Beyond Presentation Design Syllabus

18 Mar

Introduction to Presentation Design

This syllabus is in beta (its under construction–in fact its still in the brainstorming stage), however its an attempt to move public speaking classes in a dramatically more enjoyable, interesting, engaging, relevant, and useful way. Its primarily design for those in the arts and sciences curriculum–but has direct application to business as well.

At the moment, the class involves high expectations and a fairly moderate amount of work outside class.

Class materials:

• Your brain
• Your passion
• Your respect
• Pencil and paper
• Slideology by Nancy Duarte (available on Amazon)
• An account on Google, delicious, and
• Optional reading: Garr Reynolds on Presentation Zen, alltop blogs on public speaking)
• Optional viewing: Nancy Duarte Webinar for Viz Think
• Other optional viewing: Lynda instruction on use of Keynote and presentation design–available for 2 week block)

Fifteen Things You Get out of This Class (if you put in the time and effort):
(aka Whats in it For Me?)

• Public Speaking Skills
• Persuasion Skills
• Presentation Design Skills (including design principles)
• Design thinking Skills
• Teamwork and Project Skills
• Brainstorming and Creativity Skills
• Analysis, Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving Skills
• Research Skills
• Knowledge Management skills
• Technology Skills (Powerpoint, Elements/Photoshop, Keynote, and Web 2.0 tools)
• Coordination, Productivity, and Workflow skills
• Developing expertise and learning how to learn skills
• 21st century skills (asking the “right” questions, etc.)
• Strategic perspective about how ideas interact
• Organization and Prioritization
• Planning, priority, and goal setting skills
• Other Career and Business Skills developed through the projects (Strategic perspective and understanding how models and systems work)
• Helping identify your strengths (as future employee or business)
• Portfolio Development
• Project based experience
• Fun and engaging activities which aren’t grounded in tests and memorization (80% of your grade is not based in memorizing the textbook or lectures in typical “read by wrote” function)

In short helping you create a more productive life in college and overall a healthier career arch as you move forward into professional life.

Presentation Design Week 1: Intros and Introductory Narrative Speeches
• Introduction to Public Speaking/Presentation Design. (3 minute Death by Powerpoint video, short TED Talk (optional) the 3 minute TED talk on success is fantastic, Nancy Duarte video) The text of the Nancy Duarte video is available in Chapter 12 of the book (it may also be available online)
• Why visual design? Why presentation design?
• Introduction to the Presentation Design landscape (the Duarte diagram)
• Classroom rules activity (7 minutes in groups, 5 minutes presentation)
• Introduction to principles of communication and visual design. (What makes good design?)
• Pair share-introduction activity
• Personal interest inventory, including major and career goals
• Assignment: Introductory Narrative/Story Presentation Assignment with visual aid

Day 2:
• Introductory Story Presentation Assignment with visual aid (2 to 4 minutes)

Presentation Design Week 2:
Day 1:
• TED Talks. Discuss design features and communication features which work. Discuss any which didn’t work. (Teacher Facilitates) (25 minutes)
• Pick a TED talk activity and evaluate its content and design (25 minutes)
• Pair share about your findings on your TED talk (7 minutes)
• Group discussion about TED talk (7 minutes)
• Assignment:
research on brainstorming methods. read two articles on brainstorming and creativity.
read chapter 2
summarize your findings in 1/2 to page.

Day 2: The Wonderful World of Brainstorming
Class Discussion: What is creativity? Purpose of brainstorming? Innovation vs. creativity? The importance of creativity. The challenges and limits of creativity. Who defines creativity? How can we study creativity?
Class Discussion: Brainstorming techniques you found and/or have used
Instruction: Methods
Class Activity: Brainstorming in groups of 3 to 4 (using 3 different methods)
Class Activity: Optional (Post it notes and Mind map activity combined into one in stages–use post it notes to create a viable sketch of a mindmap)
Class Activity: Reflection on brainstorming activity
Class Discussion: How can you resolve group disputes? How can you balance diversity and the need to create a final product? (could reference or read: Dysfunctions of a Team)

Presentation Design Week 3: High Tech Skills for High Tech Times
Day I:
Powerpoint Skills 20 minutes (If you have time, you might include some of these powerpoint tricks and tips–although it might be better to save them for a later refresh)
• 30 to 40 minute activity: Turn your using creative commons or cited images from Google images or Flickr search.
• Optional Outside Class: How to Use Keynote and Advanced Keynote skills

Day 2:
• Classroom activity (30 minutes): Present your new presentations in small group. (this creates a technological difficulty–unless a computer room is available or you have students with plentiful laptops who are willing to share.)
• Critiques and recommendations based on class rubric (soon to be available on website)
• Classroom discussion: what else can you use powerpoint for?

