How to Give a TED Worthy Presentation


Published on

We are living in a world where Steve Jobs was a modern-day hero, Al Gore won an Oscar for his Inconvenient Truth presentation and the TED conference is the place everyone wants to be each year. Thanks to this leadership style, the bar for presentations that convey world changing ideas is set incredibly high. This class is designed to help you clear that high bar with confidence, grace and skill.

Creating meaningful presentations can be tricky, time consuming and nerve wracking, but by focusing on the key elements in this class, you too can give a TED worthy presentation.

This class is designed to cover the following topics:

Audience: understanding your audience
Stickiness: creating unique messaging that sticks
Authenticity: remaining authentic so your audience trusts you
Tools: using the right tools - both offline and online
Deck: 3 steps to building your presentation - preparation, design, delivery
Follow up: sending the right materials as a follow up (and it's not just your noteless deck!)

By the end of the class, you will have everything you need to create a strong presentation that is simple, easy to understand, exciting and visually stimulating.

Brooke spoke at TEDxBKK, was a speaker coach for TEDxPhnom Penh, TEDxMission, and is the Director of Communications for an NGO that was the result of a TED prize - hence the name InSTEDD. Before InSTEDD, Brooke worked on Public Relations at Kiva, Social Innovation Design at Lovely Day, Business Development at All Day Buffet, & Project Coordination at Change Fusion Bangkok. Brooke is a frequent public speaker and has spoken at events in Thailand, Nepal, Europe and the US, including Stanford, Berkeley and Northwestern.

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • \n
  • Something is happening below our radar. It’s slowly killing our loved ones. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers.... no one is safe from this silent killer. \n
  • It creeps up slowly and unexpectedly. Over years and years it eats away at your life. Minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, days turn into months and before you know it, decades of your life have been shaved away by this horrific disease...\n
  • Ethnicity, \n
  • Ethnicity, Gender\n
  • Ethnicity, Gender, Age, \n
  • Ethnicity, Gender, Age, and Geography make no difference at all. Everyone of us, and our families and friends, are vulnerable. \n
  • I’m taking about the deadly Presentation-itis!\n
  • aka “Death by Powerpoint”\n
  • It’s a global threat that every single one of us is exposed to. \n
  • In order to stand a chance at combating Presentationitis, we must come together to fight back against this growing phenomenon. The best strategy moving forward to understand the anatomy of a presentation and to develop a clear strategy moving forward.\n
  • We all know this intuitively, but the “facts” speak for themselves - 95% of presentations are awful! \n
  • We all know this intuitively, but the “facts” speak for themselves - 95% of presentations are awful! \n
  • Well, partly because we have no attention spans. Our ability to focus is for extended periods of time is nearly non-existent, so don’t expect your audience to be with you every step of the way by default. You have to engage them! Within today’s context, presentations need to be even more gripping and engaging than ever before. \n
  • What we’re used to seeing is very long, boring, visually uninteresting, text heavy slides build by presenters who have no consideration for the audiences.\n
  • The Bad: A Slideument.Document + Slide = Slideument \nSlideument is a sure sign that Presentationitis is spreading...\n
  • \n
  • What we want to see is something that we can easily absorb, share with our networks, and have a personal connection.\n
  • Each of these slides are clear, engaging, meaningful and illustrative of the point that is being made. Each of these slides can be processed in a matter of seconds and act as a visual aid (not a replacement) for the speaker.\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • As you prepare your presentation, exercise restraint and keep these three words in mind always - simplicity, clarity and brevity.\n
  • \n
  •\nIt's not about technology, it's about the experience\n
  • There are 3 separate but equal part that need to be considered in order to make it to the top 1% of presentations that are really worth sitting through. \n
  • First, start with a beginner’s mind. What do you want to say? What’s the best way to say it?\n
  • Preparing your presentation will take place in 3 parts: Brainstorming, Constructing the Core and creating the storyboard.\n
  • The fun part! This is where you’ll be tossing around ideas, playing with concepts and letting your mind wander. \n
  • Now what I’m about to say may not be intuitive for so many of us who have lived and worked in this digital age, but it’s extremely important.\n
  • STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Yes, you heard me correctly. At the early brainstorming stage, your computer will only hurt you. You need to strip down to the basics, so grab your pencil and paper and use your hands - not your fingers! Pen, whiteboard, crayons, whatever you want to use to dump the thoughts in your head, use it. Get it all out.\n
  • Before you start anything, you need to make sure you have the proper frame.\n
  • Time Frame: how much time do I have? What time of the day will it be?\nVenue: what’s the venue like? \nAudience: who is my audience? what is their background? what visual medium is most appropriate for this situation?\nExpectations: what do they expect of me? why was i asked to speak in the first place?\nDesires: what do I desire my audience to understand and do?\nFundamental Purpose: what is the fundamental purpose of my talk?\n
  • Using the materials you have - pencil, paper, pens, stickies, notebooks, etc - play around and start organizing your thoughts into categories that will later turn into slides.\n
  • This was my brainstorm paper for a presentation I gave about Kiva at an elementary school in Berkeley. I decided Part 1 would be a series of images that I would flash on screen and have the students guess who/what/where the images were from. Once I explained these images as concepts, I moved on to Part 2 where I told a story connecting them all. Then once they understood the concepts and I explained through storytelling the concept of microfinance and how Kiva fit into it, I brought it back to a clear Part 3 where I explained “How this applies to you”. I finished up with a tangible call to action with suggestions for how to raise $ at school to fund entrepreneurs on Kiva.\n
  • This was another form of brainstorming that I did for a presentation on the opportunities that mobile communications technologies held to improve the global HIV/AIDS treatment cascade. The green cards represent my section headers. Each of these section headers directly supports my fundamental purpose of the talk, which was to express the incredible opportunity we have to use the mobile phone as a powerful tool that allows us to share information to strengthen health systems. \n\nThe pink cards represent my slides that will go under that category. Instead of drawing sketches, I used a line on the post-it where I wrote out the visual (i.e. “treatment cascade graph”) that supports that idea. \n\nI was able to move the pink cards around and get rid of the excess ones as I ‘trimmed the fat’ off my presentation.\n
  • \n
  • This is the most important part of the planning phase. You need to be VERY clear on what your core message is so that the rest of the work can be done to support that core. The core is the foundation on which all other materials will stand upon- so make it strong!\n
  • \n
  • These are the two most important things to ask yourself. If you can answer this clearly, then you’re ready to move on to the next phase. If you’re struggling to answer these, then you need to continue brainstorming with these focus questions in mind. Also keep in mind that you’re trying to sell an audience on an idea.... so make sure you’re clear on why it matters TO THEM!\n
  • If you’re lucky, the audience will remember one thing from your presentation... what do you want that one thing to be? Be VERY clear and make it very simple to remember.\n
  • Here is another example of a brainstorming paper where everything is supportive of the core central idea.\n
  • Think of the elevator pitch - if you only had 30 seconds to give your presentation, what would you include? In an elevator pitch, you only include the most essential elements. Keep this in mind when you’re crafting your outline.\n
  • \n
  • This is when you start to piece together what you’ve been brainstorming into a more linear format. You want to organize your thoughts in a storyboard, frame by frame. Fit what you can fit in these boxes. That’s all you’re going to use in your presentation. Play around, reorganize, and experiment until the flow of the presentation starts to feel right to you. And make sure to keep your audience in mind! \n
  • You don’t need heavy visuals or strong illustration skills for this part. All you need to do is start thinking of a visual that will represent the concept you will be speaking about in the slide.\n
  • Once I was confident that I had the presentation content and flow sorted, I moved the post-it notes next to my computer. From there, I started to build my deck. Once I had a slide done, I folded over the post it note so that I could see where I was at in the grand scheme of my presentation. Only 4 more slides to go....!!\n
  • Test your ideas out with other people to get a read on what your audience’s response will likely be. Don’t practice your presentation in total isolation.\n
