Unit 13

Unit 13:
How to Communicate through Presentations
Unit 13: Assignment #1 (due before 11:59 pm Central on THU AUG 2):

  1. To appreciate why it’s important for you to learn how to create and give engaging presentations, read Gallo’s (2016) article, “The 1 Skill [that billionaire] Warren Buffett Says Will Raise Your Value by 50 Percent.”
    1. Note that Gallo’s (2016) article refers to “public speaking,” and other classes might refer to the type of presentation you’ll be learning in this Unit as an “oral presentation.”
    2. In this class, we’re going to use more inclusive terminology:
      • A presentation can be given in spoken or oral language, but it can also be given in signed language, for example, American Sign Language, which is a visual, not a spoken or oral language.
      • Similarly, a presentation can be given using text-to-speech (or computer-generated) language, as, for example, the computer-generated speech used by famous physicist Stephen Hawking.
    3. Therefore, in this class, we’ll refer to presentations as “presentations,” because they are not only “spoken presentations” or “oral presentations.”
  2. Now that we’ve established that presentations are not simply “spoken” or “oral,” it’s time to establish that creating and delivering an engaging presentation is not simply making a PowerPoint file.
    1. Look at these two cartoons.
      • Think about how crummy it’s felt to sit in an audience when a presenter reads every word to you, slide after slide, bullet point after bullet point.
      • In this Unit, you are going to learn how to avoid that situation.
    2. Read page (slide) 1 through page 10 of Kapterev’s (2007) handout, “Death by PowerPoint (and How to Fight It).” (We’ll come back to read the rest later.)
    3. Read page (slide) 1 through page 13 of Desjardins’ (2010a) handout, “Steal this Presentation!” (Again, we’ll read the rest later.)
    4. Read page (slide) 1 through page 13 of Desjardins’ (2010b) handout, “You Suck at PowerPoint.” (Again, we’ll read the rest later.)
    5. Read Care’s (2010) handout, “Why PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid.”
  3. At this point, you should have a good grasp on the typical problem with standard PowerPoint presentations (they’re boring).
    1. However, make sure you understand the difference between using PowerPoint to create a handout (or a teaching document, as you’ve done in previous Assignments) when that handout or teaching document is going to be read by an audience when the presenter is NOT present AND using PowerPoint for a presentation when the presenter IS present.
    2. When the presenter is NOT present, it’s great to have a lot of information in a handout or teaching document, as you have demonstrated in previous Assignments and as Kapterev’s (2007) and Desjardins’ (2010a) and (2010b) handouts demonstrate.
      • When the presenter is NOT present, we call their materials a handout (or teaching document, as you’ve created in previous Assignments).
    3. But when the presenter IS present, their visual aids should not be the same as they would design if they were not going to be present.
      • When the presenter IS present (even if the presenter’s presence has been previously recorded), we call that a narrated presentation.
    4. For this Unit, you’re going to learn how to create and deliver a narrated presentation when the presenter is present (through a previous recording of the presenter’s narration). So, make sure you understand the difference; it’s important!
  4. To learn how to make an engaging narrated presentation, when the presenter is present:
    1. Watch Wienot Films’ (2011) YouTube, “How to Give an Awesome Presentation.” Note that Wienot Films’ YouTube stresses
      • focusing on a story with a beginning, middle, and end;
      • designing that story using low-tech media first (paper/pencil or electronic notes, but not opening PowerPoint during the initial, design stage), and
      • ensuring your story is told visually.
    2. Read Grant’s (2010) article, “Pimp Your Powerpoint.” Note that Grant’s article also stresses
      • planning your presentation first with low-tech media (paper/pencil or electronic notes, but not opening PowerPoint during the initial, design stage);
      • using “explanatory images” — not decorative images; and
      • not using PowerPoint template slides that force you to enter a title and a set of bullet points on each slide.
    3. Read the rest of Kapterev’s (2007) handout, “Death by PowerPoint (and How to Fight It).” Note that Kapterev’s handout stresses
      • significance (enthusiasm and passion);
      • structure (a beginning, middle, and end);
      • simplicity (one idea per slide); and
      • rehearsal.
  5. During this Unit, you’re going to design and record two narrated presentations: one on each of the two surveys you designed in Unit 11 and collected data on in Unit 12.
    • Begin thinking about creating a presentation, on each of your two surveys, that has a beginning, middle, and end.
