Ahh, this is how to present something

by Mr. Sheehy

I hate horrible presentations.

I hate them.

In fact, I have teetered close to getting myself in trouble for teasing them – recently I received a Power Point as an attachment for an upcoming meeting and I created a “sneak peek” of the presentation using Camtasia. I ran the 80+ slide presentation on autopilot with 1 second for each slide and narrated some random babble over the top. I thought it was pretty funny myself, but I was careful about sending it only to my closest colleagues, who know I mean no harm.

Either way, I don’t have time to change the world, so instead I’ll pass along some of the greatest presentation tips I’ve seen in the last year.

One: This slideshare is not only a great tutorial on creating a presentation, it’s just great.

Two: For more entertainment about how not to use Power Point, take a listen to Don McMillan:

Three: Oh, and this presentation was my inspiration for telling straight up stories through Power Point:

Three B: Which means when I did presentations in classrooms, I did things like this:

and if my content wasn’t the story type, I at least drove it with images, like this:

Four: As a teacher, I consider myself an actor, and more presenters would do well to realize they are actors too. Actors entertain, yes, but if you have attended the theatre, then you know actors do more than entertain – they engage. Darren Barefoot gets it right with some good advice, including this tidbit:

Slides are Your Costumes, Lighting and Set, Not Your Speech. Your slides exist to reinforce the things you’re saying, not the other way around. Like your clothes, they provide context and framing for your message. As such, I almost always eschew bullet points for a single word or phrase per slide, accompanied by lots of photos. An overly complicated set will distract an audience, and so will overly busy slides.

Five: Darren references Merlin Mann’s tips about presentations, and those are worth reading as well. For guidance on telling stories, make sure you follow his lead to Cliff Atkinson’s Word template for crafting a story.

Take this advice seriously, and go forth and present!