Monday, September 08, 2008

Presentational considerations.

There are some people who dislike PowerPoint presentations and claim that things would be better if presenters only used better software, like; Keynote, SlideRocket or Impress. Well maybe it's not the software, but the presenter flying the software. Consider these presentational methodologies before your next presentation.
  • The long bulleted list, complete with complete sentences that are read directly from the screen by the presenter and all viewers in the room. The bane of every audience but the easiest to create. Sort of like brain vomit on a particular topic, it's all there, but nobody really enjoys it. Even animating the bullets does not make it better.
  • The "Lessig Method",attributed to Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig. Think of it as less ig better. Each slide may have one or two words or a single picture getting the point across. A 10 minute presentation could have 100 slides. Enjoyable by the audience a lot of work to create and do well. Practice is required as there is little to cue the mouth of the presenter and "ah, um, hmm, huh" doesn't make for a smooth presentation.
  • In "Pecha Kucha" you have 6 minutes 40 seconds to present your entire presentation of 20, 20 second slides. Created in 2004 by Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, Pecha Kucha is both art form and presentational competition. Check here to find the nearest 日本語 night in a city near you.
  • The "Lightning Talk" is a fast paced 5 minute presentation allowing a lot of topics to be covered in a short meeting time. You can spend several hours preparing a good 5 minute lightning talk because there is no time for "ah, um, hmm, huh" before the timer signals the end. For the presenter, the timer starts and ready or not, off you go. For the audience, the presentation may be terrible or great, but it is over in 5 minutes.
So somewhere between reading alot of text to an audience sitting in a darkened room and woa, 5 minutes is up already, take the time to create an interesting presentation that uses (not abuses) the multimedia abilities of your computer. Remember to practice and have fun, your audience will appreciate the extra effort.

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