    • The beginning will be the background information you discovered through Google Scholar.
    • The middle will be the data from your survey.
    • The end will be the ‘take home’ message from your survey; what do your findings mean?
  6. To practice identifying the beginning, middle, and end of presentations:
    1. Watch Kate Yoshida’s presentation (2017) about her PhD research, “Why It Sucks to Be a Male Hyena” (which ends at the 2:27 mark).
      • Make sure you can identify the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end.
    2. Watch MinuteEarth’s (2016) presentation, “The Mystery of Asparagus Pee.”
      • Make sure you can identify the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end.
    3. Watch MinuteEarth’s (2016) presentation, “How Different Are Different Types of Dogs?
      • Again, make sure you can identify the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end.
    4. Watch MinuteEarth’s (2015) presentation, “Do We Have to Get Old and Die?,” which illustrates that even complex genetic information can be presented engagingly without boring bullet points.
      • Again, make sure you can identify the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end.
    5. Lastly, and to answer a question that has surely been on your mind, watch MinuteEarth’s (2013) answer to the question, “Do Fetuses Poop?
      • Again, make sure you can identify the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end.
  7. You’ve now watched several examples of short, engaging, scientific presentations,
    1. all of which have a beginning, middle, and end,
    2. and none of which are boring PowerPoints with lists of bullets.
    3. Like these presentations, each of your two presentations will be
      • no longer than three minutes and no shorter than two minutes in total length;
      • created and saved as a narrated video file (i.e., a video that has a narration, through spoken language, signed language, or computer-generated speech); and
      • uploaded (in our case, to our Discussion Board) so that other people (in our case, other members of your Section) can watch your narrated presentation.
    4. Although none of the above videos show the face of the narrator, if you want to include your own ‘talking head,’ these videos provide good examples:
      1. ThinkFast’s (2014) presentation, “How Do Dogs See the World?”
      2. HowStuffWorks’ (2016) presentation, “Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?
  8. Choose which of your two surveys you are going to create your first presentation for. You should probably choose the survey that will be easier to present for whatever reasons (although you’ll be presenting both surveys eventually, you might as well go with the easier one first).
    1. Draft (using low-tech paper/pencil or electronic notes) the ideas you want to use for creating a beginning, middle, and end of your presentation.
    2. Decide on an engaging title.
    3. Identify the technology you’ll use to create and save your narrated video file. You may use ANY technology you want to use as long as it’s able to create and save a narrated video file.
      • If you want to use PowerPoint (2016 or 2010), and you’re a Windows user, this How To might be helpful. Note that Office 365 (which includes PowerPoint 2016) is free to UW-Madison students.
      • If you want to use Keynote (which is a Mac/Apple version of PowerPoint), this How To might be helpful.
      • If you want to use PowerPoint, and you’re a Mac/Apple user, this How To might be helpful. Note that PowerPoint on the Mac/Apple cannot make a narrated video file, but this How To shows you two ways to work around that limitation.
      • If you want to use Prezi, this How To might be helpful. Remember that your Prezi must be narrated.
      • If you want to use Open Office Impress, this How To might be helpful.
    4. IMPORTANT:
      • Decide NOW which technology you will use.
      • PRACTICE now using that technology, including saving a narrated video file (and making sure that it plays).
      • Be sure NOT to wait until the next Assignment!
  9. Go to the Unit 13: Assignment #1 Discussion Board and make a new post of at least 200 words in which you tell us
    1. which of your two surveys you’ll use for creating your first presentation (and why you chose that survey for your first presentation);
    2. your presentation’s engaging title;
    3. what technology you’ll use to create and save your narrated video file;
    4. how your practice went with the technology that you’ll use for creating and saving your narrated video file; and
    5. that you know that your presentation must be between two and three minutes; must be a narrated video; must have a beginning, middle, and end; must not look like a PPT that is a handout; and must be a narrated video file that you upload to the Discussion Board.
    6. Also embed (not attach, but embed) one image (a screenshot or a .jpg, .jpeg, or .png) that illustrates your drafting process (step h1 above). Any words in this image do not count toward your 200-word count total.

