Presentations are a great way present information without getting too tempted to write lots of words.
Presentations can force you to be more visual with most of the presentation solutions having templates and ideas included to get you started.
Presentations are also a great way to build visual storyboards so being proficient in presentation software is a must.
Many solutions have entered the market over the years with many cool inbuilt features.
Used with screen recording software (we’ll look at this next) you are well on your way to create professional looking videos for your learning solutions (similar to the videos I presented in the welcome section of this course).
PowerPoint and Sway
We’ve included these two tools as they are both Microsoft tools (part of Office 365) and they are relatively easy to use and have some great features.
It’s easy to write PowerPoint off due to “death by PowerPoint” plus most of the PowerPoint presentations we see have been quickly put together, so the impression we get is based on the effort put in, not the capabilities of the tool.
PowerPoint is full of surprises and can be used for many things, like creating presentations, to images (as seen in the previous activity) to exporting videos and animated GIFs.
Here we look at two cool tricks with PowerPoint, creating a video from a PowerPoint, and also creating an animated explainer video.
Another benefit of PowerPoint is to export your presentations as a video (as seen in the above video), and you can also include a video of yourself in the presentation.
Like all the solutions we’re visiting here, PowerPoint can be embedded in a web page such as the example on the right, but it’s not as easy as the other solutions, so you may get a blank or sign in prompt.
The trick to creating videos is to get the animations and transitions right. This great tutorial is a good example of using PowerPoint to create an animated explainer video
Sway is an online tool part of the Microsoft suite that allows you to create online experiences, and deliver those experiences via a web address.
Below is a real example from a TAFE teacher who uses Sway all the time to present information for his students. One of the main benefits of Sway, apart from being 100% online, is that changes are instantly reflected in the presentation.
Prezi is a fantastic tool for getting visually striking presentations started in no time. Being a 100% web based tool also allows for the easy sharing and even embedding of presentations into web pages, as seen in the example here (PowerPoint can’t do this easily).
One feature I really like is the ability to “zoom” into content which makes it easy to present information that needs to be drilled into. It’s also really easy to expand the presentation into full screen.
It wouldn’t be a discussion about presentation solutions without Google Slides. Similar to PowerPoint, Slides allows you to build presentations with an extra feature of embedding the presentation in a web page, similar to Prezi.