C3W4: Communication Artists

Main Ideas

One message on a slide, use note pages, and I should use more slides when keeping them simple: these are the main ideas I have learned for formatting content on slides and presentations. I will use these ideas when creating future presentations.


I have updated my:

  • Systems infographic from week 3
  • Systems slides

Systems Infographic Comparison

Feedback given: a lot of information, busy, not enough white space, lots of color, flow a bit confusing (what are the 2 kinds of systems?), titles competing for attention. As you can see, I deleted a lot of text and created an infographic about systems with less information. I kept contrast (white background, grey content boxes, brightly colored boxes for accentuation) and added more pictures. Each row was enlarged and two columns created to compare the two types of systems. Arrows were added to focus attention on the flow.

Systems Slides Comparison

Note: As embeds won’t show up on my saved blog page (they will in my edit window); here are the links for Before Systems Slide and After System Slides.  

Feedback for the Before slide was: this slide was boring, has explicit information, no pictures, has clear sentences, too much text for some students. There is only one slide. It has three sentences written on it and no pictures. I added a border around the text box to add separation from the title and also bolded main words to focus attention. I showed this slide to my class and then read the information.

After watching How to Avoid Death by Powerpoint (David JP Phillips for TedXStockholmsalon) and reading Garr Reynold’s website Presentation Zen: 10 tips for improving Your Presentations Today; I made slides simple and added more slides (three compared to one), added a dark background, increased the title font size, and added text animation to catch attention. The theme is about systems and because my audience is ten to eleven year olds, I used Lego pictures to connect with them.


I have noticed that the resources I have viewed are for adults giving presentations to other adults. Do the same design principles apply to eleven year olds?

Since I teach eleven year olds, this influences the way I give presentations which are usually about content or instructions. In my experience, students:

  • won’t read the Notes Pages in Slides or forget this section exists
  • expect me to give them information about the content and to find it on the slide
  • lose focus on slideshows that are too long (about 10 slides).

I usually have students do more interactive activities (ex: 4 corners, other visible thinking routines, exploring science tools and ideas, etc.) where they don’t have to rely on a slideshow presentation to make meaning of the content.

When students are taking their own notes from information I am relaying, I do think using less text and more photos are helpful. I would also direct attention to a unit Word Wall so students can find the words they need for their writing.

How about you?

Which design principle is the most important for you to include in presentations?


2 comments to “C3W4: Communication Artists”
2 comments to “C3W4: Communication Artists”
  1. Hi Melanie!

    I like how you created your system slides and how you picked strong visuals to express your ideas.
    It was very important how you considered according to the age of the children(6th Grade-around 11 y.old) to structure your slide show. Less text and more visuals are indeed the keys at this age.
    The infographic related to the system is also amazing. I like very much how you reduced the information, and the content is structured very clear. I can imagine that explaining “Systems” as a topic is not easy to express it in a reduced space. The key concepts and images are very expressive and have a clear message. Great work!

    I found an interesting article about the psychology of the images in infographics, please check this out:


    I am teaching elementary students and I experience often the same situation. I found out, that when they see a little animation or movie related to the theme, the young children pay more attention and they understand even more.

    I personally like the “Contrast”, (similar “Emphasis”) and “Balance” from the design principles. I think if you know how to put in the beam light your idea, your information, is very strong visually. But, it is important to have harmony around and that is why we need balance, and then the “main character” stands out easily.

    Thank you very much for sharing your great work.
    Great to hear from it.

    Looking forward to collaborating together.

  2. Hello Melanie!
    Your infographic and posts really look much simpler and much more colorful than before. I believe people of every age like colors and simplicity and I would appreciate this in any presentation or in visuals.
    Thank you for your reflection and for sharing your experience!

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