  • Keep presentations simple by reducing the non-essentials. Also, pursue grace, elegance and subtlety.\nThe following is a list of principles and techniques that can be applied for these purposes:\nSignal-to-Noise Ratio: A higher ratio means communicating clearly with as little degradation to the message as possible. Degradation can occur when we use inappropriate charts, ambiguous labels and icons, emphasize items such as lines, shapes and symbols that do not play a key role in supporting the message.\nPicture Superiority Effect: Use images! And be thoughtful that those images are of good quality and related to the core message.\nEmpty Space: Do not feel the urge to fill empty spaces in a slide. Empty space implies elegance and clarity, and it can convey a feeling of high quality, sophistication, and importance.\nThe big four: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. These principles speak for themselves and are very effective in the design step.\n\n
  • A more detailed version can be found here:\n
  • Empty Space: Do not feel the urge to fill empty spaces in a slide. Empty space implies elegance and clarity, and it can convey a feeling of high quality, sophistication, and importance.Empty space is not nothing; it is a powerful something. Learn to see and manipulate empty space to give your slide designs greater organization, clarity, and interest. \n\n\n
  • Contrast: Contrast refers to any difference of size, shape, or color used to distinguish text (or other elements, though here we’re focusing on text) from other pieces of text. The use of bold or italics is one common form of contrast — the difference in shape makes the bolded or italicized text stand out from the surrounding text. Increasing the size of headers and titles, or using ALL CAPS or smallcaps are other ways of distinguishing text. These techniques only work if used sparingly; a document typed in all capital letters has less contrast than one typed normally, so is harder, not easier, to read.\n\nContrast simply means difference. And for whatever reason—perhaps our brains think they are still back in the savannah scanning for wild predators—we are all wired to notice differences. We are not conscious of it, but we are scanning and looking for similarities and differences all the time. Contrast is what we notice, and it’s what gives a design its energy. So you should make elements that are not the same clearly different, not just slightly different. Contrast is one of the most powerful design concepts of them all because really any design element can be contrasted with another. You can achieve contrast in many ways—for example, through the manipulation of space (near and far, empty and filled), through color choices (dark and light, cool and warm), by text selection (serif and sans serif, bold and narrow), by positioning of elements (top and bottom, isolated and grouped), and so on. Making use of contrast can help you create a design in which one item is clearly dominant. This helps the viewer “get” the point of your design quickly. Every good design has a strong and clear focal point and having a clear contrast among elements (with one being clearly dominant) helps. If all items in a design are of equal or similar weight with weak contrast and with nothing being clearly dominant, it is difficult for the viewer to know where to begin. Designs with strong contrast attract interest, and help the viewer make sense of the visual. Weak contrast is not only boring, but it can be confusing. Every single element of a design such as line, shape, color, texture, size, space, type, and so on can be manipulated to create contrast. \n
  • Repetition: Repetition in your text is bad; repetition of your design elements is not only good but necessary. Once you’ve decided on a size and typeface for second-level headers, for instance, all second-level headers should look the same. For most documents, two or maybe three fonts — leaning heavily on one for all the body text, with the other two for headers and maybe sidebars — are enough. The same bullets should be used on every bulleted list. Information that appears on every page should appear in the same place on every page. Design elements — like horizontal rules between sections or corporate logos — should appear the same whenever they are used throughout the document. Repetition of design elements pulls the document together into a cohesive whole, and also improves readability as the reader comes to expect text that looks a certain way to indicate certain qualities (e.g. the start of a new section, a major point, or a piece of code.\n\nThe principle of repetition simply means the reusing of the same or similar elements throughout your design. Repetition of certain design elements in a slide or among a deck of slides will bring a clear sense of unity, consistency, and cohesiveness. Where contrast is about showing differences, repetition is about subtly using elements to make sure the design is viewed as being part of a larger whole. If you use a stock template from your software application, then repetition is already built into your slides. For example, a consistent background and consistent use of type adds unity across a deck of slides. However, you must be careful not to have too much repetition among your slides. Most of the built-in templates have been seen many times before and may not suit your unique situation. Many of the standard templates also have background elements that will soon become tiring, rather than generating interest the tenth time a different slide is shown but with the same repetitive element.\n\n\n
