[OS X TeX] NASA, Word, TeX and PowerPoint

J.D. Corpuz jojo.corpuz at gmail.com
Thu Feb 5 00:40:51 CET 2009

Thanks to everyone for these  tips for better presentations and for 
bringing up the of Tufte's books. It's really an unexpected gem from 
this forum. Really appreciate all these.

> I think Joe hits the nail on the head, especially with his points re. 
> 'presentations have an environment and expectation that is not 
> conducive to critical thinking ...."
> Tufte also would agree with Joe's points.
> I've read a few of Tufte's books and have re-engineered my lectures to 
> take advantage of his insight. In short, what he recommends is that:
> 1) presentations should focus on Visuals, NOT text
> 2) the majority of the text and details should be given in handouts
> 3) this allows the presenter and the audience to focus on the ideas 
> and to think
> 4)  Tufte argues that we are asking too much of our audiences if we 
> want them to listen to us, read the text, and look at the visuals 
> simultaneously, all while thinking about the ideas we are presenting
> 5) Later, those wishing more details can consult their handouts.
> He also argues that audiences may be initially surprised by this 
> unconventional approach, but the handouts will help them see that you 
> are thoughtful and what you have to share is substantive.
> 6) The specific problems with Power Point are that
>     a) the canned themes are usually too busy or use fonts and style 
> in ways that defy good practices
>     b) the bullets and indents structure our presentations in ways 
> that don't coincide with how we learn and communicate
>     c) PP style presentations lower our expectations of actually being 
> engaged learners.
> For me, reading Tufte's books has fundamentally changed the way I 
> teach and present information to my students and colleagues.
> Regards,
> René
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