I love Powerpoint. I really do.
Just think: you’ve lived and breathed a research project for months – maybe even years. You’ve sweated and stressed about your research for all this time, overcome problems you could never have anticipated, and finally gotten to the point where you have something to say about what you’ve been working on for all this time. What could be better than getting an opportunity to tell people about your labour of love and why you think it’s so great?! For me, this truly is the pinnacle of a research project’s life cycle.
Powerpoint is the perfect tool to assist us in sharing the story of our research. I don’t think there are many among us who are skilled, trained presentation experts who can alone maintain the interest of our audience with our sense of humour, confidence, and personality. But, Powerpoint can help us by providing a few visuals to illustrate our message while we talk. I don’t think there is an audience member so highly educated or knowledgeable that they don’t appreciate a few nice pictures to help receive the message while they’re listening to the speaker. Ask yourself the following two questions:
- How many times have you thought a presentation’s content was too complex?
- How many times have you thought a presentation’s content was too simple?
If your experience is anything like mine then the answer to the first is ‘yes, too many times’ and to the second ‘no, never’.
Powerpoint is brilliant. It can:
- structure your presentation
- help simplify your message
- give the audience something interesting to look at while they listen
- help the audience visualise and imagine your research experience
- help the audience see the real world implications of your research
- give the audience a reason to remember you and your research (for the right reasons)
I look forward to creating Powerpoint presentations because I enjoy the creative process. I like creating the story, finding the images, designing the slides, playing with colours and fonts, and tinkering with it until it’s just the way I want it. The task is quite different to many of the functional researcher tasks and I appreciate the time I get to spend making something that I (and hopefully, my audience) will like the look of. It’s fun.
I leave my latest presentation below. I hope you like it.