Monday, December 5, 2011

Powerless Point?

Microsoft PowerPoint is a professional tool used throughout all levels of the academic world. It is most effective when appealing to spatial learners in that they often are able to connect the images and text on the screen to the spoken words of the presenter. PowerPoint is able to reinforce the spoken word with images and statistics, while further engaging active audience. There are some denotative truths about PowerPoint as a presentation tool, however there are also some subjective opinions about PowerPoint that question the validity and necessity of the program as an academic learning aid.
In certain scenario's PowerPoint is necessary in the academic realm. When embarking on a presentation lasting half an hour or more it is important to provide visuals in an attempt to engage your audience. PowerPoint can be a referencing tool that provides visuals and text to the spoken word. Synchronizing image and text can help convert the message the presenter is trying to convey. PowerPoint is an accepted necessity for professors when lecturing large groups of students. PowerPoints can further engage active students by encouraging questions promoting diligent note taking. The use of PowerPoint is effective in the Public Relations program classroom in that it allows students to elaborate on the professors lectures while copying notes for reference. The PowerPoint presentations often include images and video clips to assist spatial learners. The archiving of PowerPoint presentations also allow the students to refer back to any lectures that were missed or that need further clarification.
Microsoft PowerPoint can subjectively be associated with over dependency among students and presenters. From a presentation perspective, PowerPoint can be used as a tool to distract attention from the presenter and the content being conveyed. Many presenters shy away from the spotlight by putting all their material on the power point and simply regurgitating word for word off the screen. This technique automatically disengages the audience and does not portray the presenter as an expert. It can be difficult for presenters to convey a message and engage an audience without PowerPoint, however with charisma and confidence it is possible. Proper presentation skills and PowePoint usage are skills that the Public Relations class will learn in the second semester.
The audience can also become over dependent on the PowerPoint presentation. Many students will simply copy the notes off the PowerPoint and disengage from the presenter. This dependency results in implicit lecture points being missed. PowerPoint is an effective referencing and clarification tool, however it is important to listen to the presenter and not just hear what they are saying.

Microsoft PowerPoint is a revolutionary tool that can add numerous elements to a presentation, however an over dependency can develop. As amateur's it will be very important to learn how to use the tool during our second semester class. At the end of the year the students of the Public Relations program should have a much better idea of the PowerPoint concept, and presenting as a whole.

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