I stuck a fork in it and it isn’t done. I am not yet happy with my new presentation.
I spent a lot of time this year working with students on communication skills. I know that good presentations tell stories. I know that good presentations do not come loaded with bullets.
So I am cleaning up my own slides for my first presentation tomorrow at Building Learning Communities. I should have the thing done just in time. But as I work, I am reminded of some of the good work our faculty did this year in habit breaking.
We knew we got the message across when one of our street-smart senior girls shared what she learned:
"The slides are not for me, they are for my audience."
As for bullets, most of the time, she noted, the audience doesn’t need them.
A strong image, or a word, or a short phrase, on a stark black or white background–that makes an impact.
And it makes a bigger impact if it is part of a story.
So while I go back and weed and attempt to better practice what I’ve preached, I’ll share some of the resources we used this year as we began to retool our presentations.
Rethinking PowerPoint and presentations of all brands:
- PowerPoint Extreme Makeover: Dean Shareski (whom I just met in the lobby!) looks at PowerPoint as a storytelling tool and posts his presentation (recorded with Camtasia). Great principles to consider, including "get rid of the templates and begin with a blank slate" and "show me what you mean." Cool before and after examples. Perfect to use at an inservice.
- Gettysburg Address PowerPoint: This classic, and very effective example, demonstrates what bullets might have done to Lincoln’s rhetorical eloquence back in 1863.
- Presentation Zen: Garr Reynolds’ blog is devoted to presentation design issues. Lots to explore.
- Ira Glass on Storytelling: Veteran storytelling, and host of NPR’s This American Life, shares powerful advice for telling a good story.
- Cliff Atkinson: Beyond Bullets:
- highlights his favorite 11 here. (in very small bullet points) Garr Reynolds
- Stop Your Presentation Before it Kills Again Kathy Sierra presents simple, powerful advice. Check out her "Do My Slides Suck" Test
Also, take a look at the style these presentations use to break the template: