Presentation Nightmare

Two years ago I was introduced to Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen by Elizabeth Hubbell when she came to ASIJ to do a workshop.  Reynold’s books were highly recommended and I became an instant fan.  Unfortunately, becoming a fan is  much easier than actually carrying out presentation design principles.  I suppose, as with any skill, practice will yield improvement.

Like many fellow COETAILers, I decided to re-design my Back to School presentation.  My fellow counselor Steve and I have done no fewer than nine Back to School presentations together.  Frankly, we were getting bored of doing the same thing over and over.  For the past two years we have tried something completely new and different: looking at the social lives of kids, and eliciting parent input on their concerns.   Not sure those really worked either.  Parents may have missed important information about how counselors work at our school, because we didn’t present it clearly.

Here is our presentation from 2009.  Very much like the one from Don McMillan’s video on deadly Power Point Presentation.  (I am really sorry for the size of this.  I couldn’t figure out to make it smaller.)  It’s funny to think that we were so proud to have used the same blue on every slide.   We also felt clever about tying our guidance lesson topics to Student Learning Outcomes.  When we presented, we weren’t actually reading every slide, but assumed the audience would read them while we talked on related topics.

Here then is my new and improved version.  Please note that I worked on this alone without consulting  my co-presenter or anyone else.  I am calling this Presentation Nightmare since it took me hours to do only 8 slides.  I don’t get it.  Why does it take so long?  For some reason, I am not successful in searching for images in Creative Commons.  I see so many presentations with beautiful visuals, and I don’t seem to come across them at all.  What am I doing wrong?  Am I cursed?  So, all my images for this presentation came from Microsoft Office website. (Much more familiar doing it this way.)

The new version is definitely cleaner looking with less words, and offers a lighter color scheme. Is it too simplistic though?  Should I have kept it going? Is it enough for a 35 minutes presentation?  Should I have done one picture per slide?  Does it tell a story, or is it just informational?


About Naho Kikuchi

Elementary school counselor at The American School in Japan. Living and working in West Tokyo since 1997. Forever trying to figure out how to balance work, family and time for myself.
This entry was posted in COETAIL, School Counseling, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Presentation Nightmare

  1. 81jpayne says:

    Hi Naho

    Wow! I really like the newest version of your Back to School presentation. The colour selection. The simplicity. The images. Really nice work!

    I also like how the images in your presentation play a primary role, while the text plays a secondary role.

    Did you make this in PowerPoint?

    Jamie P

  2. ioneducatio says:

    I was moved by your choices of images.

  3. Daryl_I says:


    The simplicity and choice of images moved me. I can tell that this took a lot of time. I look forward to hearing how the parents next fall take to it.

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