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…]
It takes tools to distribute our crime prevention message. I have experimented with several of them in my quest to find what works. Here is information on a few of them so you can see if they will work for you too.
Whether you are recording a podcast or Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) for the local radio station, you can find a microphone that will work for you.
The Audio Technica ATR2100USB and AT2005USB are both combination XLR and USB. That means you can plug them directly into an audio mixer via the XLR connector or directly into your computer through the USB connector. That means they will also work great as your microphone for Skype calls or Hangouts on Air. Both mics are nearly identical in performance and are separated mainly by color and shape. Costs fluctuate so get whichever one is currently the best price.
You can easily use your Android or iPhone smartphone to record using any of several apps. You will want to use something other than the built-in microphone for recording. I have used the Rode SmartLav Plus with good results. A great benefit to this microphone is that you can use it when you are recording video to get great voiceover or narration audio.
Although you can use the Audio Technica microphones listed above to record anywhere, I use the Heil PR-40 to record my podcast. If you have a permanent location to record, you may want to consider one of these on a boom arm with a shock mount. The Heil PR-40 is a dynamic microphone with great off-axis noise rejection which means that I don’t pick up extraneous sounds from my recording environment.
My preferred web hosting provider, due to its low cost, is Bluehost. It is designed for easy installation of WordPress so you can use the free PowerPress podcasting plugin to make things simple to post your podcast episodes.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this website may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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!