Beyond Bullet Points

Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in E-Learning Industry

beyond_bullet_points.jpg Back in June last year I wrote about Cliff Atkinson’s beyond bullets blog that explores some very creative and engaging ways to use PowerPoint. Cliff has since authored a book of similar title, Beyond Bullet Points. Cliff was kind enough to send me an authographed copy hot off the presses.

Built on this premise — “Would a Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation without bullet points still be a PowerPoint presentation?” — Beyond Bullet Points is chock-full of tips and insight about creating dynamic presentations leveraging techniques that have stood the test of time and are proven methods of effective story-telling.

Steve Neiderhauser has an excellent review of the book on his blog, part of which I’ll quote here (rather than reinventing the wheel):

“Instead of bullet points, Cliff teaches you how to use the classic beginning-middle-end story structure taught by Aristotle more than 2,300 years ago. This hidden structure has been used by Hollywood screenwriters to produce many of the stories we love — Back to the Future, Star Wars, Casablanca…

“So this is the structure that Cliff suggests you use in your PowerPoint presentations. The classic story structure seems to reflect how our minds construct reality. Reality is that there are several principles from educational psychology that also determine the effectives of your presentation.

“Cliff provides a presentation structure (three acts, three layers) that will thrill your audience because it’s built upon the foundation of the ancient teachings of Aristotle and the modern research of Dr. Richard Meyer. Dr. Meyer, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is considered the most prolific researcher in the field of educational psychology. During his research, Dr. Meyer has identified six guiding principles for the design of multimedia messages that connect with the wiring of our brains.”

Apply Cliff’s PowerPoint philosophy to your presentations or e-learning courses, sprinkle in some Articulate Presenter, and blow your users away — all while effectively conveying your intended lesson or message.

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