  • Alignment: Alignment is crucial not just to the cohesive appearance of your document but to the creation of contrast for elements like bulleted lists or double-indented long quotes. Your document should have a couple of vertical baselines and all text should be aligned to one of them. Unaligned text floats mysteriously, forcing the reader to figure out its relation to the rest of the document. Centered text is particularly bad (and is a novice’s favorite design trick). One immediate step you can take to vastly improve the appearance of your documents is to remove the “center” button from your software’s toolbar (or, less drastically, just ignore it). It is rarely self-evident what centering is meant to communicate, and too much centered text creates a sloppy, undisciplined look.\n\n\nThe whole point of the alignment principle is that nothing in your slide design should look as if it were placed there randomly. Every element is connected visually via an invisible line. Where repetition is more concerned with elements across a deck of slides, alignment is about obtaining unity among elements of a single slide. Even elements that are quite far apart on a slide should have a visual connection, something that is easier to achieve with the use of grids. When you place elements on a slide, try to align them with another element. Many people fail to make an effort to apply the alignment principle, which often results in elements being almost aligned but not quite. This may not seem like a big deal, but these kinds of slides look less sophisticated and overall less professional. The audience may not be conscious of it, but slides that contain elements in alignment look cleaner. And assuming other principles are applied harmoniously as well, your slides should be easier to understand quickly.\n
  • Proximity: Pieces of information that are meant to complement each other should be near each other. One great offender here is business cards and ads in local newspapers, where the name, address, and phone number are all scattered around the ad or card (for example, in the corners). Your reader shouldn’t have to seek out the next logical piece of information; rather, use proximity to make sure that the next piece of information a reader sees is the next piece of information they should see.\n\nThe principle of proximity is about moving things closer or farther apart to achieve a more organized look. The principle says that related items should be grouped together so that they will be viewed as a group, rather than as several unrelated elements. Audiences will assume that items that are not near each \nother in a design are not closely related. Audiences will naturally tend to group similar items that are near to each other into a single unit. People should never have to “work” at trying to figure out which caption goes with which graphic or whether or not a line of text is a subtitle or a line of text unrelated to the title. Do not make audiences think. That is, do not make them “think” about the wrong stuff, like trying to decipher your slide’s organization and design priority. A slide is not a page in a book or magazine, so you are not going to have more than a few elements or groups of elements. Robin Williams, in her best-selling book The Non-Designer’s Design Book (Peachpit Press) says that we must be conscious of where our eye goes first when we step back and look at our design. When you look at your slide, notice where your eye is drawn first, second, and so on. What path does your eye take?\n
  • Empty Space: Do not feel the urge to fill empty spaces in a slide. Empty space implies elegance and clarity, and it can convey a feeling of high quality, sophistication, and importance.\nProximity: The principle of proximity is about moving things closer or farther apart to achieve a more organized look.\nContrast: You should make elements that are not the same clearly different, not just slightly different. Contrast is one of the most powerful design concepts of them all because really any design element can be contrasted with another. \n\n
  • People remember visuals better than bullet points. Always ask yourself how you can use a strong visual—including quantitative displays—to enhance your narrative.\n\nThe more strikingly visual your presentation is, the more people will remember it. And more importantly, they will remember you.\n
  • Paul Arden (7 April 1940 – 2 April 2008) was an influential author of several books on advertising and motivation including "Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite" and "It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be" and a former creative director for Saatchi and Saatchi at the height of their advertising might.\n
  • Here are some samples of simple slides in which elements were arranged with the help of the “rule of thirds” grid (you can easily create your own using the guides in Keynote or PowerPoint). The rule of thirds is not a rule at all, it is only a guideline. But it is a very useful guideline to use when you are aiming to achieve \na balanced look. \n\nYou’ll also notice that the images themselves have pretty good “rule of third” proportions. The iStockphoto images were chosen in part based on the photo’s proportions and how the image guided the eye and contained empty space for text or other design elements. (Images used for the slides on this page are from \\n
