July 3, 2013 - M
The benefits of technology in giving presentations
The last 20 to 30 years have been widely regarded as the digital age. During this period many advances have been made in digital technology, leading to the promotion and use of mobile phones, high-speed networks, efficient computers, etc. This advance in digital technology has also made life easier for most people. Areas such as teaching methodology, teaching aides, public presentation aides, etc have particularly improved as a result. This essay will foray into how technology has made the task of giving presentations all the more easy and effective.
Nowhere has the development of technology had a greater impact than in the domain of communication. In the world of academia and business, the usage of proprietary software like Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook have become quite common. The PowerPoint software in particular is a potent tool in giving presentations. Students use it to present their seminars; lecturers and professors use it to impart knowledge to their students; and business executives use it to convey ideas to their team members. In this sense, one could say that the use of technology in the world of colleges and business corporations has become quite pervasive.
There are some decisive advantages in using tools such as PowerPoint over conventional chalk and black board. A PowerPoint presentation can be prepared beforehand whereas someone using white chalk on black board has to write down during the lecture. Moreover, using chalk can be cumbersome and clumsy compared to using PowerPoint. For example, the latter gives the user flexibility with respect to choice of template, font size, audio-visual options, color schemes, editing facilities, etc, which are not available in conventional methods used to give presentations. An allied tool that is used alongside PowerPoint is the overhead projector. Basically, the projector helps to magnify and display the content written in the PowerPoint slide onto a large white screen. The projector also allows the presenter to use light beam as a pointing tool. Moreover, the light shed by the projector on to the screen is quite bright, making it easier for the audience to focus on the lecture.
The other striking aspect of technologically powered tools such as PowerPoint is provisions made by them for customizing the content. Instead of restricting the content creator with rigid templates and formats, these tools provide a range of customizing options that can be utilized to tailor the presentation to specific needs. While the overhead projector will display text and graphics onto the white screen, information can simultaneously be emitted through connected speakers, making the presentation a multi-sensory experience. One can use blank slides on top of the PowerPoint slides to highlight or pinpoint certain keyword, something which is impossible to do with traditional methods.
The end result of all these enhancements is quite obvious. In the case of a classroom, for example, the use of technologically advanced teaching aides such as overhead projectors and PowerPoint presentations helps the lecturer to fully deliver the content to the students. The students on their part too tend to enjoy a multi-sensory learning experience and grasp the content more comprehensively and clearly. In other words, the quality of education for students is improved by using technological aides.
Further, the white screen used to project the content can be scaled up or down based on the number of audience. If the hall is big and the class is attended by numerous students, then a larger screen can be used and the projector kept at a further distance from the screen. The font size can also be scaled up or down to ensure visibility to all members of the audience. These flexibility options are no available to instructors and corporate executives a decade back, when digital technology was still in a nascent stage. Further, the projector consumes electricity at a moderate level and does not pollute the environment in a direct way. This is a big positive factor in this day and age when global warming is a serious issue.
Hence in conclusion, it is apt to say that recent advances in electronics and allied technologies, including computers, hardware tools, software applications, telecommunications, etc, have brought about a radical transformation in the way people conduct their everyday affairs. While business corporations have adopted these positive changes and have boosted overall efficiency, the educational institutions too have embraced these improvements which have eventually improved the quality of education received by students. Overall, it is safe to say that there are hardly any negative points about the intrusion of technological enhancements in giving presentations, etc. Both the presenter and the intended recipient of the presentation benefit from these aides. Not only does it make it easy for the lecturer/orator, but it also improves the quality of comprehension and assimilation on part of the audience. Hence, technological improvements such as PowerPoint presentations are largely beneficial.
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Allan, Jones (2003-08-18). “The use and abuse of PowerPoint in Teaching and Learning in the Life Sciences: A Personal Overview”. Bioscience Education. http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/journal/vol2/beej-2-3.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-10