Blogs instead of Power Point

I’m sure PowerPoint was useful at one time but not for me. I associate it with un-creativity and hollow corporate expression. In short, I think PowerPoint bites. And that’s why I say, use a blog instead.

In less than a week I will be teaching a college level writing course in a wired classroom. Being the blogcentric gal I am I have decided not only to have a course blog but to use a blog for presentation purposes. I have talked to a couple of other blog/network-centric educators who have similarly used blogs for presentation and I think it’s really catching on. Why? Well, for one thing, those of us who are doing this see blogs as a viable, more aesthetically rich and more participatory alternative to PowerPoint.

Here’s why …

A few months ago I gave a presentation on blogging. Given my feelings about Power Point and my blog-centric bias, I felt it was appropriate (not to mention a glowing endorsement of blogging tools) to use a blog for the presentation. This was not without the usual technical hiccups but it went relatively smoothly.

With the help of a laptop connected projector, I was able to put my blogprez to the test. Here are a few of the benefits of using your blog for a presentation:

1) Easy navigation between presentation content and online examples. Better yet, if you’re working in a wired classroom or your audience members have laptops, they can click along and participate, leaving comments or notes as you speak.

2) Thumbnails and image pop ups within the presentation content for visuals provide a rich GUI that you can’t get with power point.

3) Categories as non-linear navigation. Rather than clicking through the linear Power Point (a,b,c) I could access any section easily through my categories list – at random. Better yet, I am providing an element of participation that is absent for traditional PP presentations. For example, maybe you’ve hit the part of your talk that a few folks are already well versed in. They can spend that time surfing the parts of your presentation that are relevant to their needs.

4) Post continuation – I used this feature to house all the body of my talk with the main summary points as the Post Introduction.

5) Password protection – I didn’t want to widely distribute the content of my talk, since it was contextual to my audience and their reference points, so I password protected the whole blog. This is also a value add for paid talks.

6) Comments = participation. Post discussion, attendee’s can add their two cents or leave a comment to further develop your material. In this way, a presentation becomes more of a conversation. Additionally, if you choose to do so, you can give everyone the link to the blog WHILE the presentation is underway and allow them to post comments while it’s happening.

7) Multimedia – Image, sound and video can all be part of your presentation.

Further reading
Anil Dash on using Typepad for slideshows
Eric Meyer’s S5 Primer