PowerPoint is a tool designed to create slides for presentations and it is used for this across the world. It is also the tool that has created numerous slide decks for training with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Why the varying degrees of success? The number one reason is that the creator of the slide deck looks at it as a delivery method to do all of the work for their teaching ‘presentation’. However, this is not the correct attack. A PPT presentation for the purpose of education is a completely different animal and needs to be treated in a different manner. You need to be a PowerPoint designer for education, not presenting. The following high level process is a great start to get you pointing in the correct direction.
1. Define 2-3 action objectives for a 50 minute lesson. For example, after this session the student will be able to explain the cost structure of the new ABC Company Christmas product launch.
2. Create a brainstorm or mind-map of all the knowledge the student will need for each objective.
3. Revise and arrange the list of the necessary knowledge points into a logical list of presentation.
4. Create your PPT slide deck with one slide for each knowledge point or group of knowledge points (Practice teaching each slide to test how long the teacher would be spending on the slide and keep this to less than 2-5 minutes)
5. Add key words to each slide in regards to the topic but try to avoid sentences as much as possible. The teacher supplies the real material and avoids having students spending time copying a slide full of words the teacher is just reading.
6. Add a picture, graph, or appropriate graphic to the slides that will benefit from this picture. Do not add animated gif’s or any other type of graphic that does not add to the message.
7. If the slide deck is for a lesson over 20 minutes, it is intelligent to put in automatic break points where the instructor can ask open ended questions to gauge student’s engagement and understanding.
8. Save the deck and step away for a while to clear your mind. Go back to your work, and read through it again while making revisions.
Teach away and always be prepared to teach the exact same deck with a white board marker. If you are prepared to do it this way, the PPT deck is no longer a presentation tool, but a tool for teaching. Good luck and always, always keep it short and simple.