Ad verba per numeros

Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 10:18 PM
  1. Presentation software DOESN'T matter.
  2. Tell a story: your story.
  3. The main actor in your presentation is YOU, not your slides.
  4. Small bites are better (i.e. few text in each slide, enough to transmit a message).
  5. Corollary: the text in the slide should match your speech, if you provide more text they'll read and won't listen to you.
  6. Images are not a decoration, they should back up your message.
  7. Layout is key (or the Rule of thirds rules!)
  8. Be structured, both during your presentation and preparing it (do not start by opening your presentation software!)
  9. Don't stuff your audience but leave them a little hungry (e.g. don't tell everything, finish early).
  10. Do not use your last slide to say "thank you" but to show a remarkable conclusion of your presentation.
  11. Gadgets can be a presenter's best friend (e.g. a wireless presentation remote control).
  12. Practice, practice, practice (aka paying in sweat).
And now, some explanations for this post.

A student asked me about software for presentations because, apparently, he thought I was not using PowerPoint (indeed I use it). I told him a number of things (summarized above) and concluded telling him that PowerPoint is great provided you ignore 99% of the features.

Needless to say, I'm not inventing anything new here. Most of the points are extracted from the great books "Presentation Zen" or "Slide:ology" and the blogs from the corresponding authors. I learned the little trick in number 10 in "El Arte de Presentar" (in Spanish) and number 12 is, well, rather obvious but it's usually ignored by most of us.