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APP 110 Business Computer Fundamentals
Week  3 Discussion
DQ 1 – Effective Presentations
Learning Objectives Covered
LO 05.01 – Discuss presentation best practices as related to the use of Microsoft PowerPoint
Career Relevancy
The development of presentation skills is essential for students to prepare to enter their chosen careers. The development of these skills will support the student in demonstrating confidence in many areas required by employers and assist new students in presenting themselves during interviews, networking, and in all areas related to business communications.
Background
PowerPoint is a fantastic tool that will help you to develop presentation visuals not just for the classroom, but also in the business world. While being a presenter may not be part of your career focus, it is likely that you will need to develop and present content in your chosen career. PowerPoint will help you to create strong visual content to share your information with your audience.
The following article will open your eyes to the process of creating a PowerPoint presentation. You will also learn how you can create a successful presentation.
How to Write a Professional PowerPoint Presentation (Discover the Writing Process) (1266 words)
https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-write-a-professional-powerpoint-presentation-discover-the-writing-process–cms-25682 (Links to an external site.)
The article brings up how important research will be when developing a PowerPoint presentation. Thinking of a specific point you want to get across to your audience will help you stay focused on the most important information. Once you have developed a main point to communicate, then you must outline what your presentation will look like. Once you have an outline and main idea, then staying focused on what you want to communicate and developing an effective presentation is all you have left to do.
As you learn how to use PowerPoint, you will find many useful ways in which to present and share your information. Below are many presentation tips to help you give an engaging presentation with and without the use of PowerPoint.
Knowing how to present a PowerPoint effectively in a presentation can help you express your point in a clear, concessive way and will keep the audience engaged and interested. In this week’s 2nd discussion we will discuss many bad habits that people use in their PowerPoint presentations that either cause confusion, boredom, or overall disbelief of the information presented. For example, bright yellow backgrounds with lime green font color may be too hard for your audience to read, while clicking through slides with years of data may confuse your audience. When using PowerPoint in a presentation, take into consideration your audience and how they will view the material presented on each slide. Make sure slides are easy to read and are only displaying important, relevant data.
The text below, which is a collaboration of information taken from SkillsYouNeed.com and insight from our instructors. Developing presentation skills is a fantastic career soft skill and one that you will want to add to your list of resources. The article below will help you to identify skills you may already have, and also some that you may want to develop throughout your program and career.
Tip 1: Express Excitement and Connect with your Audience
Be honest and direct with your audience about your message and its importance. Audience members will quickly become disinterested if you are not passionate about your content. As you share your passion for your topic, you invite others to share in the excitement.
The following article will help give ideas for inspiring and reaching your audience and what they desire from you as a presenter.
10 Creative Presentation Ideas: That Will Inspire Your Audience to Action (1126 words)
https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/creative-presentation-ideas–cms-27281 (Links to an external site.)
This article brings up some great ways to connect with your audience and get them involved with what you are trying to communicate. First, it mentions how telling a story can get a positive and effective response from most audiences. Second, you can break up information with spots of humor. That doesn’t necessarily mean telling jokes all the time, but that you keep some portions lighthearted and personable. Another good idea for presenters is to know your material. Reading from your slides can be awkward and downright boring. If you want your audience to love you and your material, you need to know the material.
Tip 2: Focus on your Audience’s Needs
Presentations should always be developed for the particular needs of the audience. Even regular and pre-planned presentations need to be modified to fit the needs of the audience. Effective presenters not only have well-developed presentations but can also adjust the content and flow based on the reaction of the audience.
Tip 3: Make Eye Contact and Share Facial Expressions
Making eye contact with audience members is essential in rapport building. Audience members will first connect with the presenter, then the content. Making eye contact throughout your presentation will help you to emphasize important points and build a lasting relationship with your audience. Appropriate facial expressions that fit your content will also help to convey your message and create even stronger connections. Even on webinar presentations, facial expressions such as a smile will be noticed by your audience.
Tip 4: Create a Strong Opening
Create a “wow” factor with your audience in the first minute or two of your presentation with an opening that will grab attention. Audience members have a short attention span and will give a new presenter just a few minutes before they tune out. Use a sharp visual and powerful opening message to grab attention and keep your audience engaged right from the start of your presentation.
Tip 5: Tell Stories
Be prepared to tell a story, using PowerPoint to expand your message and paint a picture for your audience to follow. Stories can entice emotions, drawing your audience in as you share your experience. By sharing a story, or a personal experience, you will engage your audience and they will be more likely to remember key points. In the development of your presentation, think of a story to share your message, then develop a presentation around it to fit the needs of your audience.
Tip 6: Visuals to Enhance the Message
In the development of your PowerPoint and other visuals, the goal is to emphasize key points, images, and relevant facts. Often, “less is more” regarding the use of visuals. The presenter’s job is to expand the message, using visuals to further the message not share the message. PowerPoint should never be used to tell the story itself, and never read the text from your slides or use visuals like a cue card or teleprompter.
Tip 7: Vocal Variation
While the words you use throughout your presentation are important, the way you say it may be critical. As a presenter, you can change the message considerably by varying the way in which you speak. Changing your tone, pitch, and speed are all ways in which you can change your message, build an emotional connection, and hold your audience’s attention.
Tip 8: Non-Verbal
About 80% of communication is non-verbal. Thus, it is crucial that presenters acknowledge that they must use body language in their presentations. Express open and confident gestures, move naturally around the room, and include the audience when possible. It is best to avoid pacing, hands in pockets, and crossed arms when you present, as it will send a message that you are closed off and unapproachable.
Tip 9: Relax, Breathe and Enjoy
Be calm, keep breathing, and enjoy yourself. A presentation is nothing more than an opportunity for you to share a story with a group of people. Always remember, steady breathing is essential. If you find yourself breathing or talking too fast, pause, take a breath, and slow down. Slowing down, taking a breath and pausing will help put you and your audience at ease.
As a student, you will be writing a discussion post every week throughout your program. In the past two weeks, the discussion posts focused on teaching some of the basics to help you to develop a quality discussion post. Now that you have a foundation of skills needed to write quality posts, this week the discussion is more in alignment with posts you will complete throughout your program. Discussion posts are often developed from an article, video, or a combination of content from the weekly learning objectives. The post this week will focus on the weekly topic, which is in the use of MS PowerPoint and effective presentations.
Sample In-text Citation
(Skillsyouneed, 2015)
Sample Reference
Skillsyouneed.com. (2015). Top tips for effective presentations. Retrieved from http://www.skillsyouneed.com/present/presentation-tips.html (Links to an external site.)
Prompt
Now that you know the importance of using PowerPoint effectively, should PowerPoint experience be a determining factor in the hiring process? Explain your reasoning.
As you answer this question, think about the consequences for a company when information is presented with issues and slides are misused. How can knowing the best practices for PowerPoint alleviate problems in the future?
The past two weeks have been spent learning how to develop correctly formatted discussion posts. Use this week’s post as an opportunity to practice your new skills. Add in-text citations and references, and make sure your main post is at least 150 words. You are welcome to use the sample citation and reference above, or you can choose an outside source for your post. The citation and references will not be graded this week. But please do your best and practice adding references.
Reply Requirements
You must submit:
1 main post of 150+ words with 1 in-text citation and reference (follow the Institution Writing Guidelines)
2 follow-up posts (replies) of 50+ words
Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be:
Your own words (no copy and paste)
Unique (no repeating something you already said)
Substantial in nature, which means there has to be some meat to the reply not something like: “Good job, Rasha, your post is excellent.” A substantial post will do one of the following:
Extend the conversation deeper,
Challenge the post being responded to, or
Take the conversation in a career-relevant tangent
Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. You’re training to be a professional—write like it.
Click here for info on the Institution Writing Guidelines (IWG) if you have questions.
References and Resources
Melymbrose, J. (2016, September 22). 10 Creative Presentation Ideas: That Will Inspire Your Audience to Action. Retrieved from Business – Tutsplus: https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/creative-presentation-ideas–cms-27281 (Links to an external site.)
