PowerPoint As An Art-Form

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on Odyssey.


Although this part of coursework does not appear to be worth looking into, the effects that your PowerPoint presentation can have on the rest of the class can impact how they respond to you. When you turn you slides into works of art, you tell them that you take what you are presenting on very seriously. My PowerPoint presentation that I have used as an example is not the best one, but it does help to show how I create my presentations.

At this point, as a graduate student, I find it a pet peeve when someone introduces their presentation as “This is about…” and then they click the next slide. I think that even the beginning slide should have some personality as much as any other slide, especially if it introduces the presentation.

For some courses, putting all of your citations at the end of the presentation is formally written as one of the requirements. However, I take a different approach by including one of each citation in a slide in where it is most relevant. I do this because I want to actually show the source and not for a split second.

Robert Scott III

Since a lot of academic papers employ this technique when writing in a title and sub-title, I have always tried imitating that, by taking a line or phrase from within the text and making it into the title in order to show just how relevant that line or phrase would be to the presentation and paper (and show evidence that I actually read the text).

Robert Scott III

Though you would want a background that is colorfully and tonally consistent. So you would need to either have or create a photo that is dark but also has dark colors, so that if you use light font, the text is entirely recognizable. You do not want font that is hard to see, so in any case, if you either use light font for a dark picture or dark font for a light image, you would need to use the Shadow option to make the font readable.

Trying to create that abstract background image really is not difficult if you have an iPhone. I have recently become addicted to the creative apps like Mirror Lab, which I used to create the image in my presentation about an assignment used in Digital Pedagogy. In order for the presentation to be about the internet, I decided to use a photo that best fit the description of sounds. The background image should be as thematic as possible.

Robert Scott III

As for what types of text should appear in the slides, I would prefer very simple phrases. I would prefer not pasting all of your notes on you slides, especially if you professor does not want that to be the case. By doing this, you are basically telling your audience that you are going to let the PowerPoint Presentation orate the speech for you.

In the slide above, I merely used a picture of the U.S./Mexico border wall while positioning it next to the complex analyses into its construction. Instead of writing all of what students in the New Media Pedagogy would do in this assignment–which would be to look into the complications that can occur if the border wall was actually built–rather I simply wrote in the simple sentences of what they are.

As for videos, for some reason, I cannot be able to actually use the video option when I link to a YouTube video. So instead, whenever I try to use a video that I would only use for a few seconds, I just highlight any words that most relate to the video and hyperlink the URL of the video there.

As for how I have started presenting my work, I have tried to push the boundaries a little and see how much I can evoke. When I was making my presentation about New Media Pedagogy, one of my fellow students remarked how the image represented people having conversations, which was definitely close to what the theme of the image was. However, I simply stated “It is not hard to make a photo like this.” But the art-making of a PowerPoint presentation does not just have to include the photo, rather the more integrated organizations within each slide that breaks the presentation stereotypes.


Image Attribution: Flickr

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