Spice Up an Old Presentation

Welcome! This year I’m excited to be part of the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators. The theme this year is Make The Difference and we are on an amazing world tour. I am your  Inspire Leader for this leg of the journey as we travel to Atlanta, Georgia. I invite you to accomplish the following goal: ‘Spice Up an Old Presentation’’.




Accomplish The Goal

We all have them – those great presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.) that we made a few years back that we love to use every year. We spent a lot of time on them to get them ‘just perfect’, and we love bringing them back out each year or each semester for our new students to learn from. This year, I am challenging you to spice up your old presentation to give it new life and to use it to add some inspiration and motivation to your students’ learning, no matter what the topic or the course. Some suggestions for giving your presentation a little spring cleaning:


  • Update the images in your presentation – consider adding personal images or infographic-style avatars
  • Choose a new theme with a modern or novel layout that will grab students’ attention
  • Eliminate bullet points (or at least use nifty ones like these stars!)
  • Revise your text to include less words per page, and greater screen space devoted to images
  • Add a link to a video
  • Add a poll from Socrative or another web tool to gather formative assessment data during your presentation
  • Narrate and post your presentation to an online host (SlideShare, YouTube, etc.) so students can view it from any internet-enabled device
  • Make a mini-version of your presentation using a new app or web tool


You certainly don’t have to do all of these steps to a single presentation to spice it up. Any 1 or a combination of these steps will breathe new life  into your old presentation and get you thinking about ways to engage your students with the content. Be sure to check out a list of resources at the end of this post to help you accomplish this challenge.

My Reflection


Taking a critical look at my past work is something that I usually dread and will procrastinate or avoid it if at all possible. However, I have realized that being reflective is an essential part of being an educator. If I don’t seek to constantly improve my pedagogy and my practice, I am doing a great disservice to my students. I only have these students once. They only have one shot at learning in my class. I don’t have time to try it out next year, I need to get started now!

In the past year, I have started using Google Slides as my go-to presentation tool. I love the ease with which I can insert images by url, insert YouTube video, and share with my colleagues. Haiku Deck has also been a favorite of mine. I’ve taken an old Revolutionary War presentation and made a deck with only images and titles. It provided a great conversation starter for my students and they were able to learn from the images and from each other without the screen being cluttered with text.


I’m looking forward to learning from you as you take this challenge – I can’t wait to see all of the great work that you and your students do!


About Atlanta, GA


The Peach State; The Heart of the Deep South; Atlanta goes by many names. A  new one will be added this year – home of the ISTE 2014 conference! I’m excited to welcome educators from around the world to Atlanta, GA. We have amazing food, Southern hospitality, and beautiful, lush landscapes to awe and inspire you. Here are a few of my favorite things and places. I hope you’ll be able to visit us in June for ISTE14!



Piedmont Park, a 189-acre urban park, is located less

than a mile from downtown Atlanta attractions



Mary Mac’s has AMAZING southern food! Be sure to check them out for

the best sweet tea, country-fried teak, and, of course, peach pie!


The fabulous Fox Theater is a favorite Atlanta venue for

concerts, shows, and entertainment of all kinds!