This is a guest blog post by Dory Klein, Community History and Digitization Specialist.
Are you looking for a creative, fun, and informative way to connect with friends from the safety of your home? The solution might be—hear us out—an online PowerPoint party.
What’s a PowerPoint party?
It’s probably exactly what you’re imagining! You and your friends each create a short presentation (think really short: three to five minutes tops!) on any topic that excites you. Then, you gather in your favorite video conferencing app and share your presentations.
Still not sold? Think big! You can present on any topic you like. Do you have some hot takes about the best bakes of The Great British Bake Off? Do you stay up nights thinking about the history of the color blue? Have you been holding back your analysis of the astrological signs of the characters of Jane Austen’s barnburner, Emma? Do you believe The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is cinematic gold? Folks, this is your moment to shine!
Convinced? Here’s how to host your own
There are plenty of video conferencing options, so pick your favorite. Many of us are familiar with Zoom, but you can use any platform that allows you to share your screen.
Facebook’s Messenger Rooms.
Now that you know how you’re hosting your party, talk with your friends to set a date and time. Be sure to give yourselves plenty of time to put together your presentations; choosing your topic may just be the hardest part!
Choose your topic
It’s your party, and you can present on any topic. Really, any! Your presentation can be informative, goofy, or somewhere in between. Need some inspiration? Turn to Twitter:
Last night I went to a party where everyone had to prepare a 3 minute lecture on something they were passionate about.
I won best presentation. pic.twitter.com/WSTOJzsqZu
— Michal (@Miexriir) January 14, 2018
This past weekend some friends and I had a Powerpoint Party, mine went over pretty well pic.twitter.com/zvuTgJvf45
— fullmetal alchebitch (@socksyyy) December 14, 2020
My year in PowerPoint Parties pic.twitter.com/7VLg2uhBTN
— Alison Wilgus (@aliwilgus) December 21, 2020
Create your PowerPoint
Now that you’ve settled on your topic, it’s time to create your epic presentation. Each of your partygoers will share their screens to present, so you can use whatever tool makes you happy. Some options include Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi, or Canva.
If you need a refresher, check out this online workshop to refresh your Google Slides skills on January 13. You can also check out LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform offering video tutorials that you can access for free with your BPL library card.
Maybe you want to beta test your presentation before hosting your own party, or maybe you just want to share your ideas with an audience beyond your pod. Either way, you’re in luck: the BPL is hosting a series of themed PowerPoint parties via Zoom!
January 20th at 1:30pm - Any History
Want to tell the world how you really feel about Christopher Columbus? Or make your case for a national holiday honoring Ida B. Wells? Perhaps you’ve cracked the Voynich Manuscript? Or maybe you think more people should know about Ching Shih, the Pirate Queen? Here’s your chance to make your voice heard!
January 27th at 1:30pm - Armchair Travel
Are you itching to travel again in 2021? You may not be able to hop on a plane just yet, but you can join us and share your favorite places in the world! We’ll learn about others’ favorite travel destinations from cities to canyons!
February 3rd at 1:30pm - A Very Good Book
Let’s talk about books -- and make it a party! Come with your short 3-5-minute presentation about a book, series, or literary work and share with a small group. Want to make the case as to why everyone should read your favorite book? Is there a movie adaptation of a book that is better than the original? Want to chat about the book you’re currently reading? Come share your thoughts and learn in this fun discussion.