That’s the sort of advice I give to potential presenters in workshops and face-to-face meetings I facilitate. First, I always negotiate with the organizers to allow as few inputs in form of PowerPoint presentation as possible. If inputs are on the agenda I pull out my four recommendations.
We meet soon at the face-to-face meeting in XY where you will be making an input. This is great and most appreciated. Knowledge transferred from programmes and projects into our discussions is crucial for joint thinking, sensing and learning.
I am sure you are an experienced presenter and know how to get prepared. From a facilitator’s perspective inputs are critical (e.g. especially for time management). Therefore I would like to ask your attention for the following four points:
Less is more
Don’t overfill your presentation. Think about your audience (who is in the room? what do they bring in?); inspire them and don’t overfill their brains. Know your key messages by heart. You certainly do because they matter to you. (Else they wouldn’t be your key messages, isn’t it?)
Make it visual
Show some photos that speak for themselves or tell a compelling story underlining your key points. If you use PowerPoint reduce the text to a minimum. People cannot read and listen to you at the same time. Avoid bullet points as much as possible because these kinds of slides are simply boring and uninspiring. And don’t forget the PowerPoint basics:
- Text has to be readable also from the corner of the workshop room;
- No complicated graphics keeping peoples’ mind busy to understand;
- Don’t read what you show on the slides (If you need a cheat sheet have it in your hand, or better in your pocket but certainly not on the wall.)
Be the presenter
The most important is the presenter, so you. You are the presenter. Make your presentation personal: show who you are, why you care for the topic you present, why your messages are important.
Respect your time slot
There’s nothing worse than a presentation that seems like it will never end. A great talk goes by quickly. People in your audience will never blame you for ending early, but they certainly will for ending late. So treat the time slot assigned to you as sacred.
Good luck with your presentation.
Your workshop facilitator
- Nancy Duarte: Five Presentation Mistakes Everyone Makes
- Garr Reynolds: The Naked Presenter
- SDC Learning and Networking Blog: Simplicity wins!
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