Smith, B. (2016, January 29). How to Write a Professional PowerPoint Presentation (Discover the Writing Process). Retrieved from Business – Tutsplus: https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-write-a-professional-powerpoint-presentation-discover-the-writing-process–cms-25682 (Links to an external site.)
DQ2 – Common PowerPoint Issues
Learning Objectives Covered
LO 05.03 – Discuss common negative PowerPoint issues and how to prevent them
Career Relevancy
Microsoft PowerPoint is an important application to understand and master both in your future career and academic career. Whether you are presenting information about a new innovative software, a business plan for a corporation, a training piece, or introducing new designs to a client, knowing how to showcase your information is essential. Knowing how to avoid common negative issues regarding PowerPoint presentations successfully will help you effectively present your data in a clear and engaging way.
Background
boring PowerPoint presentationMicrosoft PowerPoint can be a fun and exciting way to present information to your intended audience. If used correctly, PowerPoint presentations can be engaging and can present the data in clear and fun ways. However, misusing PowerPoint can cause the opposite effect on the audience. Think back on a time when you witnessed a PowerPoint presentation where the presenter read directly off of the slide or presented too much information on each slide. As an audience member, how did that presentation make you feel? Do you remember what the report was about? My guess is probably not. Understanding the issues in presenting PowerPoints will help you avoid unnecessary conflict with future presentations.
There are a few common mistakes that can easily be avoided when using PowerPoint.
Using Data Incorrectly
When you are presenting your data, make sure that you only use information or data that is relevant to the content you are giving. Showing too many numbers or too many charts can confuse your audience and muffle your intended message. Presenting data is a great tool to show progress but knowing how to display the right amount of data properly is what will make your content stick.
Font Size and Color Errors
Using a font size that is too small for your audience to read or too large for the slide, can distract your audience and may cause them to miss the vital information presented. The background color of each slide is also essential to keep in mind. Neon pink backgrounds with bright yellow fonts are hard on your audience’s eyes. Make sure you take into consideration who your audience is and what information you are presenting. Use appropriate font size and color that are easy to read and do not distract the audience.
Reading the Slides
One of the most common mistakes with PowerPoint is writing your entire presentation on your slides. Why would your audience members listen to your presentation when they could just read the information on each slide? The slides should bullet point the main points of your presentation and engage the audience. Make sure that you are comfortable with your slides and your presentation as a whole. The most important thing you can do is know your subject forward and backward. Confidence in your knowledge about the presentation will help you use PowerPoint more effectively.
Keep these issues in mind the next time you are using PowerPoint. Remember to always know who your audience is and stay calm, cool, and collective when presenting. As long as you avoid these common issues and know how to resolve them, you will keep your audience engaged and the information presented will have a positive impact.
For a humorous look at going overboard with PowerPoint presentations, watch the following video. It is meant to make fun of overused methods in PowerPoint, but it can give you great insight to what things to avoid when developing a PowerPoint presentation. (3:59 min)
Prompt
How do common issues in PowerPoint, like the ones motioned above, play a role in the reliability and credibility of the presenter? Explain your answer. Suppose you find yourself or a coworker presenting and making some of these mistakes, what could you do to help improve the quality of the overall presentation?
For your citation, you might use articles that show examples of good PowerPoint presentations. You can also find articles from experts that suggest what determines reliability and creditability for good presentations.
Your initial and reply posts should work to develop a group understanding of this topic. Challenge each other. Build on each other. Always be respectful but discuss this and figure it out together.
Reply Requirements
You must submit:
1 main post of 150+ words with 1 in-text citation and reference(follow the Institution Writing Guidelines)
2 follow-up posts (replies) of 50+ words
Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be:
Your own words (no copy and paste)
Unique (no repeating something you already said)
Substantial in nature, which means there has to be some meat to the reply not something like: “Good job, Rasha, your post is excellent.” A substantial post will do one of the following:
Extend the conversation deeper,
Challenge the post being responded to, or
Take the conversation in a career-relevant tangent
Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. You’re training to be a professional—write like it.

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