The Power of a Picture in a Presentation

As a student, I used to hate it when the teachers talked too much. I didn’t enjoy the sound of their voices and I found them boring more often than not. The only good thing about the teacher talking was that it got us out of work. It is for this reason that I try not to talk too much in my classes. I prefer to have the students exploring and discussing so I rarely use presentations as a way of communicating ideas. I can now see however, that there is a big difference between a person talking and a thoughtful, well designed presentation. I can see that images are a powerful way of explaining an idea or concept and that presentations can be a valuable resource for students to refer back to for revision purposes. So it was that I approached this task with enthusiasm but not a lot of confidence.

Image taken from

I decided to make a presentation about the Renaissance for my Grade 7 class. I did what Garr Reynolds, in his blog title ‘Good PowerPoint Design’ suggested. I first considered my purpose and audience. I decided that I wanted my presentation to lead the students to an appreciation for the artists, inventors and philosophers of the time. I hoped that my presentation would give an overview and introduction of the key ideas of the unit and inspire a desire for further learning.

My purpose was clear to me but how could I achieve this for an audience of 13 year old girls? I decided to make my presentation light on text but not completely void of it so that it could be useful as revision resource. Many of my students speak English as a second language so they will probably appreciate the ability to revise this in their own time. I thought that my audience, like all audiences, would appreciate a cohesive presentation so I tried to stick to the same kinds of colour tones and to two fonts. I varied the size occasionally to add variation but tried to be consistent as often as possible. Lastly, I realized that my students would appreciate my presentation more if I turned it into more of a story so I added a few slides at the beginning to explain some the things which led to the Renaissance and some slides at the end to explain why the Renaissance is significant to us today.

This presentation took me a really long time to make. The pictures took ages to find and I spent a lot of time researching the developments in light and colour. I did cheat a few times by stealing images and there were lots of times when I wanted to give up because I was sick of the sight of it. I didn’t give up though because I really believe that this presentation will help my students to appreciate the Renaissance and its impact on our society. I now want to visit the Louvre and I hope my students will be similarly inspired.

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About seedjoy

I am an educator at an international school in Japan. I am trained as an English and Humanities teacher but am currently employed as the e-learning leader. I am passionate about teaching kids life long learning skills.

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