There is no shortage of practical guides to business public speaking, using PowerPoint effectively and using charts, graphs and visuals to communicate.  In addition to the online resources listed, use our catalog to search for print resources on these subjects:

  • Business presentations
  • Business communication
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Multimedia systems in business presentations
  • Graphic methods
  • Visual communication
  • Charts, diagrams
Presenting with Power:  Captivate, Inspire, Motiviate and Persuade
Perfect Phrases for Sales Presentations
Power Points!:  How to Design and Deliver Presentations that Sizzle and Sell
Harvard Business Review on Effective Communication
Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics

Academic Integrity Isn't Just for Papers

The spirit of academic integrity applies to what you write, say and present on PowerPoint slides.    To comply with Villanova Unviersity's Academic Integrity code and policy, you should provide attribution or documentation for material created by others but used in your presentations.  Avoid copyright infringement.

Attribution & Documentation

What: Charts, Graphs, Photos, Ads, Art, Video, Quotes, Sound created or derrived from other persons work.

How: There are not authoritative style guides for how to provide attribution in web sites and PowerPoint presentations.  VSB recommends just 2 simple elements be included in PowerPoint presentation:  the source and date.

Source:  The source is the creator, publisher or compilier of the graph, chart, data, file or image used.

Retrieved:  Is the date the data, graphy, chart or file was obtained.  If the data was downloaded on one day and crafted into an attractive chart or analysed on another.  Record the download date rather than the date the final product was made.

Where:  In PowerPoint presentations whenever possible document visual aids on the slide where they appear.  Credits for audio or visual aids not aesthetically embedded in presenting page should be added to the end of the presentation.

Copyright & Fair Use (Or Watch the Fair(y) Use Video)

In addition to the moral obligation to comply with standards of academic integrity by including documenation for text, images, video and audio files used in presentations, use of these objects is governed by intellectual property laws. 

Copyright law protects creators of original ideas in fixed forms (music, text, visual art and video) from those who might use or copy their work without permission. Including attribution in the copy or use may not be enought to avoid the consequences of copyright violation. Sometimes the authors permission or a license for use should be requested or purchased. 

The "fair use" doctrine of the copyright law lists considerations for deciding if a use fits into an exception for getting the author's permission.  Exceptions to the rule for getting permission should take these criteria into consideration:  The purpose of the use (nonprofit educational uses are given priority), what portion of the whole copyrighted work is used and how great is the expected impact on the market value of the copyrighted work. Typical uses granted "fair use" protection include scholarship, teaching, parody and satire, criticism and news reporting.  

Not all videos, books, graphs, advertisements, slogans and pictures are protected by copyright.  Some are in the public domain, meaning that they can be used without permission.  Abandoned trademarks or logos are in the public domain, works pass into the public domain 70 years after the creators death, works created for hire pass into the public domain after 75 years and generally works sponsored by the federal government are in the public domain. Cornell University Copyright Information Center has posted an excellent reference on Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States.  Eventhough works in the public domain may be used without permission, to avoid plagiarism attribution should still be included.

Tips for Copyright Compliance

Use Public Domain Sources

U.S. Government Photos and Images

Project Gutenberg (mostly public domain books)

Use Creative Commons Sources

The Creative Commons is an organization devoted to making it easy for content creators to grant free licenses with a variety of standard restrictions to users.  Look for works with these types of licenses:  Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works, and Share Alike.

Flickr advanced search allows limiting results to images with Creative Commons licenses.

Internet Archive  many of the videos on this site come with Creative Commons licenses, but you can not search by that criteria. 

Google Advanced Search as a usage rights limit.

WikimediaCommons Clearinghouse for public domain and freely licensed images, sound and video files.

Use Your Head

It is OK to use images, text, audio and video created by others in your presentations when you think the use meets the "fair use" test.  YOU need to decide what passes or fails the test. Ask yourself these questions about your use of copyrighted work:

  • Is the use educational or might it adopted by a partner business?
  • How much of the copyrighted work are you using?  A few bars of a song or a portion of a video may be fair use, whereas use of the whole may not.
  • Is the use to create a parody or satire or to offer direct criticism or analysis?
  • Is the use likely to adversely impact the market value of the copyrighted work?

Cornell University Copyright Information Center has posted a thoughtful Fair Use Checklist.  If you think your intended use doesn't pass "fair use" muster, consider purchasing a licensed copy with appropriate rights or get the creators permission. To get permission contact the copyright holder, usually the creator or publisher of the work. Librarians can help you identify the copyright holder.   Even if your use does meet the "fair use" test,  avoid plagiarism by including attribution with your sources!