  • People came to see one thing: You. If the presentation can stand on its own, why are you there? Designing your words and actions to supplement the deck are just as if not more important than the slides you just created.\n
  • Bill Gates is not known for his exceptional presentation skills. In fact, did you even see him there or were you too distracted by his jam packed, chaotic, hard-to-understand-what-it’s-about slide deck behind him? Pay special attention to Bill’s body language. He’s stiff, with his arms close to his body and he doesn’t move around the stage at all. He appears to be geeking out in his own world, rather than engaging people around the transformational potential of a new piece of technology. Beyond his body language, look at his choice of images. He uses a combination of corny stock photos (top right slide) with clip art type graphics and stick figures with a gradient. The slides feel cold and unappealing and confusing. Now, look at how much text he has on the slides! There is so much going on here that that audience can’t possibly interpret the slide while listening to Bill speak. The text also has a gradient in the titles, which is often unappealing, but beyond that, there is so much text in the slide that it’s incredibly distracting. He also uses a wide variety of colors. These slides are all pulled from the same presentation, yet there is very little continuity of the slides. He has a wide variety of colors that are competing with each other so you don’t know what you should be focusing in on for each slide. There are different font sizes, font types, and it fills up every bit of space in the slide. There is no negative empty space. There is no elegance, only complexity. This is the slide equivalent to a hoarder. \n
  • Now look at this guy - Mr. Steve Jobs. He is arguably one of the most charismatic and captivating speakers of our time. He takes something equally as complex as what Bill Gates was describing and simplifies it by using the slides behind him as a visual aid, instead of a distracting crutch. He moves around the stage and keeps his body open. His choice of images supports what he is saying. He removes all the bells and whistles from his deck and keeps it simple by using a common text color and font type to enhance the brand he is selling. The colors that he chose are soothing and calming, rather than chaotic and distracting. And Steve makes the complex simple by using little to no text which allows the audience to focus on the speaker while having his words enhanced by the images he chose. \n\nThe most important thing to remember here is that if your presentation can stand alone, meaning it has everything you want to say written there on the slide, then it’s not necessary for you to be there. If you’re there speaking, then take advantage of the opportunity to take your audience on a journey with you and let your slides be a guide that supports you, not distracts or cripples you!\n\n\n
  • It’s the Darth Vader versus Yoda approach.... who would you rather be?!\n
  • It’s about conveying a message and adding emphasis to your point. It’s not as simple as adding images in or a more colorful splash, as shown here. It’s not as simple as “add an image and you’re good to go”. Not at all! It’s about making your slide as clear and simple as possible so that your point is clear and intuitive. \n
  • It’s about conveying a message and adding emphasis to your point. It’s not as simple as adding images in or a more colorful splash, as shown here.\n
  • These are three separate things, and you can’t smash them together without making a mess. Utilize all three. Your slides will be for your actual presentation, the slides with notes can be what you send out to people (if they request it) after your presentation and a handout can be given out in person after your presentation if people request additional information. \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • Great presentations just don't contain great stories or anecdotes — the entire presentation is one grand story.\n\nStorytelling is the way we have communicated since our earliest ancestors gathered around a campfire. The stories and anecdotes we share with one another are the way we let each other know who we are, what we care about, where we come from, where we are going and, most importantly, what we care about.\n\nStories are how we connect on the most fundamental, human level. Stories are the best way to embody share and remember knowledge. Before the advent of the written word were the only way of communicating history.\n\nNancy Duarte of Duarte Designs has a great TED talk about this that I highly encourage all of you to watch:\n\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • How to Give a TED Worthy Presentation

    3. 3. Presentationitis
    4. 4. Death by Powerpoint!
    5. 5. Global Pandemic HUNDREDS DEAD - POWERPOINT TRAGEDYBad presentations claim the lives of thousands around the world.
    6. 6. PresentationDesign & Delivery
    7. 7. 95% 95% Totally sucks 5 %of presentations 9 SUCK! 4% 1% Really great! 4% Doesn’t suck
    8. 8. 95% 95% Very Bad 5 %of presentations 9 WHY? are BAD! 4% 1% Good 4% Not so bad
    9. 9. What we see: Long Boring Bad Slides Text, Text, Text
    10. 10. LOOK FAMILIAR?
    11. 11. What we want to see: Short Simple Understandable Exciting Relatable
    12. 12. HOW CAN WE IMPROVE?
    13. 13. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. - Leonardo da Vinci
    14. 14. simplicity clarity brevity
    15. 15. It’s taken me all mylife to learn whatnot to play. - Dizzy Gillespie
    16. 16. “Focus is aboutsaying  no.” - Steve Jobs
    17. 17. preparation design deliver y
    18. 18. preparation
    19. 19. preparation BrainstormConstruct the Core Storyboard
    20. 20. preparation BrainstormConstruct the Core Storyboard
    21. 21. preparation: brainstorm
    22. 22. preparation: brainstorm
    23. 23. preparation: brainstorm Ask the right questions
    24. 24. preparation: brainstorm Time Frame Venue Audience Expectations Desires Fundamental Purpose
    25. 25. preparation: brainstorm Explore Ideas Make Lists Sketch Ideas Play Around Be Creative!
    26. 26. preparation: brainstorm Explore Ideas Make Lists Sketch Ideas Play Around Be Creative!
    27. 27. preparation: brainstorm Explore Ideas Make Lists Sketch Ideas Play Around Be Creative!
    28. 28. preparation BrainstormConstruct the Core Storyboard
    29. 29. preparation: construct the core
    30. 30. preparation: construct the core What is your core idea?
    31. 31. preparation: construct the core What is your core idea? Why does it matter?
    32. 32. preparation: construct the core If the audience remembers only 1 thing, what do you want it to be?
    33. 33. preparation: construct the core
    34. 34. Elevator Pitch
    35. 35. preparation BrainstormConstruct the Core Storyboard
    36. 36. preparation: stor yboard
    37. 37. preparation: stor yboard Generate Ideas Think of Images Text & Images Use Empty Spaces Grid
    38. 38. preparation: stor yboard
    39. 39. design
    40. 40. Empty Space ContrastRepetition Alignment P rox i m i t y
    41. 41. Empty Space ContrastRepetition Alignment P rox i m i t y
    42. 42. Empty Space ContrastRepetition Alignment P rox i m i t y
    43. 43. Empty Space ContrastRepetition Alignment P rox i m i t y
    44. 44. Empty Space ContrastRepetition Alignment P rox i m i t y
    45. 45. Empty Space ContrastRepetition Alignment P rox i m i t y
    46. 46. Make it visual
    47. 47. The more strikingly visual yourpresentation is, the more people will remember it. And more importantly, they will remember you. - Paul Arden, Creative Director at Saatchi and Saatchi
    48. 48. Rule ofThirds
    49. 49. presentation
    52. 52. Before After
    53. 53. Before After
    54. 54. Slides are slides. Notes are notes. Documents are documents. They are not the same thing.
    55. 55. SlideumentSlides are slides. Notes are notes. Documents are documents. They are not the same thing.
    56. 56. preparation designpresentation
    57. 57. For more information: