Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SLIG 2011/Tech Tuesday - PowerPoint with Barbara Renick

Mea Culpa Barbara Renick ~ I Should Have Known Better!

SLIG is not for the fainthearted.  Personally, I find the the thought of four to five hours of lectures a day five days in a row a bit draining, especially because I try to get in at least a couple of hours of research at the FHL each day.

On previous SLIG trips I attended at least a few of the evening sessions because it is a good opportunity to hear a some well-known speakers (Thomas W. Jones, John Colletta, and Barbara Renick) as well as some less well-known speakers ~ at least when I first heard them (D. Josh Taylor and Debby Horton).  It is also a good way to learn something in an hour-long lecture that you may not be interested in or ready for with the week-long course.  The downside of evening sessions is that it makes for an incredibly long day and at times you feel like you have reached information overload!

This year, I decided to limit myself to one course and since I previously attended Barbara Renick's SLIG Internet & Technology Course, I signed up for her PowerPoint for Presenters presentation.  Her presentation focused on the logistics of a PowerPoint presentation (the slide projector, the differences between PowerPoint versions 2007 and 2010, the QAT, and navigating around your presentation) rather than how to put together a presentation.  At the time and in discussions with a few other attendees we were a bit underwhelmed with Renick's performance and thought it didn't match our expectations.  What I was expecting was more along the lines of:

  • how to go from lecture concept to preparing slides
  • how to incorporate jpegs or screenshots into slides
  • ideas for theme colors and fonts
  • how to update slides
The attendees did not receive a handout at Renick's presentation but at the outset she informed us that her presentation was available in PDF format on her website Zroots.com.  Her "energy level" was definitely not on high (which is her usual mode of operation) and that evening I felt that her presentation was "not all that."

Flash forward three weeks and I am happy to say mea culpa Barbara Renick for three reasons:
  1. You coordinated one of the Courses and taught several additional sessions.  Attendees sometimes forget that the instructors are "always on" whether in the classroom, at the FHL, at the area restaurants and/or just hanging out around the Institute hotel.
  2. You had one hour to speak.  Looking back the presentation was titled PowerPoint for Presenters not How to Prepare a PowerPoint Presentation.
  3. I didn't have the opportunity to check out your "written material" during SLIG but upon my return home I downloaded and reviewed Advanced PP2007 Lab by Debby Horton & Barbara Renick.  This 47-page document is the roadmap for any PowerPoint presenter and discusses in detail the following areas:
  • Creating 
    • New Features 
    • Keyboard Shortcuts
    • Comparison of versions 2003 and 2007
    • Design Elements
    • Working with Slide Masters
    • Reusing Slides and Other Elements
    • Using Multimedia
    • Macros
    • Online and Offline Help
  • Editing 
    • Adjusting Backgrounds
    • Adding Emphasis
    • Adding Animation
    • Adding Hyperlinks
  • Practicing 
    • Printing Slides/Notes/Handouts
    • Quality Check
    • Screen Capture
  • Packing 
    • Packing or Publishing 
    • PowerPoint and Other Programs
  • Presenting
    • Working with Projectors
    • Presenter View
    • Navigation during a Presentation
    • Pen/Pointer Options
    • Using a Remote/Mouse
  • What's New in PowerPoint 2010

Barbara and Debby laid out in a clear and logical manner (with screenshots) all the aspects of preparing and presenting a PowerPoint presentation.  A number of exercises that walk you through the process from start to finish are included as a bonus to put into practice what you have learned.  Advanced PP2007 Lab can be saved to your computer (I put mine in Microsoft OneNote) and highlighted, notated, and/or searched as necessary while you work through the wealth of information.  

Barbara ~ I stand corrected.  On the surface your lecture did not seem to meet my needs but you (and Debby Horton) blew me away with your "written material." I especially appreciate the ability to work through the exercises.  Looking back, there was of course no way you could have explained everything PowerPoint in one hour.  I didn't get that you were giving us some highlights but expecting us to take your full presentation and run with it (at our own pace).  Kudos!  

Just one little quibble ~ I think you should have shown us a few screenshots of Advanced PP2007 Lab to make it clear that you were providing us with a real treasure that we needed to download and noodle through. Just thought I would spread the word to other attendees and suggest to the rest of you that if you get the chance to hear Barbara Renick and/or Debby Horton ~ do so ~ you won't be disappointed.


  1. Hi Tessa,

    I went looking for the Renick-Horton Advanced PowerPoint 2007 Lab material and couldn't find it. Can you post a link?

    Thanks -- Randy

  2. Thanks for the Mea Culpa and your kind remarks. I did start the SLIG 2011 class with an explanation explaining I would be teaching four hours of computer labs at RootsTech2011 (next week)using the online handout updated for PPT 2010 with step-by-step exercises (starting with creating a presentation and going through presenting and publishing online--but you are right. I could have shown you what really was there for you online). I'm just glad you followed through and discovered. Barbara

  3. My pleasure Barbara. To any of you attending Roots Tech 2011 next week - be sure to attend Barbara's class and she will be able to give you the link to her handout (definitely worth the price of admission). Wow - 4 hours worth of labs! This handout is copyrighted by Barbara Renick and Debby Horton and serves as the basis for some seminars they teach on PowerPoint - check them out.


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