Lightboard Best Practices
This document provides an overview of best practices for designing powerpoint slideshows for lightboard presentation, what to wear during your lightboard lecture and tips for recording your presentation.
Designing PowerPoint Presentations and other supplemental resources for your lecture:
- Five minutes! One topic, one board, stop. (Doubt it? See How Video Production Affects Student Engagement)
- Plan your talk so you know where you are going to be drawing on the lightboard. If you need to erase (much) or add another board, it's probably too long.
- Set the slide background to black, and the page aspect ratio to 16x9 before you start. PowerPoint is not good with page layout changes later; it will stretch your slide content. Here's a template PowerPoint deck.
- Leave space for you. You become a character inside your PowerPoint slide.
- Try something other than the usual "bullet point talk". How about adding hand-written items interspersed with just a few PowerPoint bullets. Hand-written check marks. Or cartoon sketches but no text.
- You can make secret dots in dry-erase black, on the glass, using your PowerPoint in advance. Then you can point straight at those, which is much slicker than the "weatherman wave".
- You can run a movie in PowerPoint, and even point to things in a movie as it runs.
- If people are going to watch several videos, they don't want an intro on each one.
- You can add text in youtube. This can be for a superimposed intro caption or a topic name, or for reinforcement or corrections. Use YouTube's annotations of the types called notes and titles.
What to Wear:
- Wear medium color clothing so your writing is readable in front of your clothing – avoid white, black and dark gray. Deep blue is really nice.
- Avoid wearing text or asymmetrical logos – writing will be reversed in the recording.
During Your Lightboard Session:
- Pause before starting, and look at the camera. This gives you a clean cut point, to edit out your walk-on.
- When writing on the board, look at what you are writing. When talking about something on the board, point at it and look at it.
- When you aren't writing or pointing, look at the camera. It may be helpful to seat someone under the camera.
- Leave yourself a window. Or at least try not to draw horizontal lines through your eyes or mouth.
- When pointing, try to point from the side, not from the back, so that your fingers stand out against the black background.
- Don't hold the marker when you are gesturing or pointing. Put it down, or hold it in your other hand.
- Put the marker caps somewhere else altogether. The markers will be ok without their caps for the duration of a video.
- Dry-erase and wet-erase markers squeak. To reduce squeak, use fresh markers and don't push so hard against the glass. With a light touch, you can mostly avoid squeak.
- Don't stand directly behind your writing – move to the side after you write it
- Expectations for videos are higher than for classroom lectures, but you needn't strive for perfection. Good enough is good enough.
After Your Lightboard Session:
- Markers are slow to erase. To avoid smearing erase with a dry cloth first, and then remove any residue with glass cleaner.