• Engaging presentations

    Engaging presentations 

    Presentations don’t have to use slides but more often than not they do - they can provide a useful support to the presenter’s words. They can also provide a useful resource after any live presentation and can be embedded so they display in online courses. 

    However, try to use slides only for key points and don’t add too much information. If you need to convey a lot of information then use another format or provide a link to further information.  

    Images and diagrams can help emphasise or clarify information. There are many creative ways to do this beyond bullet points - see this page for Six alternatives to bullet points.  

    Interactive presentations 

    Making presentations interactive is a good way to keep learners engaged and enhance learning. But remember to balance your use of pictures and other engagement tools with accessibility requirements. Consider the following: 

    • Quizzes - use quiz software such as Mentimeter or PowerPoint integrated software such as Classpoint (not currently available for Macs). It is important that if you are sharing your presentation for reuse that a separate list of questions and answers is available to enable other instructors to set up the polls. See more in the upcoming section.

    • Annotation directly onto your slides is possible when using PowerPoint and can be a good way to engage your audience. Remember to save your annotations if you are sharing the presentation with the class, and note down times to use annotation to guide future users of your slides.

    • Animations: while it is possible to make use of animations in your presentation, it should be used sparingly due to issues of accessibility. Moreover, animations complicate the re-use of pdf versions of PowerPoint slides.

    Accessible presentations

    Making your presentation slides accessible is good for making content clearer for everyone, not just those with specific needs. Here are some tips: 

    • Ensure there is good colour contrast between text and background.

    • Many of the features of accessible Word documents are relevant here too, eg, alignment, alt text, font style, meaningful hyperlinks.

    • Avoid cluttering a slide with too much text – you can use the Notes field to expand on detail.

    • Aim to use as large a font size as possible, ideally size 24 and avoid using all caps in text.

    • Use the PowerPoint Accessibility Checker to proof your slides and check the items on each slide are in the correct reading order.

    Additional resources

    Creating effective and engaging presentations 
    Create Engaging Presentations for Your Online Classroom - Tutorial 
    Accessible PowerPoint presentations