Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chapter 2--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 2

Creating slides and handouts

You really have very little time to capture your audience's

attention. This should be easy enough by adding comedy and

silliness to your introduction. The problem for educators is how to add

simultaneously a bit of serious information. Dr. Burmark prescribes

that in order to do this you must stay away from the standard

procedure which includes: 1) The presenter creates a series of slides with

bulleted text; 2) The software automatically transforms the slide into

handouts; and 3) The presenter reads the slides to the audience. She states

that essentially these are all 3 slightly version of the same text information.

Dr. Burmark then organizes the chapter by first concentrating on what should

go on the slides. She believes that the best way is to present images on the

slides and to talk about it so that you you deliver the information through both

the visual and the auditory channel. This leaves the handouts to handle black-

and-white text. She endorses giving your audience a black-and-white sheet,

printed on both sides, in which your audience use as a guide to follow you,

and decide what is important to them, but also given them a URL where

they can get more information on the topics and subjects that you are

discussing in your presentation. She also recommends a policy of No

Electronic Devices during your actual presentation, even though there

is evidence that perhaps newer generations are getting better at multi-

tasking; something she seems extremely skeptical of. She finishes the

chapter by stressing the importance that words are meaningless unless

your audience knows what you are referring to. So thus the importance

of images. At this point she also gives her approving opinion towards a

shift towards what the audience gains as opposed to the expertise and

knowledge of the presenter.

I found Chapter 2 to possess new, useful information

for me. I have never even conceived that slides and handouts could

and should be different; not just regurgitating the same information. In

fact, I highly agree with this concept. I just want to remind myself that

these are recommendations that Dr. Burmark puts forward because

in her informed opinion they will work for the majority of audience

members. In other words, there are exceptions, and I suspect that one

will find those students who are very visual and word-driven. Or

what about those that can completely disconnect to the visual cues of a

presentation and actually pay attention to the words coming out of

the presenter's mouth?

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