Every good speaker knows that interactive audience participation is vital to a successful presentation. Whether we are giving a cyber-safety presentation to school students or burglary prevention tips to a Neighborhood Watch group, making sure that our audience is fully engaged with us guarantees that our message will be heard and remembered. Many times, the challenge is finding a fun way to get that audience interacting with us. I spent months searching for PowerPoint templates and found a few that sort-of did what I want but they were all lacking in one way or another. That’s why I was so excited to find a series of quiz games for my laptop from a company called Kidzturn Labs. [Read more…]
Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire
Microsoft Press, 2011)(
Some people say that you should never have more than six words in a PowerPoint bullet point and no more than six bullet points on a slide. I say that if you have that many words on a slide you haven’t created a slide, you’ve created speaker notes! Cliff Atkinson takes it even further and says you probably don’t need bullet points at all. The real eye opener for me was chapter 2 where the author describes the two channels of communication (visual and verbal) and details how our minds can’t comprehend both at once. That means that when you throw a new slide up on the screen your audience won’t hear what you’re saying until they finish reading the slide onscreen! An amazing revelation that changed the way I do presentations.
Another book by Nancy Duarte that takes our presentations beyond PowerPoint by telling us how to present visual stories. Every Crime Prevention Officer can benefit from the in-depth information provided. My favorite takeaways are the “sparklines” for famous speeches that illustrate the presentation form. Although this book provides a few tips for improving the layout of PowerPoint slides, its strength lies in helping us structure our story. Although this book is available in Kindle format, I recommend the paperback version for its huge number of full-color, glossy illustrations.
Death by PowerPoint! As Crime Prevention Officers, we usually have to give public presentations regularly as part of our jobs. I’ve had to sit through enough horrible PowerPoint presentations that I swore I would do my best not to bore others to death when I have to give a presentation. That’s why a few years ago I started researching methods to improve my slides when I have to use PowerPoint, or its Apple equivalent Keynote.
One of the more helpful resources I discovered was Nancy Duarte’s book. Among other mistakes, I found I was using too many words on the slides. The chapters on how to reduce word count, restrained text animation, and how to treat your audience were worth the price of the book. I’m still going back and modifying presentations I made before I bought the book so my slides aren’t perfect yet. But they’re better than they were before!
- Teaching Techniques
- Law-Related Education
- Cyber Crimes and Internet Safety
Power Point Presentations
Instructional Techniques and Law-Related Education
Cyber Crimes for the SRO
SecureFlorida.org is Florida’s resource for cyber-safety info for citizens and law enforcement.
OnGuard Online from the Federal Trade Commission has a ton of free media resources including videos and interactive games.
Snopes is the best source to research a topic to determine if it a hoax or real.
FTC.Gov/bulkorder for free brochures, pamphlets and handouts.
Everyone asks where do we get the games we demonstrate during class. The video games come from a company called Kidz Turn Labs. They work best when you have a projector or flat screen high-definition television hooked up to your computer. I use a laptop running Windows with an HDMI connector out and it works great.
I think I paid $20 for the Tic Tac Toe quiz but it lets you load and save your own set of questions so you can have different questions for each type of program you run. The website contains a few free downloads so check those out first to see if those will work for you first.
The other game I use frequently is a variation of the Jeopardy game show called Brain Blox. You can customize it for the number of categories (columns) you want and set the point value for each row.
Don’t want to use on-screen questions? Just use a couple of USB game controllers plugged into your computer running Lockout and you will be able to see and hear who buzzes in first. It will also display the running score for each side.
Saturday Night Live MySpace
A funny look at a serious subject. The dangers of social network sites such as MySpace and Facebook are highlighted in this skit.
Facebook Identity Theft:
Office Romance Goes Wrong When Facebook Profile is Hacked. A video from Hulu.
Cyberbullying Prevention Commercial
Fox News: Florida Teen charged with “Sexting.”
Your Cell Phone is Not Safe
News video that shows how spyware software can be used for stalking.
Disclaimer: Although I am an instructor for the Florida Crime Prevention Training Institute, I am not an employee. The views expressed here are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Office of the Attorney General.