This week my business partner released an audiobook version of our well-received eBook, Presentation Renovation. In the words of popular speaker Jill Savage, “If you’re ready to take your presentation skills to the next level, you need this book.”
But can you market yourself and your business (or project or organization) with a better approach to presenting?
I think so.
In one of my other lives, I do presentation design and consulting with my business partner, Deanne Mott. Today we’ve released our new eBook, Presentation Renovation. In this 80+ page guide, you’ll learn how to create better messages, design slides that don’t look like boring PowerPoint templates, and how to deliver with confidence.
Great presentations really aren’t about the slides; they’re about connecting with your audience. Strong leaders and communicators know that, and it’s our goal to help you do better.
The book is on sale this week at 43% off–just $4. You can find the discount code here. We’d love for you to make better presentations (and so would your audience).
What do effective presentations look like in a college classroom?
Today I offered some thoughts on this to a group of adjunct faculty at the Hargrove School at Lincoln Christian University. The faculty development session was only 45 minutes so we were limited in what we could cover but here are the key points.
Don’t default to PowerPoint – You have lots of options for learning experiences: demonstrations, writing/drawing on the whiteboard, discussion, video, and more. PowerPoint is just one tool.
One idea per slide – The less that’s on the slide, the fewer distractions, the better the focus. Instead of using one slide with six bullet points, expand that one slide out to six separate slides.
Minimize text – Closely related to #2. Don’t type everything on the slide that you plan to say. Use just a word or two.
Use pictures – Images are powerful and emotional. We remember what we feel. When you use images, don’t feel constrained by the placeholders on the slide–let your photos fill the slide. See The Girl Effect for a good example of these points.
Stories for the win - Stories engage us emotionally and spark curiosity, an essential ingredient for learning. They can also be used to keep and regain attention (See Dr. John Medina’s notes on attention from his book Brain Rules).
Give cues - Many students take notes by writing what they see on the PowerPoint slides–nothing more. Give students verbal cues: “write this down,” “this is important,” “this will be on the test.” You can also build visual cues into your presentation that help them navigate your lecture. For example, create your main point slides in one color and subpoint slides in a different color.
The first reveals how Russell Goldsmith, CEO of City National Bank in Los Angeles, has created a culture of storytelling in his company. Since stories are memorable and emotional, this enables both employees and customers to build stronger relationships with the business. There are also some good insights on interviewing and hiring at the end of the interview.
The second article offers advice that many presentation designers have been sharing for years (but that still needs reinforcing): tell a story, use pictures, avoid bullet points, issue a clear call to action. I’d argue that the author’s fifth point–don’t use more than 10 slides–is unnecessary. While you don’t want to use any more slides than necessary, placing a limit on the number of slides is arbitrary.
Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen is, in my estimation, the best one-volume resource for preparing better presentations. The 2nd edition was just released in December; in the video below, Garr himself shows and discusses what’s new and different:
Today I’m giving a presentation to a group of college students on making a contribution and how to handle the pressures of college life. Here are some additional resources and here’s the slidedeck from my talk: