Creating effective presentations

I’m working on a presentation on creating presentations.


What other advice would you offer?

Note: Open the speaker notes to view the image credits.



  • This stuff is old but good: Merlin Mann on how he made his presentations a little better. ( Advice I’ve always given to students and taken on board myself is that *you* are your presentation. No matter what tech or visual aids you have to accompany you, if the electricity goes out and you can’t carry on, then you are not prepared or passionate enough about your topic in the first place.

    Other things to take into account from a ‘tech guy’ perspective (and experience):
    – Get in touch with the AV person where you’ll be presenting at the earliest possibility. Find out what resolution their projectors display at and make sure that your presentation meets that requirement. Too much text (a big “no-no” anyway) on a high-res screen and no-one can read it. Text too big on a low-res screen can be intimidating and often run off the page.

    – Don’t rely on online capabilities. If you’re using video/audio within your presentation, make darn sure it’s either embedded in your presentation or saved on your thumb drive.

    – Invest in your own remote presentation clicker if this is something you do often.

    – For Pete’s sake, know how your computer works, and how Powerpoint works enough to competently run your presentation in case a tech person isn’t available. It’s not their job to click ‘next’ for you. You can be the most erudite person in the world, but lose all credibility it you can’t run your own slideshow.

    – Tell a story (as you said). There’s no better way to engage an audience than with a narrative they can connect to.

  • David Wees wrote:

    Merlin Mann’s advice is really good. He talks more about the whole presentation itself, rather than just the slides, so I can see how I can include some of the ideas in my meta-presentation. Your technical expertise is also really valuable. I think a slide like ‘Be prepared" is a really important addition.

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