According to the New York Timesarticle, this slide was included in a PowerPoint briefing on the war in Afghanistan in 2010. Edward Tufte described in his blog how a PowerPoint presentation during the critical 2003 Columbia flight misrepresented the risk to the damaged spacecraft. Dr. Tufte included an image of the text-heavy slide that he cites as being the most essential for understanding the situation at the time. These are good examples how to not create presentations. Where should we turn instead for good examples?
Garr Reynolds’ blog on good presentation design was helpful. There were six points that I would use as tests for revising a presentation or assisting others in creating one in the future. Don McMillan’s video should also be bookmarked for the short list of what not to do.
This is a Richard Nixon presentation that I made on Prezi a few years ago. There are some changes that I will make before I use it again. One would be to include more images. I recently read a review of the remodeling of the Nixon Presidential Library in California. The reviewer described how the Watergate episode is presented quite dramatically. One example was a filing cabinet that Nixon men battered in order to access the medical records of Daniel Ellsberg. The library also has audio files. I would link to Nixon’s briefing of Congressional leaders of the importance of better relations with China. Resources like these would help to contextualize President Nixon and the extralegal means to which he went. This might develop what Garr Reynolds calls empathy with the story. Further, the design should be reviewed. I like the way that Prezi allows for visual organization by movement and clustering of information. However, the zooming and sweeping effects should be scaled down. It can be distracting.
I will be using this presentation in May when the revisions are completed. Students then can tell me if this presentation is becoming clearer and how it might still model a few bad presentation characteristics.