Book Review: Beyond Bullet Points

I’ve finally decided to jump in and attempt to create a tutorial for Dead Bunny. The most logical place to start, given my current knowledge base and available technology, is Impress (otherwise known as OpenOffice’s equivalent of PowerPoint).

Someone recommended Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations that Inform, Motivate, and Inspire, so I checked it out from the library. I’ve used PowerPoint twice, both in grad school. I had to create a presentation for class and then I created the non-multimedia sections of a workshop in it. I was never able to make the multimedia sections insert correctly into my slide show. Going to a book just seemed a good idea.

I’m only partway through working on the tutorial, but Beyond Bullet Points has been wonderful! Atkinson starts you off with a template to plan the story of your presentation, and then takes you step by step through moving from the story template to a storyboard template to making sure your presentation is a good blend of script and visual elements. You develop both together to make sure they stay in sync with each other from the standpoint of the message. He includes tips at the end of each chapter for things you can do to make your presentation stand out or just feel slightly different from other presentations.

The best part, for me as someone interested in educational media, was that he included Mayer’s Principles and how each principle is reflected in the BBP method. It’s been useful in thinking through my own tweaks to the BBP method.

I took a ton of notes, and they’re guiding me through my work on this tutorial. Hopefully, I’ll finish everything up soon and will have it posted to the Dead Bunny site so everyone can check it out.

If you have to present with a slide show, regardless of the setting, you really need to check out this book and the accompanying websites. They’re full of great tips. (If you use Impress like I do, though, be ready to do a little exploring to find some of the menus and panels.)

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