Reddy M.V.R

            Visual aids such as 35mm slides, OHP transparencies, Display posters etc. are excellent tools for impressive presentation of ideas or concepts to a group. It is no longer needed to get them done by laborious and manual work of an artist or using a type machine with all its problems of  availability of expertise, time constraint etc. Now one can easily prepare impressive and custom made (to ones needs & taste) tools using a personal computer. The software required are a windows 95/98  package or next versions and MS Office with ‘Power point’. The other presentation software i.e. ‘Harvard Graphics’, ‘Corel draw’ and ‘Photo abode’ are optional. There packages are very useful to made presentations with titles, text, graphs, draw objects, photograph images and other visuals. Handouts for audience consisting of small size printed versions of slides and speaker notes can also be prepared for convenience. With little more efforts you can even prepare an onscreen show for using with a LCD Projector.

Power Point:

          A power point presentation is a collection of slides, handouts, speakers notes and your outline all made in one file. As you are creating a presentation you are also designing how your presentation look and give it a format that carries from beginning to end. It is an extremely powerful presentation programme, quite flexible and easy to learn.

          It is quite an easy job even for a novice user to design a power point presentation using its ‘Auto content wizard’ facility. It is a guided approach to create a presentation. All that you have to do is to answer certain questions that appear on the screen. Then the wizard, considering the subject of your presentation (e.g. recommending a strategy, presenting a report etc.), helps you to select one of its built in ‘Content presentations’. The selected presentation will have a worked ‘outline’ with slides having basic design, colour scheme,  sample titles and dummy text, which simply needs to be edited by you.

          Alternatively, you can choose one of the power point ‘Design templates’ for your presentation (to use the ‘out line’ and ‘contents’ of totally your choice). These are pre-designed slide formats with a particular color scheme and some accent graphics but without sample contents. Infact these templates were prepared by experts from companies that have real life experience in developing professional presentations. By using these templates properly, you are assured of getting a professional and consistent look throughout your presentation. If you desire, you can still modify the background or color scheme of the selected template for part of or all the slides of your presentation. By using ‘Presentations (Content templates)’ or ‘Presentation Designs (Design templates)’, you definitely save time, because you don’t have to start from a scratch.

          The third option to prepare a presentation in power point programme is to use ‘Blank presentation’ mode. You have to go for this, if you desire to do most of the presentation design work, color scheme and graphics of your choice and imagination.

          Once the basic power point presentation is prepared, you can add enhancement effects by creative application like adding to the presentation your Institute logo, clipart, charts, photographic images and other visuals. Infact in power point programme you can create variety of charts or graphs using built in graphing facility (a shared application in M. S. Office). You can also import an Excel spread sheet or graph. Addition of animation and sound effects are still advanced features of power point programme, which when used can enhance the presentation and keep the audience attentive.

Other presentation software

‘Harvard graphics’ shares many features of ‘Power point’. You can create background image, choose color scheme, create charts & graphs, organize the slides in the presentation and even prepare an online slide show.

          The ‘Corel draw’ is another optional package useful to draw free form of graphics or objects, combine 2-3 cliparts to combine a new image and to make changes to photographic images.

          All these presentation applications which are now easily accessible, help us to create interactive, self running or speaker controlled visual displays. The visual impact adds power to the presentations as 50 percent of what we learn comes from what we see (where as only 10 percent comes from what we hear). The options and facilities available in these programmes can meet any creative challenge you can see in your minds eye.    All said and done, the real power of these programmes comes with support from a human presenter. Around 40 percent of what we learn usually comes from the way the words are said!