[At-Large] Presentation Tips

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sat Jun 20 16:36:13 UTC 2020

Thanks for doing this, Jonathan.

On Sat, 20 Jun 2020 at 12:01, Jonathan Zuck <JZuck at innovatorsnetwork.org>

>    1. *Slides should supplement the talk, not the other way around.*
I don't think this can be emphasized enough.

I've sat through a mind-boggling number of presentations in which the
slides are either the whole presentation, or detailed speaker notes. It
usually indicates poor preparation and the presenter's use of the slides to
lean on.

Here are some random other thoughts based on presentations that have stood

   - A superb presentation slide may ask an overarching question that's not
   even spoken, but is provoked by what the speaker said. Or at very least a
   slide can ask questions that the presentation will answer.
   - A summary slide that collects the larger thoughts just presented can
   be helpful to some people.
   - Always have left on the screen at the end, contact info for the
   benefit of audience members who can't (or are too shy to) engage in group
   Q&A but still want to follow up
   - Avoid jargon and slang unless you REALLY know the audience. You never
   know who in your audience is new to the concepts and/or does not speak your
   language natively
   - Occasional lightness is fine but go easy on the funny photos.
   Overdosing on forced humour does not help your message.

>    1. The big joke is that during EVERY Zoom meeting, people ask if the
>    slides will be available. It's funny first because the answer is ALWAYS yes
>    but, more importantly, your slides should not be able to stand on their own.
I actually think there is going to be a growing discipline and design
discussion regarding doing virtual presentations, where your "shared
screen" presentation dominates the audiences' screens and nothing else can
be seen. No chance for eye contact, facial expressions or other visual
cues. I think this may even have a long term effect on how presentations
are done, we've barely started down this path.

>    1.
> *Only pictures and punchlines *
>    2.
> *6 words or LESS *
This kind of presentation is great, punchy and engaging. Usually there is
no corporate slide template and the text is light text on black background
to maximize impact. Best examples of these that I've seen have been at TED
talks. When it works it's GREAT but, Jonathan, frankly I don't think
everyone can pull it off. It requires showmanship and a sense of timing and
not every presenter does that easily. Plus, not every presentation lends
itself well to this style (think ICANN WG updates!) And when this style is
tried and fails, it fails BADLY for both presenter and audience.

>    1.
> *Rehearse It’s the only way you’ll ever know how long your presentation is
>    becoming or whether you’re going to stumble over a particular phrase or
>    simply be at a loss for words. You can use the “Rehearse Timing,” feature
>    under the Slide Show  menu.*
Oh heavens yes. Can't ask for this enough.

- Evan
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