Top 10 Evidence-based, Best Practices For PowerPoint®

  • Thursday, October 13, 2011
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • UMBC Technology Center 1450 South Rolling Road ● 3rd Floor, Cafeteria ● Halethorpe, MD 21227 ● 410-455-8670


5:30 PM - 6:30 PM Registration
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Networking
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Program/Q&A
Registration is closed

“Death by PowerPoint®” is a national epidemic with too much text and boring graphics topping the list from a June 2011 survey of the U.S. adult population (3.2% error) by IBOPE Zogby International. Can you relate to those findings? Respondents claimed they would rather forego sex tonight (24%), do their taxes (21%), go to the dentist (20%), or work on Saturday (18%) than have a close encounter of the PowerPoint® kind. The problem is that the traditional PowerPoint® resembles static electronic overheads that tend to decrease learning and retention of information. With 70 studies on the topic and a solid foundation of cognitive psychology, learning theory, and physiological research with “rich media,” current practices need to be aligned with the research evidence.

This interactive session will synthesize the PowerPoint® literature into a state-of-the-art, concise BERKS NOTES top-10 list of “evidence-based, best practices.” The first five are basic design options (background, font, color, headings, text) and the last five pertain to engagement and multimedia (images, movement, music, video). How does your PowerPoint® match the evidence? If you do your part, perhaps, we can stop the spread of “death by PowerPoint®,” one presentation a time. .

Our presenter: Ron Berk is Professor Emeritus, Biostatistics and Measurement, and former Assistant Dean for Teaching at The Johns Hopkins University. He served 30 years of a life term at JHU before leaving 5.292 years ago to pursue speaking and writing full-time. Since then, he has been in the Federal Witness Protection Program living in Maryland under the name Puffy Snoop M & M. He has mentored numerous faculty and hundreds of students, all of whom unfortunately are still in prison or on probation. Ron is a fellow in the Oxford Society of Scholars and has received several teaching awards.

He has presented more than 400 keynotes and workshops on humor in the workplace, multimedia teaching, characteristics of the Net Generation, multigenerational conflicts, and break-the-mold PowerPoints at institutions and conferences in 40 states and 14 countries, from Taiwan to Czech Republic to Serbia to United Arab Emirates University. He destroyed scores of trees and shrubbery by publishing 13 books, 160 journal articles, and nearly 300 blogs. Over the past 9 months, gestation-wise, Ron has birthed a new business called PowerPoint Doctor which allows him to coach trainers and business professionals on high-impact presentation skills and captivating PowerPoints.  All of this work reflects his life-long commitment to mediocrity and his professional motto: “Go for the Bronze!” For details, see,, or

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