How to Create a Pecha Kucha Presentation with Google Drive

My students at Lincoln Christian University are doing pecha kucha presentations this week, and a few have chosen to use the Presentation app in Google Drive. While Google Presentation will allow you to create timed slides, there’s no option to time the slides for 20 seconds–essential for a pecha kucha slide show. But there is a “back door” solution.

The YouTube video above walks you through the process–it’s simple and takes just a few seconds.

How to Give a Better Presentation — Tons of Tips

Most presentations are boring–no argument.

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).

Presentation Design for the Classroom

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Minimize text – Closely related to #2. Don’t type everything on the slide that you plan to say. Use just a word or two.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Get inspired - Here are a few helpful resources: TED (and here are some of my favorite talks), Slideshare (here are my favorites), Compfight (great tool for searching images on flickr), Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath (give them your email address and they’ll give you some excellent teaching and presenting resources for free), and Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.

Last fall I wrote a couple posts to help students prepare better presentations for their end-of-semester projects. You might find those helpful as well:

Thanks to Hargrove School leaders Steve Collins and Tom Tanner for inviting me to participate in the event and thanks also to everyone who attended and asked good questions.

UPDATE: Here’s a photo that Rick Champ, one of the attendees, took from the back of the room as we were getting started. Rick’s a smart guy and he’s on twitter–you might follow him.

Note: if you found this post helpful, be sure to visit my consulting website: Renovate Communication Design, LLC.

Renovate Communication Design, LLC - Make better presentations with the Presentation Renovation approach

Two Good Articles on Stories and Presentations

These are both worth checking out:

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.