Presentation Karaoke

Background and Activity

The idea of Presentation Karaoke is that students use somebody else’s existing Powerpoint presentation, with the sound turned off (if using the internet), and give an improvised on-the-spot presentation using the slides.

The presentation slides need to be text-light and graphics-rich. And in the classroom you’ll need a computer monitor that everyone can see (you either go to the internet site that contains the presentation, or download it first onto a USB stick and play it back).

Before starting I think the student giving the presentation needs to see it all through once first (it would be very difficult otherwise), and also needs to practice how to move from one slide to another, how to turn off automatic slide progression etc. And you should use the Full Screen option.

I have to admit that I haven’t tried this activity myself yet, and I can see a possible problem that students simply read the words on the screen and fail to improvise.

Below I’ve given you some possible presentations to use – just click the titles. They are not necessarily suitable for this activity – I just found them on the internet as examples of good presentations. Please suggest others (where the students don’t just simply read the words on the screen) in the Comments section below and add tips for how to make the activity successful.

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I like both the Karaoke idea and what Candy has done. In fact, they could work well together – Using Candy’s first to clarify presentation techniques and get student’s used to NOT reading the slide. The ‘karaoke’ would then take it one step further, but after they have (hopefully) developed more confidence in themselves and in freer speaking rather than reading. I’m looking forward to trying them out in tandem1


This sounds like a kind of Pecha Kutcha activity. I have done this, using the students’ own presentations (they all seem to have one secreted on a memory stick somewhere!) I start by going through the slides one by one with the student and asking them what the main point of each slide is – “Why is this slide here? What is it telling me?” or “Find the one word that makes this slide important.” I write their answers down.

Once we have gone through all the slides, I ask if there are any slides they feel are unnecessary or redundant or not terribly useful. (it’s quite interesting to see how many of the slides the student want to bin!). We then look at what I’ve written down and compare it with the corresponding slide and tweak if necessary. The student then uses the notes, rather than reading the slide. The language is theirs, so more manageable, they are speaking more form their heart than from the slide, so they sound more authentic and they feel free from the tyranny of the words on the screen.

This is not really contributing to the original post, but I thought I’d share it anyway!

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