Reclaiming the power of PowerPoint – Part 3

Author: Graduate Intern Jamie Mitchell on behalf of Chang Ge


Whether you love to see them or hate to see them in presentations, bullet points do have a use. But why not try and repurpose or reformat them to fit more specific purposes? Use tables or diagrams to summarise your key points more clearly.


This one may seem a little juvenile at first. However, breaking down points for the students in any other way than bullet points may keep their attention a little longer during a long presentation. But this isn’t the only use for shapes. Done well you can populate your slides with simple but effective images. Plus making slides simpler will save you time. Free PowerPoint templates are available but Chang likes to start from a blank screen and make her presentations her own.

Charts and Smart Arts

This is where PowerPoint has made a reputation with clunky out of place images. However, used properly Chang believes they can be yet another substitution for bullet points, and once again, less is more. PowerPoint has several ways of displaying interpretive data such as graphs and charts which will alter how your audience views your slides.

An interesting side note was raised. When creating your presentations it is important to be aware that considerations need to be made for students with visual impairment, especially if there is a reliance on colour in graphs and charts.

New uses for PowerPoint

One other way Chang uses PowerPoint is to create posters, instead of tools like publisher – the end result being simple yet attractive and professional. Chang’s animated poster of a step by step Turnitin guide for Work Based Distance Learners is a clear example of this – using shapes, diagrams and images to focus on each point then build up to the next.

This workshop was for those who are using PowerPoint and want to make what they already do better by improving their use of this tool. Making the run of the mill PowerPoint presentation look different from the usual doesn’t have to take hours. No more Karaoke reading, more engaged students.

Chang is willing to offer tips and hints for using the other software she uses, and is available for further discussion. Check out the summary of Chang’s other session Digital Storytelling.

Chang Ge is a Lecturer in the Lincoln International Business School.

If this is your first stop take a look at part 1 & 2 of this post for the fundamentals of PowerPoint and more helpful tips.