Unit 13: Assignment #2 (due before 11:59 pm Central on THU AUG 2):

  1. Create and save (as a narrated video file) your first presentation.
  2. Also save a transcript of the narration of your presentation as a PDF. Name the file YourLastname_FirstPresentation.pdf.
  3. Go to the Unit 13: Assignment #2 and #3 Discussion Board and upload your narrated video file, using these instructions.
    • If you prefer, you may upload your narrated video file to YouTube or Vimeo rather than upload your video file directly to our Discussion Board.
    • However, if you upload your narrated video file to YouTube or Vimeo, you’ll need to embed (not simply link to) your YouTube or Vimeo within your Discussion Board post, following the instructions in the Course How To. (Remember to embed your YouTube “small.”)
  4. Also attach your presentation’s transcript (as PDF) to your Discussion Board post.

Unit 13: Assignment #3 (due before 11:59 pm Central on FRI AUG 3):

  1. Read these Peer-Review Guidelines.
  2. Apply the Peer-Review Guidelines to three other students’ presentations that are posted on the Unit 13: Assignment #2 and #3 Discussion Board. (The three students whose presentations you peer review do not need to be members of your Chat Group.)
  3. Go to the Unit 13: Assignment #2 and #3 Discussion Board and make a response post to each of the three students with a summary, of at least 200 words, containing your assessment according to the Peer-Review Guidelines.

Unit 13: Assignment #4 (due before 11:59 pm Central on FRI AUG 3):

  1. Creating engaging presentations involves incorporating engaging visuals. To learn more about how to find and integrate engaging visuals:
    1. Read the rest of Desjardins’ (2010b) handout, “You Suck at PowerPoint” (p. 15 through the end). Pay attention to Desjardins’ (2010b) recommendations about
      • file image size (and avoiding pixelation);
      • consistent color schemes; and
      • the amount of rehearsal needed for a successful presentation.
    2. Read the rest of Desjardins’ (2010a) handout, “Steal this Presentation!” (p. 14 through the end). Pay attention to Desjardins’ (2010a) recommendations about
      • fonts and
      • images.
  2. To learn more about how to avoid using copyrighted images in your presentations and how to instead find non-copyrighted images (for your presentations):
    1. Read NYU Libraries’ (no date) article, “Copyright: Using Images.”
    2. Read Bruff’s (2013) article, “Finding Non-Copyrighted Images for Presentations,” which explains how to identify the copyright status of images through Flickr.
    3. Look through this handout, which explains how to find non-copyrighted images through Google (and has cute goldendoodle images that might serve as a positive mood enhancer).
  3. Classify each of the images you used in your first presentation by making a table or spreadsheet in which you identify
    1. who the owner of each image is (if you are the owner of the image, list your name); and
    2. what the usage rights of each image is (if you are the owner of an image, you can list TBD, for To Be Determined, unless you’ve already established usage rights via copyright or Creative Commons).
    3. Save the table or spreadsheet as an image (.jpg, .jpeg, or .png) or take a screenshot of the table or spreadsheet.
  4. Go to the Unit 13: Assignment #4 Discussion Board and make a new post in which you embed (not attach, but embed) the image or screenshot of your table or spreadsheet.
    • If you did not use any images in your first presentation (not even any images that you own or that you created), instead of embedding an image or screenshot of your table, simply write the sentence: I did not use any images in my first presentation.

Unit 13: Assignment #5 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN AUG 5):

  1. Create and save (as a narrated video file) your second presentation.
  2. Also save a transcript of the narration of your presentation in a PDF. Name the file YourLastname_SecondPresentation.pdf.
  3. Go to the Unit 13: Assignment #5 Discussion Board and upload your narrated video file, using these instructions.
    • If you prefer, you may instead upload your narrated video file to YouTube or Vimeo rather than upload your video file directly to our Discussion Board.
    • However, if you upload your narrated video file to YouTube or Vimeo, you’ll need to embed (not simply link to) your YouTube or Vimeo within Discussion Board post, following the instructions in the Course How To. (Remember to embed your YouTube “small.”)
  4. Also attach your second presentation’s transcript (as a PDF) to your Discussion Board post.

Unit 13: Assignment #6 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN AUG 5):

  1. Plan to meet online with your Chat Group for a one-hour Group Chat.
  2. Prior to your Chat Group meeting, all members of your Chat Group must have completed and uploaded both of their presentations.
  3. Begin the one-hour text-based Chat by watching each Chat Group member’s two presentations.
  4. After watching each Chat Group member’s presentation, the other member(s) need to provide peer-feedback on the presentation using the Peer-Review Guidelines.
  5. At the end of your one-hour Chat:
    1. Nominate one member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Chat) to make a post on the Unit 13: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that summarizes your Group Chat in at least 200 words.
    2. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to save the Chat transcript as a .htm or .html file and attach the file to a Unit 13: Assignment #6 Discussion Board post.
    3. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to make another post on the Unit 13: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that states the name of your Chat Group, the names of the Chat Group members who participated the Chat, the date of your Chat, and the start and stop time of your Chat.
    4. If only two persons participated in the Chat, then one of those two persons needs to do two of the above three tasks.
    5. Before ending the Group Chat, your Chat Group might want to bid goodbye to each other because this Unit’s Group Chat is the last Group Chat of the course!
  6. All members of the Chat Group must record a typical Unit entry in their own Course Journal for Unit 13.

Congratulations, you have finished Unit 13! Onward to Unit 14!