One tool that I really like to use for my oral presentations is Microsoft PowerPoint. So I think that this tool is one of the the most practical tools that we need, as teachers, when we present new material to the students. PowerPoint allows us to create interesting and animated visuals that have a real impact on students’ interest in any topic. We can integrate videos, pictures, animations, charts, diagrams, etc., almost everything we can think of.
Good advantages to consider
One of the reason why I think that PowerPoint can help teachers in their task is the fact that it allows you to control the flow of the information presented to students. As the information is not on a sheet of paper, students are forced to follow what happens at the front of the classroom. You control the pace of the class, though you control the attention of students. So, while they are listening to you, and watching the PowerPoint presentation, you can quickly detect when someone doesn’t understand, but also, when someone is doing something else, or is somewhere else in his bubble, lost in his thoughts. Also, I think that adding some open questions, games, jokes or reflexions once in a while in the Powerpoint document, will insure you that everybody follows the information, and understand it well.
PowerPoint will help you to save a considerable amount of time as it includes many functions that are exactly the same as in other Microsoft’s softwares. No need to create charts or tables in Microsoft Word or Excel and to import them in your PowerPoint presentation, everything is available while you create the document’s slides. And once it is done, the document can easily be reused as a modal, or updated in further years for a new class. The creation of a PowerPoint document is easy and give you a enjoyable tool for classroom presentations. The frame is well organized, attractive for students, and available at any time.
You can also use PowerPoint to present many different things: an animated birthday card for students, the schedule of the day, some videos and pictures from the last school event, some videos from students who well performed in a recent competition, etc.
From another point of view, I am certain that PowerPoint can be a very good tool for students during their oral presentations. In a team or not, the software will force them to think about: What is the most important information that I need for my presentation? In what order should I present the information? What could be an interesting visual? Can I add a video or a picture to each important point that I will address during my presentation? etc. PowerPoint can help students of all age to become more organized in their notes, to be more efficient in the way to transmit a clear and simple message to a public by selecting the most important part of the information.
Also, I think that students will increase their knowledge about an important tool that is now widely used for collegial and university oral presentations. If students have the occasion to explore the software by themselves when they are young, they will certainly be much more knowledgeable and aware about the options that they can use for more official presentations, in real work situations for example.
I hope this blog provides you enough information about Microsoft PowerPoint for you to be tempted to try it by yourself, if it is not already done.