endured mediocre visual presentations in classrooms, lectures and conferences with presenters delivering slide presentations that bear all the hallmarks of poor design thinking," Mollerup said. "The fact behind this sad state of affairs is that many professional lecturers and other speakers have never come to terms with slide presentations based on software like PowerPoint and Keynote."
According to Mollerup, most presenters give presentations that don't make the most of the educational potential of the speech-plus-visuals format.
"They give presentations where the visual part is not coordinated with the spoken part, in fact where the visual part is directly counterproductive to the spoken part. As a result, they don't present themselves and their subject to their best."
Mollerup said that once you understand the rules, you can bend them.
"Professional opera singers sometimes turn their back to the audience, sometimes lie down, or even eat, while singing. In the same way, skilled presenters occasionally bend some of the otherwise sensible recommendations presented in PowerNotes. That is their professional prerogative, earned by talent and practice, lots of practice. Everybody should learn the rules before breaking them."