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In case you missed last week’s post, a nonlinear presentation can be a useful teaching tool that allows you to drive what you want to cover in a presentation (especially when circumstances change) rather than your slide deck.

A normal presentation progresses linearly, from one slide to the next.


Conversely, a nonlinear presentation can progress in any direction, skip entire sections, or circle back to reiterate a key concept.


Nonlinear presentations allow you to cover completely different materials using the same slide deck depending on what your audience needs/wants. For example, if you quiz students prior to coming to class and you see that they have all aced the questions pertaining to a specific topic, you can easily skip the topic if you have a “home” slide that you use to outline your topics. I am including an example nonlinear presentation below that I created for the College of Law and encourage you to explore the inner workings of this prototype by completing the quests below!

Nonlinear Presentation


Nonlinear Presentation Quests

Where the point is fun and the points are meaningless

If you ever get stuck at a challenge, review Listen, Lynda to learn how you can grow your PowerPoint skills.

  • Download and open the presentation – 5 points
  • Before presenting, glance at the five slides – Do you think you will see the four buttons (Section, Graph, Bullet, Image) on the left when you present?
  • Okay, the suspense is growing, enter presentation mode – 5 points
  • Go to slide 2 (Section) – What do you think will happen if you click on one of those boxes (Graph, Bullet, Image)?
  • Were you right? – 10 points
  • Now click on the thin, blue, left-side bar on any slide – 5 points
  • Whaaa? How did it do that? – 55 points
  • Exit presentation mode – 5 points
  • Go to slide 2 (Section) and try to click on one of the four buttons (Section, Graph, Bullet, Image) – 0 points
  • Nothing? What magic is used to do this trickery? – (-5 points)
  • To learn more about the blue, left menu bar, you will need to go to the Master Slide and check out the animation and hyperlinks – 25 points
  • Go to slide 2 (Section) and right-click on one of three boxes (Graph, Bullet, Image) and then click ‘Edit Hyperlink” – 10 points
  • Change the linked slide to another – 10 points

CONGRATULATIONS! You unlocked the Nonlinear PowerPoint Presentation badge and gained valuable skills to rollout into your next class!!