This is oversimplistic. My company has put on industry conferences since its inception (1982). In
the time I've worked there (since 1993), we've evolved from sometimes type-written prepared speeches
with U-Matic tapes for ads or demonstration movies to now almost everyone using Powerpoint and
sometimes embedding WinMedia or Quicktime video. Just as 14 years ago, some presentations or deadly
boring and some are great. Almost no one does the stereotypical Powerpoint anymore, people are much
more creative than when it first started taking off. To keep people from glazing over, the spoken
part needs to be more focused and snappy than perhaps in the past, so that's a good thing. Also, we
find that people are making shorter presentations, about 20 minutes vs. 30 minutes, and thus having
more time for Q&A which is what people really pay to see. As the person who has to create the
transcript CDR's, I am so happy for modern times that I can't even begin to describe it. The only
thing we need transcribed anymore is on-stage interviews and I can whip a CDR right together with a
folder full of Powerpoint files and a couple of Word documents. Furthermore, the ubiquitous use of
Powerpoint means more conference presentations are available online or are circulated widely so
there is a freer flow of information. How much of it is marketing hooey is another matter!
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 6:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Slides and inconvenient media
> Research points the finger at PowerPoint
> Normal font
> Large font
> File photo: Do as I do ... the federal Treasurer, Peter Costelllo, shows the right way to give a
> PowerPoint presentation, speaking to graphs rather than reading dot points.
> Photo: Andrew Meares
> Anna Patty Education Editor
> April 4, 2007
> If you have ever wondered why your eyes start glazing over as you read those dot points on the
> screen, as the same words are being spoken, take heart in knowing there is a scientific
> It is more difficult to process information if it is coming at you in the written and spoken form
> at the same time.
> The Australian researchers who made the findings may have pronounced the death of the PowerPoint
> They have also challenged popular teaching methods, suggesting that teachers should focus more on
> giving students the answers, instead of asking them to solve problems on their own.
> Pioneered at the University of NSW, the research shows the human brain processes and retains more
> information if it is digested in either its verbal or written form, but not both at the same time.
> It also questions the wisdom of centuries-old habits, such as reading along with Bible passages,
> at the same time they are being read aloud in church. More of the passages would be understood and
> retained, the researchers suggest, if heard or read separately.
> The findings show there are limits on the brain's capacity to process and retain information in
> short-term memory.
> John Sweller, from the university's faculty of education, developed the "cognitive load theory".
> "The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster," Professor Sweller said. "It should
> be ditched."
> "It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But
> it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load
> on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented."
> The findings that challenge common teaching methods suggest that instead of asking students to
> solve problems on their own, teachers helped students more if they presented already solved
> "Looking at an already solved problem reduces the working memory load and allows you to learn. It
> means the next time you come across a problem like that, you have a better chance at solving it,"
> Professor Sweller said.
> The working memory was only effective in juggling two or three tasks at the same time, retaining
> them for a few seconds. When too many mental tasks were taken on some things were forgotten.
> [log in to unmask] wrote: What about sound-slide shows?
> We have a number of presentations that used to be loaned out as slide trays
> with audio cassettes. Some also exist as dual trays and reel tapes with cue
> tracks for automatic slide advance and dissolve control.
> In the past they were transferred to VHS with a camcorder shooting a screen.
> Now the tapes are being copied to DVD with a Sony DVD recorder for
> distribution to the few people who ask for them. Obviously the loss of quality is
> severe, but nobody seems to care.
> I would like to go back to the originals, to the extent that they exist,
> scan the slides and transfer the tapes, but don't know what would be the most
> practical means for presentation of the result. I've never seen a synchronized
> sound slide presentation on a computer except some done at conferences as
> QuickTime videos of a quality below that of VHS.
> Can PowerPoint do this? How about other software that would link good
> resolution still images with a sound file or series of files? Has anyone produced
> HTML presentations in which a narration is presented by clicking on an image
> or with some kind of timing script?
> I would appreciate any links to such presentations on the net so I can see
> how well they perform.
> Mike Csontos
> ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.
> Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
> always stay connected to friends.