iCheck™ Series Microsoft® Office 2007 Real World Applications

Unit 4: PowerPoint 2007: The Power of Presentations

Real World Connection Activities

These articles allow you to further explore various computing topics and include a quiz for review.

Introduction Learn about how organizations use PowerPoint presentations in the real world.

Directions Read the information below and apply what you learn to answer the questions. Check your work carefully, and click Submit.

From Overhead Projectors to Electronic Presentations

In the past, most presentations consisted of transparencies, or clear plastic sheets. Special copying machines or printers were used to print information onto the transparencies. These transparencies were then placed onto an overhead projector, which projected the text and images onto a large screen. This process had various drawbacks. Creating ransparencies could be time-consuming and expensive. Transparencies could be damaged or lost. Large presentations were so bulky that they were difficult to take from place to place. In order to correct mistakes or update information, the presenter needed to make the change and then recopy or reprint the transparency. During a presentation, the presenter needed to remain beside the overhead projector to change transparencies, preventing him or her from circulating around the audience.

Presentation applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint resolve all the shortcomings of transparencies. PowerPoint allows the user to design electronic slides that do not need to be transferred to transparencies. With the right equipment, all a presenter needs to do is insert the disk or CD on which the presentation is saved into a computer to view the presentation. It is not necessary to carry around a load of transparencies that are bulky, or easily damaged or lost. Slides with errors and information that needs to be updated are easy to edit on a computer. The presenter can activate an automatic timing feature that advances to the next slide automatically so that he or she can circulate around the audience. In addition, owerPoint includes several tools to create charts, graphics, and animation to impress an audience. It is no wonder that PowerPoint has become so popular and widely used.

Organizations have found that PowerPoint is an excellent communication tool, especially to pass on information that can be organized visually. Some of the most common ways that organizations use PowerPoint are explained below:

  • Business meetings. Companies can create presentations to outline business goals, to communicate sales figures, or to present a product or service to a potential client.
  • Conferences. Presenters at conferences can communicate a wide range of information to large audiences.
  • Training sessions. Employers can create presentations to train a large or small group of employees. The presentation can be updated as needed, or the company can create different versions of a presentation to address the training needs of various positions within the company.
  • Classroom presentations. Teachers use PowerPoint presentations to present material to their students. In addition, teachers assign PowerPoint presentations to students. Instead of writing a book report or research paper, students create a presentation to share their ideas with the class.

Assessment Questions

Name two drawbacks of transparencies.
What does PowerPoint’s automatic timing feature allow the presenter to do?
How is PowerPoint used in the classroom?
Identify two additional ways that organizations use PowerPoint
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