Monday, September 08, 2008

Presentations - Crap to Snap


I do quite a bit of public speaking, consulting and strategy planning for Architecture, Engineering and Construction firms. One of the mediums that is used more than almost any other program is a slideware program, most notably Microsoft Powerpoint. I see this in what I do, what goes on at conferences and most of it looks horrible, especially when you only have a few moments to kick this off and get everyones attention. Post analysis of a few recent conferences and some of my own past presentations i started to get the feeling that I am not alone in this thinking, even if people are not aware of how to fix it.

Over the last year I have been fortunate to be involved in a Revit Software Development project from the ground up. At this point we are entering a customer review period and have put together a few slides on the application to acquaint the reviewers with it. Along they way I got inspired by the presentations that Steve Jobs does. At the same time Matt mentioned a book that seemed right up that path: slide:ology.

So I bought slide:ologyand added Presentation Zen since I keep hearing more and more about this book. First off these two books have been the perfect compliment to each other. They are written in manageable chunks (so you can start/stop anytime) and have already had an impact on my material and how I think and approach new speaking engagements.

To give you an idea on one of the many great nuggets of material, and that I have printed out and over my desk, is the following from Garr Reynolds:

Simplicity
Clarity
Brevity

These three terms resonated with me and i think they are applicable in most of life. Take a moment to read these works if you do any kind of public speaking, presentations or marketing as your audience will be much appreciative and you will deliver a better overall presentation making this a win for everyone.

If you have an idea for other great books along a similar vein please let me know in the comments.

3 comments:

Bop on 1:26 PM said...

I like the Presentation Zen stuff and will have to check slide:ology out. Not sure if there is a Windows version of this - http://www.beedocuments.com/index.php - but it is amazing for timeline style presentation.

The other thing I find helpful is to make sure to grab and save the photos and other graphics that you often wish you could use in a simple presentation but never have time to find on deadline.

Beau Turner on 1:52 PM said...

Thanks Bop,

I like the timeline app you mentioned, i saw another similar in the past but it was way to difficult for me to work with, this looks much easier.

Cheers,
Beau

RobiNZ on 8:32 PM said...

Hi Beau, If the map is not too complex I find MindManager a good alternative to "not another PowerPoint".

It's presentation mode could be improved but it's worth trying

 

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