Monday, January 16, 2017

Tools and Tips for Creating Group Presentations for an Online Course or Distributed Projects

Creating presentations does not have to be a terrifying experience, and your presentation does not have to be long or detailed to be effective. The key is to be able to define your objective very clearly and to know exactly why you are making the presentation in the first place. What do you want to accomplish?

Then, as you organize your content, be sure to arrange it in a sequence that is logical and easy to follow. Keep your overall objectives in mind in each separate step.  If you are collaborating with your presentations, it may be necessary to develop a clear workflow so that your roles and responsibilities are clear, and also that you flow together.

Depending on the comfort levels of the team members, it can be possible to collaborate on a single video-enhanced presentation that you work on together. You can use a cloud-based application that allows each person to upload slides and record audio.

Or, if you want to do it the simplest possible way, you can use a cloud-based storage area such as Google Drive to upload your presentations and audio into a project folder. The individual contributions can be combined, or simply viewed sequentially.

Presentation Objective: Informational
This type of presentation involves providing definitions of topics, and it requires you to be able to place the concepts within a framework. Your presentation will have the following overall structure:
•    Main Idea / Primary Thesis
•    Definition of the concept
•    Definition of elements within the concept
•    Examples (at least two)
•    How it should work in the future

Presentation Objective: Recommendation for Plan of Action
This type of presentation requires you to both define your problem and also to formulate a strategy that is easy to follow and which is backed up by evidence and support.

•    Problem to be Solved
•    Evidence that it’s a problem
•    Why something has to be done
•    Consequences of doing nothing
•    Recommended Actions
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
•    Reality Check: How do we test to make sure it’s working?
•    Conclusions
Technical How-To with Free and Almost Free Video-Enhanced Online Presentations:

1.  Powerpoint with Audio: Each individual contributes to a single Powerpoint.

•    Each team member contributes content to a shared outline document
•    Final version of the shared outline is place into a PowerPoint presentation
•    Bullet points of what to cover in the script should be in the notes
•    Each individual records audio. Record directly onto the slide that you’ve been assigned.  Save as a different name and upload in a shared folder, perhaps in Google Drive or Dropbox. To record audio, use the recording function on your computer.

2.  Each person creates his / her own PowerPoint with Audio.
    The easiest approach is to create the PowerPoint and the audio separately.  You can record the audio on your phone using an app such as “Voice Recorder.” You can upload the recording to Google Drive.

•    Step 1:  Create a brief PowerPoint that covers your share of the team content
•    Step 2:  Record an audio that covers your content.
•    Step 3:  Upload both your PowerPoint and your Audio to Google Drive in a separate folder.
•    Step 4:  Share with your team members.
•    Step 5:  You can make a single PowerPoint presentation by combining the presentations. You can also combine the audio files by using Audacity or uploading them sequentially to Youtube.

3.  Each person makes a video presentation.
In this format or structure, you walk people through your presentation and audio.  Here are a few free or almost free software packages:

Recommended Free and Almost Free Presentation Software / Apps

Knovio: http:/  -- Knovio Lite allows you to upload slides and then record audio. You can save them and then download the file. It is very simple to use.

Kizoa – can easily create a presentation using photos – excellent for creating an online open house demo for real estate or discussing images

Emaze – very easy to use with many templates

Camstudio – good for creating screen captures and demos where you need to do things like point to certain features in a map.

As you can see by the number of helpful applications and the online collaboration and storage tools, there is absolutely no reason to be fearful about creating joint projects. The key is to develop a clear workflow and process that everyone on the team understands quite well. 

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