First off, I’m back! Thanks for your patience as I took some overdue vacation with some enjoyable family time.
As you may recall, CACUSS will be taking place later this June and I’m excited to be presenting on the topic “Greening the Campus: Sustainability and Student Engagement” that combines two of my passions:
1) student engagement
Personally, I like to think of presentations as a special kind of art form. I used to think of them as simply an information tool: I say xyz, put lots of text on a power point and if I had time, perhaps a handout.
Then I met a colleague who is a social entrepreneur, works in international recruitment and does an amazing presentation, on, er, presentations.
Since then, I have attempted to be a lot more conscious of my presentations - after all, it is your time I am borrowing from. That said, still some of my presentations have been hit or miss which has caused me to be more thoughtful on how I develop and deliver my material.
To that end, here are some expectations that I have when developing and participating in a conference presentation.
1) Be clear in your description: I’m choosing conference sessions based mainly on the description as well on who is the presenter (I certainly want to follow sector leaders). Set out some of the learning objectives and key points that will be dealt with in your presentation.If possible, identify if it is a beginner, intermediate or expert type session.
2) Follow the 10/20/30 rule: General presentation guidelines from Guy Kawasaki that sets out the optimal number of slides (10) length of presentation for those 10 slides (20 minutes) and font size used (30 points). I struggle with the 10 slide guideline personally!
3) Make it special: what will make me remember your presentation and brag about it to others? A neat concept, handout, video, activity?
4) If possible, make it participatory: this is tricky depending on subject, timing, relevancy etc. But if it you involve your participants the payoff is worth it.
5) Share it: via slideshare – a great resource that I’ll be using more often. With 4-12 sessions per conference time slot, I can’t attend everything but would love to access your presentation later on.
So, those are some of my thoughts – what are yours? What makes a presentation a hit instead of a miss?
And to bring in a video, here is how not to use powerpoint