MAX 401 Teaching Team > MAX 401 Civic Engagement Action Plan Workshop

Draft Public Presentation

Due Thursday 11/14 by noon as a PDF.


Prepare a professional-grade PowerPoint presentation for a public audience. The presentation should be 7-8 minutes long and should make a reasoned and empirically-supported case for your action.

Structure of the presentation:

The first slide must be a title page with the following information: Title of the project, your name, the name of the program (i.e., “Maxwell Program on Citizenship and Civic Engagement”), the university, and the date of the presentation. 

The remainder should cover the topics below but shouldn't use those literal headings. That is, don't say "Description of the action"; rather, say something appropriate for your actual project. Also, you do NOT need to have exactly one slide for each point: sometimes you may want to put more than one point on a slide, and other times you may need to use several slides to make one point.

Things to cover:

General tips:

  1. Plan one slide per minute

    As a very rough rule of thumb, expect to have about 1 slide per minute unless the information on them is very sparse (i.e., photos that can be grasped quickly). As mentioned above, you may be able to combine some things onto a single slide (e.g., the first two points) in order to have more space available to describe your action.
  2. Slides should show rather than tell

    Wherever possible, use the slides to show rather than tell. You’re doing the telling and the slides will be most engaging when they help show what you mean. Use diagrams, pictures and graphs.
  3. Minimize bullet points

    A slide full of bullets is often just repeating what you're saying verbally. That's dull for the audience and usually not necessary to get your point across. The slides should accompany and illustrate your talk, not just repeat what you’re saying.
  4. Avoid full sentences or long blocks of text

    It's especially important to avoid full sentences or long blocks of text. People can't read and listen at the same time. If there's a long block of text people will either skip it or ignore you briefly to read it. The only exception is when you need a direct quote to illustrate a point.
  5. Annotate illustrations

    It often works well to add text, arrows, or other annotation to a photo or other illustration. It's audience-friendly and reduces the need for bullets. This is most useful when it may not be obvious who or what is shown in a photo, or which feature of a graph or object is most important.
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Peter J Wilcoxen, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 11/05/2019