Education techniques for lifelong learning: giving a PowerPoint presentation: the art of communicating effectively

Radiographics. Jul-Aug 2004;24(4):1185-92. doi: 10.1148/rg.244035179.


Effectiveness of an oral presentation depends on the ability of the speaker to communicate with the audience. An important part of this communication is focusing on two to five key points and emphasizing those points during the presentation. Every aspect of the presentation should be purposeful and directed at facilitating learners' achievement of the objectives. This necessitates that the speaker has carefully developed the objectives and built the presentation around attainment of the objectives. The best presentations are rehearsed, not so that the speaker memorizes exactly what he or she will say, but to facilitate the speaker's ability to interact with the audience and portray a relaxed, professional, and confident demeanor. Rehearsal also helps alleviate stage fright. The most useful method of controlling nervousness is to visualize success. When showing images, it is important to orient the audience with an adequate description, point out the relevant findings, and allow enough time for the audience to assimilate the information before moving on. This can be facilitated with appropriate use of a laser pointer, cursor, or use of builds and transitioning. A presentation should be designed to include as much audience participation as possible, no matter the size of the audience. Techniques to encourage audience participation include questioning, brainstorming, small-group activities, role-playing, case-based examples, and directed listening. It is first necessary to motivate and gain attention of the learner for learning to take place. This can be accomplished through appropriate use of humor, anecdotes, and quotations. Attention should be given to posture, body movement, eye contact, and voice when speaking, as how one appears to the audience will have an impact on their reaction to what is presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Audiovisual Aids
  • Communication Barriers
  • Communication*
  • Computer Graphics
  • Data Display
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Kinesics
  • Medical Illustration
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Posture
  • Radiography
  • Radiology / education*
  • Speech*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Teaching Materials*
  • Voice Quality
  • Wit and Humor as Topic