Saturday, February 21, 2015

A brief free course in effective use of PowerPoint from Dave Paradi

Last month I signed up for Dave Paradi’s PowerPoint Effectiveness E-Course. It is free and contains seven useful lessons as follows:

1) Creating a Presentation Outline

2) Reduce Information Overload

3) Planning Your Slides

4) Designing slides so they are easy to see

5) Best Practices for Graphs

6) Using Photos and Images

7) Delivery Tips

Signing up also gives you a subscription to a newsletter, with tips every two weeks.

In lesson 4 Dave discusses how to select effective colors that have contrast, and he has an online Color Contrast Calculator tool.

Not long after reading lesson 4 I saw two great illustrations of how to use and misuse color. Both were in menus for research guides at the University of New Hampshire Library.

As shown above, the guide to First Year Writing starts with white text on a brick red background. When you mouse over a tab the background color changes to sky blue. (Click on the image for a larger, clearer view).

Now look at the research guide for Introduction to Public Speaking course (by the same author). Here the background color for all but the left Home tab is brick red, and the text labels start as a difficult to read sky blue. You have to move the mouse over a tab to get the text to change to a more readable white.

Back in 2010 on this blog I gave a great review of Dave’s first book, The Visual Slide Revolution.

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