Friday, August 24, 2007

Presentation Tips (for Web Conferencing and Beyond)

Today's buzz seems to be all about presentation tips, so here are a few sites to help you start improving your PowerPoint presentations. Remember - web conferencing can seem impersonal enough to your participants who aren't accustomed to online communication, so do yourself a favor and make your presentation engaging.

Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen) on the Takahashi Method
I appreciated the move toward simplicity and away from reading lists of bullet points, but when you get to a slide that's just a number (as with slides that are just images), what is the point of even having the slide? At extremes, I think this method makes the visual part of the presentation irrelevant. Takeaway: Be simple, be innovative, but don't leave your audience with nothing to anchor them.

How I Made My Presentations A Little Bit Better from 43 Folders
This is a great article. The presenter seems to have found an elegant, simple solution to slide content, and he makes a great point - "...consider sometimes showing images and text that make an orthogonal point to what you’re saying aloud to the audience at that moment." People learn and retain more when they discover information for themselves, not when it's told to them, and better still they learn it on their own terms, in their own language. Trust your audience to put two and two together. Lots of other great links and tips in this article.

An older but still relevant list of PowerPoint tips, how-to's, and don'ts from cazh1
Mostly links, but worth a visit...I'd have had to list most of these here separately if this list didn't exist :)

How do you plan for your presentations? Do you use PowerPoint? Keynote? Something else? Have you ever tried these presentation templates? (I've read good things about them but they're not in line with how I currently approach presentation content.) What works to keep your audience interested and get your point across?

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