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I am a scientist and always use beamer templates for presentations, but I have never used beamer for more informal, "flashy" presentations (like the one you need to show kids).

I have to present to a middle-school and I don't want a template that looks "boring". Do you know a good beamer template for that purpose? Thanks.

closed as primarily opinion-based by TeXnician, Stefan Pinnow, ChrisS, Troy, Maarten Dhondt Sep 28 '17 at 11:50

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  • Thank you for your input. Usually beamer templates are very formal and "non-flashy". I would like something more colorful/playful. I cannot post a screenshot because I want to find a template that is like that and I haven't been able to. It's one of those "I'll know when I see it" kind of situation, so I would appreciate a link to a repository or webpage with templates for kids. – MsKK Sep 21 '17 at 19:19
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    You could add some images form here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/387047/…. In particular, see this one: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/63732/… :) – CarLaTeX Sep 21 '17 at 19:22
  • You could give ConTeXt a chance. There are plenty of colorfull theme shipped with the distribution. Some of them are displayed in a ConTeXt wiki entry. Be aware that it is not LaTeX but another set of TeX macros. – sztruks Sep 21 '17 at 19:27
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    Use simple language and lots of colors. It's basically the same approach you would use for upper management. ;-) – John Kormylo Sep 21 '17 at 19:50
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    Don't forget the Comic Sans font! (LOL) – Steven B. Segletes Sep 22 '17 at 11:15
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I decided to write a few pointers. Actually, this is not a proper answer, but it's too long for a comment. So here we go, community wiki it is. :)

First and foremost, congratulations for sharing knowledge with kids! They are the future and our only hope of a better world.

My first suggestion is: never underestimate their comprehension. I believe this is why the educational system in some places is failing greatly: educators do not trust their kids' potential. The kids have the same hardware of you and I. :)

Of course, they are in the process of knowledge acquisition, learning every day with every interaction. A good care with the tone is advisable, as a means to compatible with their age. It is a matter of saying the same thing with a different wording. Kids are like sponges, they absorb everything! They will notice everything you say and everything that is written in your slides! It is a fantastic experience.

Let's go!

I think it's nice to know the technical aspects of the place. How good is the projector? do you plan talking with lights on or off? Are colours properly displayed on the big screen? How far will kids sit from the projection screen? Will you be close to them, in the same level, or will you be on a stage?

The safe strategy is to use a white (or light) background. Remember that not all colours look good on the big screen.

In general, sans serif fonts are advisable for presentations, as they look good on the big screen. I'd avoid serif fonts because they can make the reading quite challenging, specially if the projection is not that good.

Sans serif fonts are indicated for presentations. There is a nice list of fonts available in the Font Catalogue, so pick the one you like the most! Feel comfortable!

If possible, know your audience beforehand. I do not remember the source, but there are studies out there telling that fonts with irregular shapes (like Comic Sans) have a positive effect on kids with dyslexia! Fonts do have an impact on your audience, so, if you can help them, do not hesitate on doing it!

Do not fill your slides with text. Add just a few keywords to help you keep the train of thought, then add an image. It would be great that, for each slide, you have a different image that somehow is related to the text. Beware: it is very challenging!

Whenever possible, add a relevant image to the text. I usually insert images near the text with the columns environment.

I usually change image and text placements on each slide (left, right, up, down), so the audience gets the visual hint that the slide has changed. On some slides, it is interesting to replace the text with a huge image. So they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words". :)

Regarding the content, always tell a story. This might sound unusual, however it is surprisingly effective. Create a character and develop your reasoning on it. Abstract thinking is tough, so help them with a concrete representation. Give your character a name, or let the kids name him/her/it.

Always tell a story with your presentation.

Well, that is it, basically. :) Of course, I will not end these notes without giving you a suggestion for an actual theme. I once drew some elements heavily based on a Broadway poster as a means to use them on a presentation. The .sty file is available here:

https://github.com/cereda/marypoppins

The repository name actually gives the hint of things to come. :) I am a huge fan of Mary Poppins. I originally wrote this code for a UK-TUG user meeting presentation, but I decided to go for a cleaner theme in the last minute. My main .tex file is as follows:

\documentclass{beamer}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{marypoppins}

\usetikzlibrary{calc,decorations.markings}

\newcommand\TestF{\begin{frame}test\end{frame}}
\newcommand\vTestF{\TestF\TestF\TestF\TestF\TestF}
\newcommand\xxTestF{\vTestF\vTestF\vTestF\vTestF}
\def\factor{0.5}
\setbeamertemplate{background canvas}{\resizebox{\paperwidth}{\paperheight}{\london}}

\setbeamertemplate{background}{%
\begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture,overlay, decoration={markings, mark=at position \thepage/40 with { \node {\scalebox{.1}{\marypoppins}}; }} ]
\path[postaction=decorate]
  ($(current page.north west)+(-1,0)$) to[out=-30,in=90] 
  (current page.center) to[out=-90,in=180,looseness=6,distance=4cm]
  (current page.center) to[out=0,in=160]
  (current page.south east);
\end{tikzpicture}%
}

\title{My title}
\author{Author}
\date{Date}
\institute{Institute}

\begin{document}

\maketitle

\xxTestF\xxTestF

\end{document}

Beware, for the compilation is very slow. The TikZ elements are heavy, so please use this code with great care! The result is shown as follows, created with:

$ convert -delay 10 -loop 0 -density 300 -dispose previous \
marypoppins_slides.pdf animation.gif

Quack

I think the magic is now unveiled. :) The idea is to have Mary doing some air maneuvres before landing. Thankfully, the lady is safe and sound. And of course, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine goes down in a most delightful way!

Good luck with your presentation! Quack! :)

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