Presentation Design Week 5: Discovery, Learning, and Research
Day 1:
• Creating a Personal Learning Management System
• Principles of Learning (constructivism and Blooms Taxonomy)
• Classroom discussion: what have you found in learning? In speaking?
Day 2:
• Principles of Memory (include Brain Rules principles, videos, and/or presentation)
• Classroom discussion: what have you found?
• Principles of Motivation
• Activities on all 3 (the memory and motivation activities can involve discovery of the science and punditry of memory and motivation)

Presentation Design Week 6: Typography and Color (Chapter 7)
Explorations of Typography
Explorations of Color
10 minute review of Project Assignment
10 minute review of principles we’ve talked about (brainstorm, pair share, and group activity)

Presentation Design Week 7: Project Week (one week before midterms in other classes)
Project Week-requires group meetings with other students in class.
Group meetings each day with teacher.

Outside activity: One hour and 30 minute delivery of presentations (Justification: this isn’t unusual given the time spent in a traditional class studying and preparing for midterms–or writing essays for classes which also have multiple choice tests)

Presentation Design Week 8: Design Layout and Data (Chapter 3 and Chapter 4)
Explorations on Layout
Explorations on Diagrams and Displaying Data (focus on diagrams) (mention of the new science of data and the role of data in organizations and feedback)

Presentation Design Week 9: Case Studies, Examples, and Presentation Zen
Metaphors and Stories
Presentation Zen (simplicity)
Thinking Like a Designer
(if a chapter of presentation zen is available online–I may assign that)

Presentation Design Week 10:
How do you interview an expert? How do you do an interview like a journalist?
Design Hacks and Pointers
Activity: Pick 3 presentations on and look at the design elements. (Teacher can specify they come from a pool of 3 or 4 designers–for instance Garr Reynolds or have a certain number of hits)
Activity: Explorations of Garrs Blog. Explorations on delicious (group assignments)
Activity: Summarize your findings in a powerpoint presentation

Outside speaker critique due on thursday

Presentation Design Week 11:
Nonverbal skills
Hand out design
Marketing your skills

Presentation Design Week 14:
Classroom debates

Presentation Design Week 13 and Beyond:

1) Project based learning & development of portfolios and experience
2) Interviews with designers and freelancers (live and via Skype)

I have 2 to 4 different versions of this syllabus floating around this website. This is the only one to date, which has a formalized presentation design textbook–the others use a traditional public speaking textbook. However, the activities are just as relevant.

Future Presentation Design weeks to focus on……Expertise and thought leadership. Thought leadership marketing. Professional services firms. Consulting. (hopefully we can interview 2 or 3 people via Skype of live action) Reflection on the interviews and insights gained. Ideas from Ericsson on expertise and deliberative practice and Seth Godin on extraordinary and indispensible.

Consider having an out of class activity on the subject of professional service firms.
Also consider implementing more one on one portfolio review.

Speech critique rubric to come (at the moment–I’m using an outside speaker critique form I found on Google–I’m not sure if this is suitable for peer critiques, however. I think it may be too extensive and specific.)

As I redesign this document in future drafts, I plan on perhaps using this Instructional Design syllabus from George Mason as a model (at the very least for the one page presentation of what the course involves).

If you have activities, resources, research, insight feel free to leave a note in the comments section. (I’m thinking about changing the nature of the outside speaker critique, because most speakers outside won’t be using powerpoint decks–which seems to run outside one focus of the class. I would change it by assigning an outside speaker critique based on TED talks or another speech available online at least 7 minutes in length)

Handouts Compiled:
The Presentation Landscape (Nancy Duarte)
Outside Speaker Critique Model

Possible Challenges for Teachers Teaching Presentation Design:

1) Logistics from a technical perspective
2) Time–how long with the students to do assignments
3) Adding a story element to the discussions and instruction (perhaps just by embedding a scenario and feedback)
4) Adding visual elements on a budget (of course iStockphoto, creative commons, and flickr are great here)
5) Focus–what skills will students walk away with? (not being overwhelming in content delivery). For instance, if you look at the presentation design landscape (a per Duarte), there are perhaps too many areas to focus on–much less be able to do activities on each and everyone of them. Perhaps that just allows room for a second class.
6) Encouraging students and making the class engaging
7) What are the types of output I need from the students to make the experience fun and practical.
8] Adapting to the needs of the diversity of students (teachers, lawyers, health professionals, marketing, management, etc.) Knowing the skills which will be most relevant
9) Technical constraints like availability of internet, laptops, and computers
10) Some degree of focus on the everydayness of presentations
11) Creating my own design aesthetic
12) Integrating the web appropriate out of class


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