μεταcole

The Princess, the Witch, and the PowerPoint

Posted in all posts, powerpoint, presentation by coleman yee on October 16, 2007

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess…

The lecture room was pretty rowdy before I began, but the 17-year olds were soon absorbed my this fairy tale that I concocted to teach them the things to avoid and a few design principles when creating a PowerPoint presentation.

This story started some years ago, when I was still teaching at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. A few lecturer colleagues who had attended some of my PowerPoint workshops thought that the material would be helpful for their own students, so I agreed to guest lecture for them.

My initial presentation was called “PowerPoint Evils, And How to Avoid Them”.

(The animations and sounds are missing in the above.)

While students generally enjoyed that presentation, I eventually figured that I could do much better, especially since I had done a lot more thinking and learning in the area.

Thus came the idea to revamp that presentation completely, and convey the message using a silly fairytale – “The Princess, the Witch, and the PowerPoint”.

The video was taken when I was invited back to Ngee Ann Polytechnic again some time back to give the lecture to a group of Mass Communication students. Thanks to Kevin Lim for taking the video!

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17 Responses

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  1. […] Check out his story over here… Readership (4) | […]

  2. pristan said, on October 16, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Very interesting. I laughed while watching (in a good way). I’ve sent the video link to my team in office. Thanks for sharing!

  3. raine said, on October 17, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Hey, i just did up a presentation myself. =) Your presentation is cool, innovative and very nicely done! Getting the professional images that communicate your ideas across clearly are often the tougher parts of the ppt creation process. The only slight adjustment you might wanna make is to make the points even easier to remember (the purpose, distracting and comprehension parts) through story illustration or extend it from KISS with a longer acronym.. =)

  4. Sian said, on October 17, 2007 at 2:12 am

    Good choice of slides, good variation in voice, good way to capture the audience’s attention but what happened to the eye contact?

  5. Hui Nee said, on October 17, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    HA. love the fairytale!!!
    it’s so like the last lecture-talk you gave us during our last I&E lesson lah!!!
    cool!
    but how do u do science presentation that way?

  6. coleman yee said, on October 17, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    pristan: Thanks for sharing too!

    raine: Thanks for the comment. I’m not entirely happy with the presentation because there are many places where it could be improved, like those you pointed out.

    Sian: I was having eye contact with the script! Just didn’t have the time to memorize it all!

    Hui Nee: I use that style quite often. I’d like to think it can be done for almost any topic.

  7. raine said, on October 21, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    u shld think abt coming to our company and doing a sharing too.. =) are u done with us liao?

  8. Ivan Chew said, on October 21, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    Nice work! I enjoyed all 10 minutes of it. This could be an excellent training video. I could hear the students settling down once your presentation got into the groove.

  9. […] well, talk about ingenuity. coleman did a pretty interesting presentation entitled ‘The Princess, the Witch and the powerpoint‘.  Right before that i was working on some slides myself.. as i mentioned in the comments, […]

  10. jian hui said, on October 23, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    you’re still as amazing as ever.

  11. lamscreation said, on November 2, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    baaa …. hum bug ….
    … always make me so jealous, next time must use your ideas …

  12. jian hui said, on November 10, 2007 at 1:16 am

    i actually saw you meeting max back in sch a couple days back.

  13. Sue said, on January 11, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    hello! 🙂 Sorry this is such a late comment… surfing on your site and then had to click on this video and its so entertaining. 😀

  14. Nabilah said, on March 30, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Told you I’d visit! Love the video.

  15. […] ineffective use of PowerPoint slides, Information and Experience Design Consultant Coleman Yee shares a fairy tale. He tells the story of a beautiful princess who discovers PowerPoint pitfalls and pointers, […]

  16. Barcamp Singapore 3 « μεταcole said, on March 1, 2009 at 12:32 am

    […] was a free slot. It was an old presentation I used to do on the use of Powerpoint, entitled “The Princess, the Witch, and the Powerpoint“. That one never fails to entertain. « What makes a sustainable social […]

  17. […] The talk, entitled The Princess, the Witch, and the PowerPoint is a fairy tale illustrating some bad PowerPoint design practices. It’s really a minor revision of the version I gave 3 years ago. […]


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