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  • 1. Bringing Down the House:Creating Sensational Knock-Your- Socks Off Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message with Power and Pizzazz By Ian Jukes The InfoSavvy Group ijukes@mindspring.com http://www.infosavvygroup.com This handout was updated May, 2005 Copyright, 2005, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 2. Table of ContentsPart I10 things to do before using presentation software .................................... 4 1. Start with the end in mind.............................................................................................................................4 2. Research, research, research ......................................................................................................................5 3. Create an outline...............................................................................................................................................5 4. Build your first draft......................................................................................................................................5 5. Choose a structure...........................................................................................................................................5 6. Use narrative .....................................................................................................................................................5 7. Develop an effective opening........................................................................................................................5 8. Craft the body of your message..................................................................................................................6 9. Organize the flow of your presentation ...................................................................................................6 10. Build in repetition ...........................................................................................................................................6Example of a basic outline for a presentation .......................................... 7Writing for the ear ....................................................................... 8Novelty bumps ............................................................................. 8Part II10 guiding principles for using presentation software .................................. 9 1. Be consistent ......................................................................................................................................................9 2. Check out PowerPoint AutoContent Wizards...........................................................................................9 3. Use text effectively .......................................................................................................................................9 4. Use special effects sparingly ..................................................................................................................... 14 5. Streamline your materials ........................................................................................................................... 15 6. Chop, chop, chop.............................................................................................................................................. 15 7. Create templates ............................................................................................................................................ 15 8. Break down your message into bit-sized pieces ................................................................................... 16 9. Cutting down to bare bones......................................................................................................................... 16 10. Edit, edit, edit ............................................................................................................................................... 16Part IIITop 10 principles of graphical design using PowerPoint ................................17 1. The power of the human eye ....................................................................................................................... 17 2. Only add images that reinforce or extend your text/message....................................................... 17 3. Things to remember when using images .................................................................................................. 17 4. Charts & graphs .............................................................................................................................................. 17 5. Technical quality ............................................................................................................................................. 17 6. Apparent motion ............................................................................................................................................. 17 7. The impact of color on the audience ........................................................................................................ 17 8. Contrast............................................................................................................................................................. 19 9,Balance ............................................................................................................................................................... 20 10. Overall design ............................................................................... 20Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 2 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 3. Part IVTop 10 secrets of a successful workshop (by Doug Johnson) ......................... 211. Know your role ......................................................................................................................................................... 212. Limit your topic...................................................................................................................................................... 223. Be organized and communicate that organization ...................................................................................... 224. Set out a problem or possibility then offer a solution or opportunity ................................................ 235. Be conversational and have fun ........................................................................................................................ 236. Good handouts and slides that compliment rather than duplicate........................................................ 247. Less talk, more action.......................................................................................................................................... 248. Give a chance to practice, apply, and reflect............................................................................................... 259. End with a summary, on an upbeat note, and on time ................................................................................ 2710. I’m letting you out early. See above ............................................................................................................. 27From the experts....................................................................................................................................................... 27Part VBits & Pieces on delivering a presentation ..............................................291. Tactics to bring your talk to life...................................................................................................................... 302. What to do to calm down.................................................................................................................................... 303. Why be nervous? You’re the expert! ............................................................................................................... 314. How to lower the pressure.................................................................................................................................. 315. Understanding your audience?........................................................................................................................... 316. Room, equipment, time, & other important considerations....................................................................... 317. Using humor ............................................................................................................................................................. 318. Using quotations .................................................................................................................................................... 329. Survival strategies for your Q & A................................................................................................................. 3310. Speaking tips ........................................................................................................................................................ 3411. Rehearsing your speech ..................................................................................................................................... 3512. Appearance............................................................................................................................................................ 3613. Tips on what you can do just before you start speaking ........................................................................ 3614. Body language, personal style, & dress......................................................................................................... 3815. Know thy audience............................................................................................................................................... 3916. Refreshments, food, & other consideration about where you’ll be speaking .................................... 4117. Timing of visuals, where to stand, & rating yourself ................................................................................ 4118. Projection units.................................................................................................................................................... 4219. Remote controls................................................................................................................................................... 4320. Our setup .............................................................................................................................................................. 43Part VReferences & Links for Creating Knock Your Socks Off Presentations ...............45Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 3 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 4. Creating Knock Your-Socks-Off PresentationsThink back on an unforgettably GREAT presentation experienceThink back on an unforgettably HORRIBLE presentation experienceThere are no set rules, just guidelinesThere are not set rules to making sensational presentations, only guiding principles. It’s best tolearn these principles well & not to stray too far from them until you’ve mastered them.PART I10 things to do before using your presentation software, e.g. PowerPoint 1. Start with the end in mind & develop a mission statement Before you even turn on your computer, think through the entire presentation. Start planning your presentation with the end in mind. Ask yourself what you want the audience to walk away from the presentation with? What skills, knowledge, attitudes, content or understanding must they take away? Repeat this at each stage of your preparation. Think of a single-theme mission statement – one sentence - that can guide how to organize the presentation & weed out anything that’s irrelevant. Sometimes nervousness makes us talk too much or have too much data, charts, graphs, anecdotes, references, & statistics. Just as a ship can lose it’s way by not plotting its course, so can a speaker by covering too much in a presentation. Remember that every point you make – fact, joke, graph, image – everything you use in your talk, should help you accomplish your mission. If not, delete it. Examples of mission statements Your mission statement should sum up the one thing your audience should take away with them. Start with an action verb and build your mission around it, e.g. • Mobilize against construction of a waste treatment facility in our county • Understand the history of public finance • Appreciate the cultural contributions of African Americans • Purchase at least 200 high-speed collating units • Praise their children at least once a day • Choose my travel agency for their business and personal needs • Rally around the targets our company has set for the year realize that excellent customer relations will improve our bottom line • Seek professional tax-planning adviceCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 4 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 5. 2. Research, research, research Conduct thorough research to obtain the right information & resources Keep an active file for text & images. There are many sources of information such as: • books (& their bibliographies) • management reports, government papers, and professional journals • newspapers, magazines • friends, family and other personal contacts • the Internet – although there are many sites, e.g. Google (www.google.com) 3. Create an outline Use a word processor to prepare an outline of the material you want to present. 4. Build your first draft Compose your first draft without stopping & include everything you want to say. Remember written material sounds different when it’s spoken than written material so make sure your presentation follows your natural speech patterns. 5. Choose a structure There are several ways to present your main points including: • introduce them separately, either one after the other in order of importance, or chronologically, or in any other sequence that makes sense; • if you want one particular point to give the strongest impression, present it first, then follow it with supporting points (or any other points you are making); • or you can interweave your points to highlight their equal significance; • the most common structure is to overlap the main points that are being made so an idea can be left open & referred back to in response to subsequent ideas in a presentation. 6. Use narrative Narrative provides a distinct beginning, middle and end, which is most commonly used in storytelling. The beginning or introduction sets up the audience. The middle contains the central themes & ideas. Your middle should consist of 3 - 5 points distilled from your ideas, research, & personal experience. The end is formed by your conclusion(s) that supports your main themes & recommendations that are aligned to your mission statement or what you want them to leave the presentation with. Give clear signals at the beginning & end of each stage of the presentation. 7. Develop an effective opening Making a good impression at the beginning of your presentation requires you to be well prepared, confident, & clear. Write out your first sentence (or two) to gain momentum so you can focus on making a good impression. An effective opening provides the audience with a brief outline of your main points. Anecdotes & self-deprecating humor break the ice & draw the audience into yourCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 5 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 6. presentation. The audience is not at its most alert at the very beginning, so save your strongest points for a few minutes into the presentation. 8. Craft the body of your message This is more than just your main points. This is where the rubber hits the road. You’ll distil 3-5 critical points from your research to make the foundation of your presentation. How they’re delivered makes all the difference between success & failure. 9. Organize the flow Plan a logical flow of ideas & themes to help the audience follow your presentation easily. Introduce new subjects by making clear links between old & new ideas. Listen to professional speakers on radio & television & note techniques they use to link together the points or themes of their speeches; sum up each point before introducing a new one. Choose the pattern that best fits your talk. The crux of your presentation will be the 2 - 5 key points you want to make, which you can organize in several ways: • chronologically – explaining how something happened; • spatially – for giving directions; • causally – explaining cause, effect • problem/solution – describing a problem followed by a solution to encourage action; • topically –for open-ended topics. 10. Build in repetition Recapping information during your presentation is an effective way of reinforcing the main points of your argument. Build some repetition into the presentation’s framework at the end of each main point & the conclusion. However, simply repeating the information you’ve already delivered in the main body of your presentation isn’t enough. Use different wording to keep the ideas sounding fresh, yet familiar. And finally, end memorably. Structuring a strong ending is as important as planning a good start in a presentation. Signal your audience that your are coming to the end by saying something like “for my final point…” or “in conclusion….”Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 6 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 7. Example of a basic outline for a presentationOpenerDevote ~ 10% of your speaking time to your opening remarks. This is where you grab youraudiences attention, convey a sense of trust, & prepare them for where you want to take themduring your talk. Include a quote, anecdote, humor, or analogy. Think of the opener as the small talkwe all engage in when we first meet someone.TransitionUse 1 or 2 sentences that move from opening pleasantries into your mission statement.Mission statement (theme)Tell the audience the mission, or purpose of your talk. Make sure they understand what you wantthem to be able to do, learn, or know by the end of the talk.TransitionUse 1 to 2 sentences that let you gracefully launch into the body of your speech.BodyDevote ~ 75% of your time to the body of your talk. Organize your information in no more than 5key points. Important tip: Don’t present key points in a journalistic style, that is, from mostimportant to least important, or youll lose your audience because of predictability. Instead,sandwich your less important points between the two most key points.Wrap-upSpend ~ 15% of your talk time on your closing. Restate your mission statement & sum up how yourkey points support what you want the audience to leave with - changing an opinion, learning a newdatabase, purchasing a new mainframe etc., & finish up with a powerful idea that captures theessence of your talk.Q & AIf your presentation took 30 minutes & covered a great deal of ground, then leave approximately 10minutes for questions & answers. Dont just abruptly end your presentation with Q & A. Also, onceyouve signaled an end to the questions, finish off by thanking your audience for their time & give athought-provoking restatement of your ending.You can also visit http://www.the-eggman.com/writings/keystep1.html to get moreinformation on the key steps to making an effective visual presentationCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 7 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 8. Writing for the earThere’s a difference between writing and speaking. Are you trying to write a good report thatcovers all your points & reads well? Or are you trying to give a presentation that your audience willremember? The former requires writing for the eye, where your sentences can be as long & ascomplex as needed. The latter involves writing for the ear & requires a different style of writingi.e. short sentences, active verbs, simple (non-technical) vocabulary, & some memorable anecdotes.This is because your eye absorbs information much faster than your ear. Most people can read manymore words per minute than they can hear per minute. The reason is simple: When you read, you canread at your own pace, stop & reread if you want, even skip ahead if you wish. When you listen, youcan only listen to one word at a time, with each word spoken in order. Listeners have to pay veryclose attention, & that can be draining, which explains why most people tend to daydream when theylisten.Good speechwriters go out of their way to write for the ear. They keep their sentences short & tothe point. They use active verbs, colorful images, personal anecdotes, & useful analogies. Theypractice pausing between transitions to give the audience time to absorb what they have just heard.Novelty bumpsWhen first introduced to the bells & whistles of technology, people naturally wish to experimentwith all aspects of this new medium. They tend to get carried away with multiple fonts, colors, clipart images, sounds, transitions, & special effects. The audience isn’t fooled by all the impressive"bells and whistles" because technical flash is no substitute for substance. Remember thatPowerPoint & other software that you may use is just a vehicle or an amplifier. As Jason Ohlerexplains, an amplifier in the hands of a good guitarist, makes the music sound pretty wonderful, butin the hand of a bad guitarist, the music sounds AWFUL!Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 8 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 9. Part IITop 10 guiding principles for using presentation software 1. Be consistent Viewers unconsciously detect the slightest inconsistency in your presentation layout. Once you confuse the viewer, only the motivated remain & you’ll lose the rest. Ensure visual continuity so that your presentation doesn’t visually confuse your audience. Be consistent in the way you treat & use text & graphics. Differentiate between consistency & uniformity. Uniformity creates a predictable & monotonous visual effect. Good layouts however, create visual tension so attendees’ attention is maintained. 2. Check out PowerPoint AutoContent Wizards A freebie that comes with most presentation software is a series of pre-designed templates. In PowerPoint this is provided by Wizards (go to File, Project Gallery), which can guide you through creating different types of presentation complete with color suggestions & graphical elements. Figuring out the color combinations for electronic presentations is challenging. Auto-content wizards will take you step-by-step through the process & even help you decide what typefaces you can use, in what size, in what position, & with what background. Go through the template collections that are included with your software until you find one that has the right look & feel or simply design your own. Remember that what a template looks like on your computer is no guarantee of how it will look when projected on a screen. Before you get too committed to a new template, give it the acid (LCD) test. Also keep in mind that ready-made templates force you to fit your ideas into someone else’s pre- packaged design, which are sometimes designed by people who actually never present! The following URL will take you to a Web site with ready-made PowerPoint presentations for teachers that are made by teachers, but it does charge a minimal subscription fee: http://powerpointforteachers.com/index.html Use templates & auto-content or make your own. The biggest mistake a novice can make is to ignore the guides created by the templates & place text on each page willy-nilly, which inevitably leads to each slide being slightly different than the one before & the one after. This unconsciously jars the viewer & distracts from the presentation. Make sure that everything on your slide is aligned with some other item on the slide. Either line up right edges, left edges, tops, or bottoms of objects. Or you can create your own templates. Kodak provides many tips including how to make your own consistently formatted templates from a master slide at: http://www.Kodak.com/US/en/digital/av/presenters/how.shtml 3. Use text effectively A typeface is collection of characters, letters & symbols that have a unique design, e.g. Garamond, Times Roman, Arial, and so on. Simplistically, a font is the physical description ofCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 9 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 10. a character set or is a combination of typeface & other qualities, such as size, pitch, & spacing. For example, Times Roman is the typeface but there are many fonts that are based on Times Roman because it can be represented by many different sizes, italic, bold, & so on. Choosing the right typeface & font can add extra dimensions & power to your message. Because we process images thousands of times faster than text & much of our data is in multi-media, the role of text needs to be balanced with other forms of data. People express moods & emotions with facial expressions, tone of voice, & body position, either overtly or subtly. So do fonts. Fonts express moods & emotions as well, e.g. serious & business-like, relaxed & open; they can shout or give a message quietly. Use a font that reinforces rather than contradicts your message. A more formal font may have more impact during a formal presentation. For a casual situation use a gentle, easy on the eye font, e.g. Comic Sans . Ted McCain tells us to keep the following rules in mind: • for a whole presentation you can use up to 3 fonts & up to 4 sizes; • for a single page, you can use up to 2 fonts & up to 2 or 3 sizes; • never use anything smaller than size 18; How much text? Text should be limited to a general 6X6 rule: 6 words across or six bullets down. The words would be considered "markers" of key ideas to support the oral presentation of the message. You can also go to Presenters University at following Web page for some more tips: http://www.presentersuniversity.com/visuals_Basics.php Typefaces/fonts. Typefaces must align with the message. They should make words easy to read & provide a suitable tone & background. If a typeface calls undue attention to itself or is difficult to read, it becomes distracting. Number of typefaces. A plethora typefaces & styles are within easy reach of all users of all ages. Novices struggle with the misuse of so many choices, which creates a ransom note effect. A general guideline is to use no more than two fonts from the same typeface family. Typeface moods. Because they have a body language typefaces express moods. These can be academic, bossy, soothing, old, happy, humorous, formal, contemporary, futuristic etc. The point is that if decorative fonts are used, they should be congruent with the theme. Serif fonts. These typefaces have tiny horizontal or vertical lines added at the ends of longer line strokes. They are highly readable. Serifs unconsciously facilitate the ease of eye movement across each line of text, making them very useful for large paragraphs of text as well as headlines, ads, letterheads, etc. Sans-serif fonts. These fonts don’t use serifs or little lines at the ends of the line strokes. They are simple strokes of equal weight or thickness with a clean & smooth look. These fonts are highly noticeable & get a readers attention easily. But the lack of linesCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 10 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 11. tends to slow down the readers eye. Sans-serif fonts should be saved for headlines or titles & NOT large blocks of text. For more information you can go to the following Web site entitled Tips on Type: http://www.truedoc.com/webpages/getstart/type_tips.htm Capital letters. Limit use of capital letters. When we read, our eyes capture the shapes of whole words, including the extensions of letters above & below the normal letter size. However, when text is WRITTEN IN ALL CAPITALS, no ascenders or descenders are used. Because words using all capital letters have nearly the same visual shape, this slows down the reader. ALL CAPITALS are less readable than sentences with upper- & lowercase letters. Font size. Sizes are important. Titles & headlines should fit on one line - say 44 to 54 point. For screens, projected text the minimum is 18 point & for presentations, large clear fonts, generally a minimum of 24 to 32 point is good. The rule of thumb is to stand 10’ back from computer screen. What you can read is approximately what the audience will be able to read when the image is projected on screen based the room’s size. Font color. Clarity of communication can be enhanced by making a strong contrast in color between the text & the background, e.g. using light text on a dark background or vice-versa. Font weight. Typefaces that are too dark can blur the text. Typefaces that are too light make it hard to read. It’s better to err on the side of light fonts because they appear simpler & cleaner. Use shadows for titles but not body text. Underlining/Bold/Italics. Underlining is passé. Use italics for emphasis within text. Use italics sparingly but not for extended blocks of text because it bores/tires the eye. Bold is good for headlines as it makes them jump out to grab audience attention but for too strong for body text. Italics whisper while bold shouts. The following sites summarize many aspects of fonts: http://www.sheriftariq.org/design/fonts/index.html http://www.communicateusingtechnology.com/articles/select_and_use_fonts.htm Justification & readability. The alignment of type between margins is called text justification. There are 4 possibilities: left, right, full, & center justification Generally, text that is left justified more readable & less formal than fully justified text. This is because we read from left to right & our eyes look for an indicator that the line being read is coming to an end. Full justification makes this harder for the eye to determine. However, it all depends on your design & mission. For more discussion on this topic visit the following site:Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 11 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 12. http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/typelayout/a/justifyleft.htm For more information on the design elements for desktop publishing, which are applicable in many cases to visual presentations visit: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/designguidelines/ The visual center. The visual center of a page isn’t the same as the mathematical center of a page. Ancient Greeks spent time & effort to find out what proportions were the most pleasing to our eyes. They found that a ratio of 1.6 to 1 was overwhelmingly preferred over all others known now as the Golden Ratio or Golden Mean. Ted McCain explains this at: www.tcpd.org/McCain/Handouts/Multimedia.pdf The Rule of Thirds. The Golden Mean leads to another general layout principle known as the "rule of thirds." Placing a graphic or block of text at one or more of these four intersections is more effective & more aesthetically pleasing than placing the same item in the exact horizontal &/or vertical center of the slide. For the best effect, place text on the left side of the slide, & place images at the right side intersections. There are very many sites that explain the “rule of thirds” & the golden mean/visual center. Here are two online sites that you may want to visit: http://www.shutterfreaks.com/Tips/RuleOfThirds.html http://gonzo.concordia.ca/courses/202/class-notes/202-11.html The Z-Pattern. Western readers are conditioned to start at the top left - read across from left to right &then down with a return sweep to the right. The eyes either do a large, open Z-pattern or, if there’s a lot of text & graphics, the eyes will scan a tight Z-pattern several times down a page. Designers capitalize on this natural scanning pattern by arranging text & images to form a Z-pattern so the message is easily absorbed by the mind (McCain, 1992).Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 12 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 13. Title. Since we read from the top left corner to the bottom right corner following the Z- curve, make text easier to read by aligning your titles on the left rather than in the middle. You can read more about this here: http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/paulbroad/7compose.htm Line length & readability. Readers avoid work, especially tedious work, whenever possible. If attendees encounter text that either looks like too much work to read or text that strains the eye, human nature prompts them to move on, leaving the text unread. A major factor in making text look like less work (& more readable) is the font, the size of the font & the line length. Generally, text is placed in the left 2/3rds, & images are placed in the right third of the slide. Overhangs. Long lines of text are hard to read. If your point needs more than 3 words across, consider using a soft return (which continues the line without adding a new bullet) to avoid overhangs so that the words are more balanced. For example: The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain Using a soft return to make the text look like this: The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain White space. People new to electronic presentations tend to overfill the page with text & images because they feel that any portion of slide left empty is wasted space. Resist this temptation. White space is needed to provide the contrast that catches the reader’s eye. But white space is much more than just background. It lets the design breathe & allows important objects or words to stand out. Read more at: http://www.sheriftariq.org/design/whitespace/ Bullets. Bullets can be deadly, but if you have too much text, bullets & builds keep the audience awake. The rule of thumb is to use bullets or numbers to capture & hold the audience’s attention. Avoid cutesy bullets like smiley-faces, which distract from the message & dashes (-) that look unfinished. Our eyes gravitate to the graphical elements before we read text. Think of bullets & other visual elements as guideposts that make itCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 13 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 14. quicker & easier for the audience to navigate your message. Typically text after bullets is not capitalized because these are phrases not sentences. Colors for backgrounds & text. Color is probably the most critical consideration in designing a presentation. Which colors should you use for text & backgrounds? The most important criterion is legibility. Graphics & text need to contrast enough with the background that should be easily read. Although black ink on white paper is the most readable color combination in print format, on the projected screen, darker colors generally make better backgrounds. Light backgrounds can be glaring. Deep shades of blue & green are good for backgrounds because they are calming, cool and recede. The warm colors (yellow, orange and red) are better for the foreground text and graphical elements. We’ve have found yellow letters on blue background to be a compelling color combination because the contrast is excellent & legibility isn’t compromised. The following site summarizes color basics: http://www.sheriftariq.org/design/color/index.html Builds. Presenting all the text in one go makes the audience unconsciously read ahead, which can be overwhelming & cause you to lose them. Using builds is one way to “slow release” information in bits & keep the audience focused. Transitions & flow. Transitions are used to move from one screen to the next & to introduce text/graphic objects on the screens. Use a single consistent transition type use for flow and unity. Novice designers are tempted to use different transitions for each slide or object, perhaps even setting transitions to "random." Avoid jarring, annoying, or distracting readers by using too many transition effects. Transitions should support or contribute to context, e.g. moving from a general overview to a more specific analysis, a "zoom in" transition is effective; or moving from one distinct section of the presentation to the next, a "dissolve to black" transition helps viewers see a strong distinction between the two sections, just like the segues commonly used in movies from one scene to the next. Well-selected transitions that have purpose & alignment to the message & your presentation proceed smoothly. 3M’s online article on transitions is excellent & can be found at: http://www.3m.com/meetingnetwork/presentations/pmag_slideshowtransitions.html 4. Use special effects sparingly Special effects are seductive & fun. "Golly-Gee Whiz" elements may be fun but can get in the way of the message. Beware of all flash & no substance products! After the novelty bump has worn off, designers of information need to use special effects sparingly & only if they add substance rather than novelty to the presentation, e.g. waiting for the background animation to finish or the title text to rotate 3 times on a vertical axis before continuing has little effect; having each individual letter in a large text block "fly in" separately is also ineffective; a typewriter click is irritating. As with transitions, a single special effect should be used consistently throughout a presentation to contribute to the audiences senseCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 14 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 15. of familiarity & unity. 5. Streamline your material Once you’ve produced the first draft of your presentation, you should begin to pare down the material. Inevitably it will take you much longer to say what you would like to say than the time you would like to say it in. Read through the draft to ensure that you have prioritized the facts correctly & included all the essential information. Fill in your material with relevant, interesting examples to reinforce your main points. Break the material down into a series of bite-sized chunks (this will also make it easier to create an electronic presentation). Finally, use items of particular interest or appeal, which are not essential but will enhance audience enjoyment of your presentation, to add humor, currency, & topicality to your presentation. 6. Chop, chop, chop Before you ever start up your PowerPoint, attack jargon with a vengeance, chop that passive voice. Slash those empty clichés; unnecessary articles, & adjectives. Granted the slide doesn’t contain all the information the slide contained before you chopped it, but you, the presenter, will be there to fill in the important details. If the slides make you redundant, you might as well print them out & leave them on the back table. In some of our presentations at least 50% of slides have no words, just full screen relevant photographs. All of the words are in the handout or on the Web site. What are left on are the important parts of the presentation - personal stories, shared experiences, interaction & all of the emotion conveyed in images that capture the essence of what you’re communicating. 7. Create templates One of the most important elements of effective communications using electronic presentation tools is consistency. Inconsistent slides can be very distracting for the audience. Inevitably there are some differences between a title page, a content slide, & a transition slide but generally, all slides should have the same basic look & feel. This means that each slide of specific type (title, content, transition) should use the same fonts, in the same sizes, in the same colors & in the same locations on the slide. It’s an excellent idea to create templates for each of these types that you can copy & use again & again. To this end, at the end of each presentation we keep “extra” title, content, slides that can be used to create new slides quickly.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 15 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 16. 8. Break down your message into bit-sized pieces Essentially there should be no more than one or two ideas per slide. Don’t worry if there appears to be too much content on the page – you can take care of that later. Initially your slide might look like this: 9. Cut text down to bare bones Your text shouldn’t be projected verbatim on you slides. Carefully work through each point to cut down to a simple phrase to summarize the idea that’s being developed. Get rid of unnecessary words, such as “and” or “the.” Each word is a trigger for you to provide detail. The rule of thumb is typically 3 X 6 – no more than 3 words across & no more than 6 lines down. If you are not yet comfortable with the idea of ad-libbing, at a minimum, be sure to consider ways that you can say the same thing, using different words. 10. Edit, edit, edit Proofing is always a good idea especially when you’re putting your reputation on the line. It’s better to have someone else do it because by the time you get to this stage, you’ll be unable to detect your mistakes. A great techniques is to have prizes ready & reward people for having found the “intentional mistake(s)” during your presentation!.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 16 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 17. Part IIITop 10 principles of graphical design using PowerPoint1. The power of the human eye Your eyes are the gateway to your mind. Effective presentations are designed to stimulate the eyes so they’re naturally drawn to the visual component of your presentation. Pictorial information increases the speed & retention of your message. Pictures represent information in different ways than words & communicate ideas completely differently. Images convey emotions & facts simultaneously. The effect of an image is instantaneous & viewers respond without conscious thought. Images have now become an integral part of our communications; this has made visual literacy a critical aspect literacy in general. Humans process images much faster than text; similarly, photographs are processed much faster than clip art. Whenever possible, use photos rather than clip art. Generally, the rule is to have only one dominant image per slide, which either complements & extends your message. Wherever possible, replace bulleted text with full screen photos.2. Only add images that reinforce or extend your message/text It’s tempting to add images just for the sake of it. Images must be relevant to the message being conveyed. There is nothing more distracting than an inappropriate image or one from a different time period that your content. Whenever possible use photos rather than clip art. An almost inexhaustible supply of royalty free images on just about any subject is available from http://images.google.com. Although this is not a hard & fast rule, generally try to position your images on the right side of the slide, leaving lots of white space around the image; also adhere to the rule of thirds & place the image at one of the two right side intersections.3. Things to remember when using images Proportion. Try to place only one image on a page. There is no formula for determining the size of an image but the image shouldn’t overpower the message contained on the slide. Generally, the text should occupy the left half of the slide & the image the right half. Relevancy. Images can distract, match, or extend the meaning of your message. "A picture is worth a thousand words" only IF it’s clearly related to your topic! Tone/style/theme. Images convey powerful metaphors inside messages. Do the images have a consistent look & feel throughout that matches the messages overall theme? Different types of images create different styles or themes, e.g. an airplane in a nautical theme or using a black & white double-decker bus along with sleek new age photo car design is confusing.4. Charts & graphs Charts & graphs are excellent for communicating significant numbers & statistics to an audience. Charts need titles, clear labeling, & legends. Pie charts work well to show parts or percentages of a whole. However, best not to use any more than 8 slices in a pie chart. You can highlight a particular slice by making it darker or a brighter color than the others. BarCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 17 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 18. charts with more than 8 elements should be made horizontal or down in order to increase readability. About chart colors: In all graph types, cool colors tend to recede information while warm colors bring the information forward. It’s best to use primary colors for high contrast, which allows them to be easily distinguished from one another. Avoid putting similar colors together, e.g. white & yellow; dark blue & dark brown. If a color chart in is to be printed for black & white handouts, ensure that the bars & pie wedges can be easily distinguished by different shades of gray.5. Technical quality As with sounds, visual images need to be high quality to be effective. Bitmap digital images, for example, are made up of a grid of dots or pixels of different colors. When a small bitmap image is stretched larger, a "pixelated" effect is created, with each pixel becoming a larger block of pixels. The result is a coarse & bumpy image of poor quality.6. Apparent motion Ever walked downtown & spotted someone looking upwards? What did you do? Looked up, of course! This is the power of apparent motion. When designing slides, you can use the principle of apparent motion to direct an individual’s attention to a specific place. You can use images depicting someone or something actively doing something Apparent motion can be represented by the direction & speed implied by an image. An image of person walking, riding a bike, or skiing, unconsciously forces the viewer’s eyes in the direction of the apparent motion. A good example of this is in cigarette ads, which are required to tell you that using this product could kill you. Ad agencies put an image of someone pointing or moving away from the warning right above the message. Because we read in a z-curve, most people will never see the warning!!! Thus, just as using apparent motion forces you to look away from the warning, you can apply this principle to draw a viewer to a specific part of your slide. Thus, pictures of people & animals need to be placed with care. The apparent motion of their eyes compels a reader to follow the same direction of the person or animals gaze because we instinctively want to see what they’re looking at. Generally people & animals need to face inward or towards the message area NOT outward or your eyes will follow and go off the slide. Therefore, you can place an objects eyes to direct a reader’s eyes to focus on MAIN points or key ideas on your slide.7. The impact of color on the audience According the following bullet points as summarized by the 3M corporation highlight research on the use of color in your presentations: • increase willingness to read by up to 80% • increase motivation & participation by up to 80% • enhance learning & improve retention by more than 75% • account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of an object • outsells black & white advertising by 88%Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 18 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 19. For the full article you can go online to: http://www.3m.com/meetingnetwork/readingroom/meetingguide_power_color.html There’s much more to color theory than we can outline. Color usage should draw the viewers attention to the desired information. As with other elements, color can either be an attribute or a liability, depending upon you use it. Colors are commonly arranged into a 12-color wheel to illustrate their relationships. The three “primary colors" (red, yellow, and blue) are arranged to form an equilateral triangle. "Secondary colors," made up of mixtures of two primary colors, are orange, green, & violet. Six more "intermediate colors" are added between the first six colors to form the color wheel. Colors like red, orange, & yellow are termed "warm," while "cool" colors include green, blue, & violet. The use of "analogous colors" near one another along the edge of the color wheel (like light-green, green, & green-blue) yields a harmonious feeling. Conversely, combinations of "complementary" colors across from one another on the color wheel (like green & red, or violet & yellow) are more exciting & vital because of their contrast. The following online sites will extend your knowledge: http://www.colormatters.com/colortheory.html http://www.presentersuniversity.com/visuals_visuals_color_basics.php8. Contrast Contrast creates diversity & interest. A well-designed slide or screen should include some relatively dark sections that contrast with lighter areas, drawing attention to those aspects that are most important. The trick here is to be bold. You cant contrast elements that are similar. If youre using two different typefaces, make sure they’re very different. If youre using two line thicknesses ("rules"), make sure they’re very different. If youre using two different colors, make sure they’re very different. But too much contrast & variety can be a detriment. Patterns or motifs create consistency in design & direct the reader from point toCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 19 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 20. point. They also create a sense of familiarity that’s comforting. Repetition of colors, textures, typefaces, rules, bullets, backgrounds, logos, graphic styles, transitions, & special effects will serve to unify the piece.9. Balance Effective communications achieve a balance between novelty & familiarity, between contrast & repetition, & between variety & unity. Slides with too much change & variety will distract viewers, but viewers will also become bored by slides that are so repetitive & monotonous.10. Overall design Ultimately, your overall design will be judged for overall effectiveness. The use of critical friends for feedback on design is a useful strategy before a product is completed or made public. Is the piece aesthetically pleasing? Does it captivate the viewer & contribute to transmitting your message powerfully? If it works, it’s a good design, even if you ignored some of the standard guiding design principles.Summary of top 10 principles of graphical design using PowerPoint or any other presentationsoftware. Be single minded. It’s very easy to lose your focus during the design process, especiallywhen you are new to the endeavor. The lure of great looking graphics & photographs causes one ofthe biggest distractions for novice designers. It seems that the desire to impress people with greatlooking images & special effects is so strong that many designers forget the goal of being singularlyfocused on supporting the main content of the message. Instead, designers are often enticed bythe seductive power of a graphic’s appearance & end up placing a great looking image in a layout thatdoesn’t quite relate to what’s supposed to be communicated by the design. Keep the end in mind.Keep your focus on the theme & the tone.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 20 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 21. Part IVTop Ten Secrets for a Successful WorkshopDoug Johnsondougj@doug-johnson.com2005Congratulations! Because of your recognized expertise in an area - gained through research, study or practice- you have been selected to give a conference workshop! This just is the first step toward celebrity status inthe Minnesota library world. Your own line of designer clothes, a private jet, and fawning fans will soon follow.Start thinking about how to avoid the paparazzi!Sorry, got carried away. Some presenters at conferences have expressed a concern about the sessionsrunning 2 1/2 hours instead of 45 minutes. Trust me, you will like having more time to teach and share withyour colleagues.I¹d like to offer 10 suggestions on what makes a superb experience for both the participant and you. Adviceon is on the left and an example is on the right.1. Know your role. Gee, I¹ve really been doing a lot with digitalThe focus of a good workshop is building basic photography both at home and school. I¹veunderstandings, teaching key concepts, and allowing read up on it, I¹ve reapplied some of mypractice of some useful skills. Think of yourself as a training in 35mm photography, and some ofworkbook, not a textbook. The real genius of most the things I¹ve done with digital photographyworkshops is the ability to take a complex topic and make in school have been effective. I think I¹ll do ait understandable and useful rather than to give in-depth workshop for MEMO!³coverage² or to display one¹s commanding mastery of atopic. In writing, Stephen Jay Gould has done this with I know not everyone is as into photography asscience ­ making difficult concepts understandable to the I am, but there are some pretty simple wayslayperson. Take a good look at the strategies used by the everyone can both improve the quality of aFor Dummies series ­ lots of lists, lots of analogies, and an digital picture and use it a teacher. I¹llemphasis on the practical. assume people have a fairly inexpensive camera, limited editing software, and lots ofYou can and should build participants¹ confidence by other things to do in the classroom than usebeing approachable and giving them respect ­ not through photographs.overwhelming them with factoids, three-letter acronymsand long, detailed background information. Do not draw Let¹s call the workshop: It¹s a Snap! Makingattention to small errors that you might make during the the Most of Digital Photography in Yourworkshop ­ ³Gee, I see I made a really stupid spelling Classroom.error on this slide² or ³I guess I forgot to include that inthe handouts.² Trust me, nobody notices these sorts ofthings until you point them out. People really do wantCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 21 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 22. presenters who know what they are doing - or at leastappear to.2. Limit your topic. So then, here are my goals:Although it is counterintuitive, your biggest problem will . Help participants understand how powerfulnot be finding enough to talk about, but limiting what you using visuals are in teaching, especially withwill present. You have a topic ­ now take time to determine this generation of learners.the 3-4 key understandings or skills you want people to . Teach some simple techniques for takingleave feeling they have down cold. Remember, your goal is and editing digital photos.to empower, not overpower. . Show some ways a teacher can use digital images in materials created for students and some simple projects students can do with digital cameras.3. Be organized and communicate that organization.Your key understandings or skills should be yourpresentation¹s organizational road map, eachunderstanding or skill building on the previous one. Whileit is important that you know where you are going, it isjust as critical your participants know this as well. In yourtalk, slides and handouts, use this map to help both youand your participants stay focused. As you move from oneunderstanding or skill to the next, take a moment toreview the previous understandings.A graphic representation of this map is very helpful formost participants (since there are more visual learnersthan meet the eye.) This can be as simple as three or fourdifferent colored textboxes repeated throughout yourslides or as complex as an Inspiration-designed conceptmap.4. Set out a problem or possibility then offer a solution My introduction..hmmm, let¹s see. or opportunity.Obviously you think the information and skills you are 1. I think I¹ll pose the questions, ³Do youteaching are important to the participants. Do they know have students who don¹t seem to payCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 22 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 23. that? Don¹t assume so. One masterful way to develop attention? Do you have students that have aboth interest and attention, is to start with a seemingly hard time understanding concepts throughinsolvable problem or terrific opportunity, and then show reading? Would you like a quick and easy wayhow your workshop will help folks solve that problem or to integrate technology in your classroom andtake advantage of that opportunity. give students practice in a new form of communication?A short check at the beginning of your talk about thecomposition of your attendees will help you ingeniously 2. Then I will ask participants to complete a³customize² your workshop on the fly. The examples you short checklist on using digital cameras anduse might differ if your group is mostly librarians, mostly photos and then ask them to share how theytechnologists, mostly classroom teachers, or mostly did.administrators ­ or the level of expertise the group myalready have with a technology.The short check can be as easy as simply asking at thebeginning of the talk, ³How many of you in here areclassroom teachers? Librarians? Etc.? Another good wayto get to know your group is by asking an open-endedquestion about your topic. ³What is biggest difficultiesyour students face in doing good research?² or ³Whydon¹t some students read voluntarily?² or ³Whatproblems do you encounter when trying to do digitalphotography?²5. Be conversational and have fun.You do not have to be a powerful orator to be a good I¹ll try to add some fun and humanize myselfworkshop presenter. In fact, a formal speaking style will by:work against you. Instead, envision yourself in your livingroom visiting with a group of good friends and use the 1. Using some family photos as samples tosame conversation approach. Build a human connection practice editing.between you and your group ­ whether it is five people or500. Even if you have been given an introduction by a room 2. Making sure I tell about the project Staciehost, take about three minutes (no longer) to let the did in my class that included a picture of herparticipants know you are actually a human being ­ a brief mom in her bathrobe and her dad drinking asummary of career, an experience that got you interested beer.in the topic, etc. (Oh, the old advice to picture youraudience naked does not work ­ depending on who is in the 3. Showing some examples of my own badfront row, you will either be so aroused or grossed out, photos and how I improved them.you won¹t be able to concentrate.)Think about stories you can share that help you make yourpoints clearly and effectively. All great teachers arebasically effective storytellers. Not only do the concreteCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 23 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 24. examples create interest and provide experiences towhich the participants can relate, stories will build thathuman connection.Finally, remember that if you are not having fun, probablynobody else is either.² A good laugh, either intentional orunintentional, that comes as a result of either a commentby you or a participant is a very good thing. Humor helpscreate that vital affective bond between presenter andparticipant.6. Good handouts and good slides that compliment My handouts will include: rather than duplicate. 1. A bibliography and links to some goodIn Secret 1, I suggested that you should consider sources about choosing a digital camera, visualyourself the workbook, not the textbook. This is not to literacy and learners, a primer on good photodismiss the fact that attendees may want detailed, taking, a link to AtomicLearning¹s section oncomplex materials for further study. Your handouts can photo editing using iPhoto, and a list of popularprovide that information through reprinted articles, digital editing software.annotated bibliographies, links to websites, or detailedcharts and graphs. 2. Work areas for the activities I will do including critiquing a photo, cropping a photo,When it comes to complex information, Edward Tufte in brainstorming ways to use digital photos in myhis short book, The Visual Display of Quantitative lessons, and creating a project in myInformation 2nd ed. Graphics Press, 2001) makes a great curriculum that asks students to use digitalcase for using handouts instead of PowerPoint. The other photos.great material for handouts is as a guide to the activitiesthat will be described in the next section. 3. Examples of a student handout, a lesson supported by photographs I¹ve taken, and aMy thoughts on good PowerPoint use are summed up in an letter to parents that used digital photos.old column ³Slideshow Safety² <www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/safety.html> so I won¹t repeat 4. Lesson plans with assessment toolsthem here. Succinctly, there should be a compelling (primary, middle and high school) that gavereason for a slide to exist. It needs to contain a short key been used successfully in my school.point, movie, graphic, discussion question, or activityprompt. Slides should not contain the entire text of your My slides will include:presentation so you can simply read them. I see too manypresenters do just that and I just want to dope slap 1. My organizational graphic.Œem. Less is more. 2. My major points and discussion questions and activities instructions.Do think about this: the visuals on your slides can be 2. Examples of photographs to critique.highly affective as well as cognitively informative. By 3. Examples of photographs before and afterassociation, your believability (and likeability) will increase editing.if you use photographs of happy smiling students or 4. Examples of student projects that haveCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 24 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 25. teachers. For that artistic look, run them through a filter used student-produced photos.in an editing program. (The latest version of PowerPoint 5. I¹ll illustrate all slides with photos of myallows you to do this within the program itself.) As kids working with cameras and editingsuggested earlier, a graphic ³road map² helps organize software.your participants.7. Less talk, more action. Activities:I know without a doubt that I am never bored when I amdoing the talking. I can¹t say the same for the folks in my 1. The opening quiz.workshops, so I try to give them every opportunity to doother things than simply listen. I once had a Bureau of 2. I¹ll ask ³Who is the worst photographer inEducational Research professional speech coach suggest your family and why?²to me that one never goes for more than 20 minuteswithout an activity that involves the participants. These 3. I¹ll ask participants (in pairs) to critique a³activities² can be as simple as ³Share with your photo and offer advice on how it should beneighbor two waysŠ² or ³Jot down one way you might use edited.this idea in your classroom² or ³Everyone stand up andrepeat after meŠ² The idea is to get minds out of neutral 4. I¹ll ask participants to brainstorm at leastand into gear and simulate discussion. Other more formal 3 ways they can used digital photos in theiractivities (which I always ask be done in small groups) own instructional practices andinclude taking a short quiz, doing a Edward de Bono PMI communications.activity, or filling out a bubble diagram in the handouts. Ifyou if direct questions to the whole group, make the 5. I¹ll have teams of participants pick aquestions both easy and open ended. Questions calling for curricular unit and design a project that asksa ³correct² response make you sound like the teacher in students to use digital photos.Ferris Bueller¹s Day Off. If I have a lab and this is a full-day workshop,Oh, activities are a great way to control the length of I will ask participants to practice cropping,your workshop. If the workshop is running long, don¹t give eliminating red-eye, and ³enhancing² a photoparticipants much time to it; if the workshop is running they have taken.short, allow more time.Computer labs, of course, should be nearly all ³group²participation and hands-on. For more about this specialkind of workshop see my ³Seven Habits of HighlyEffective Technology Trainers² <www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/7habits.html>.Oh, and give people a break for goodness sake somewhereafter about an hour and fifteen minutes. The mind canonly absorb as much as the butt can tolerate, right?Presenters more clever than I have designed activitiesthat get people standing or moving around.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 25 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 26. 8. Give a chance to practice, apply and reflect. I will remember to use my activities and whenThe best workshops are ones that not only introduce me critiquing photographs, make sure theto new ideas, but reassure me about my current practices. participants are the ones offering theSend folks away with some ³low-hanging fruit² ­ very suggestions.simple suggestions for things that they can implement thenext day back in school. And finally, allow some time for I¹m guessing my ³create a photographicparticipants to reflect on their own practices. How often timeline of your Saturday² will be a projectdoes that happen on the job? everyone will feel s/he can do with students. Most participants will also appreciate theIMHO, great workshops are the ones that feel more like a simple tips I¹ll give for improving theirconversation than a lecture. If I, as the workshop leader, picture taking.don¹t learn something from the participants about thetopic, I have not been successful. It is amazing what good (I¹d better remember to put in theideas participants bring with them and getting them to description of the session that the workshopshare those ideas with the group is an important part of is for beginners!)your job. While I dislike the term facilitator, it happensto be just the right term in this case. So then, you give people a chance to discuss and what happens? Somebody makes an off topic or hostile comment or asks a question from far left field. Or somebody sets out to show that he (almost always a he) knows just a whole heck of a lot more than you do about this particular topic. The trick is to both ignore and honor those folks and never get rattled, angry or defensive. Practice responses like these:. That sounds like something that I need to do more thinking about myself.. That¹s a great question and I¹m afraid we¹d need a whole other workshop to answer it.. Gee, what does the rest of the group think? Of course you can always break down in copious weeping, but you will still need to go with the workshop eventually.9. End with a summary, on an upbeat note, and on time. This is easy. Using my graphic, I¹ll summarizeAt the end, repeat your initial goals for the workshop and the major points I talked about:Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 26 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 27. quickly summarize the main ideas. (As I used to teach my speech kids: 1. Visuals can help students learn and students. Tell¹m what your going to tell¹m. like communicating visually. Digital. Tell¹m. photography makes that easy.. Then tell¹m what you just told¹m.) 2. Remember the simple photo taking skills IYour last remarks should offer a charge to your group to suggested and some editing techniques.apply the skills they¹ve just learned. A little inspirationor humorous quote brings closure. Say thanks and give 3. We looked a some way that you as a teacherparticipants a way to contact you with follow-up questions. can use photographs in teaching andAsk the nice ones to fill out the session evaluation form. communicating.And this might be the most important factor of all, end on 4. Think about where you can give students atime or even a little early. I have yet to hear a single chance to use photos they¹ve taken tocomplaint about a workshop that ended at 3:45 instead of communicate.4:00. In fact, a cheap way to be very popular is to makesure you end early enough for your group to be first in the I¹ll encourage them to start simple and knowlunch line, at the exhibits, or in the bar. Ending more than that every project gets better.5 minutes late is criminal under any circumstances andmay qualify as torture under the rules of the Geneva How¹s this for an ending quote? ³Treat yourConvention. students as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light.² Paraphrased from Jennie Churchill. I¹ll remind the group that my e-mail address is in my handouts.10. I¹m letting you out early. See above.Any complaints?From the experts:Deborah Maehs, LMS, maehsville@ aol.comAssessment - Provide participants with an opportunity to provide input regarding their levels ofunderstanding prior to the actual workshop. This could be an online survey posted in advance or an actualprint copy given to participants before the start of the workshop. By assessing the level of understanding,the workshop presenter can then tailor his/her presentation to the knowledge or skills level of theparticipants. (If you) assess the level of knowledge of the participants, then go slow if needed, and alwaysprovide examples of real work that you have done yourself so that you speak as a practitioner, not as alecturer. If there are workshop participants (students or teachers) who are knowledgeable regarding yourtechnology, enlist them to help you with the demonstration in order to extend the learning for all. Anotherthing that I sometimes do is deliberately make a mistake when demonstrating technology, thus allowing myselfCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 27 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 28. the opportunity to show how easy it is to go in and fix it. Many of our teachers were/are perfectionists andare very nervous about making any mistakes. So, seeing someone else make a mistake can be very "freeing",especially when the goal of the lesson is emphasizing creativity. The best situations are when studentsthemselves catch the mistake I made because that lets me know they are paying close attention. If not, Ialways reveal it to them during the presentation.This page www,doug-johnson.com/dougjwri/sw.htm was created July 28, 2005 and last updated July 28, 2005.Permission for non-profit use freely given.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 28 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 29. Bits & pieces about delivering your presentation1. Tactics to bring your talk to lifeAfter sitting through an unbearably boring presentation, Nobel laureate Albert Einstein once said,"I now have a new theory on eternity."What would it have taken to command & keep Dr. Einsteins interest? The same thing that youraudience members need: solid information that is presented in a meaningful way. Wait – dont panic.You can do this. All that’s required is that you present fairly interesting information in such a waythat your audience personally relates to it.Here are some tips to help you establish the critical connection with your audience, that can meanthe difference between yawns or raves. One rule of thumb: Use these tips sparingly or else theycan overwhelm your presentation.Energize your statistics. Statistics can be as dry as sand. Juice them up by presenting themgraphically with PowerPoint slides or give them some perspective so your audience has a frame ofreference to help them grasp the numbers.Compare & contrast things. When you can compare or contrast your topic with powerful events,statistics, or ideas, you create a compelling association for your audience. Giving a talk on the needto bring in new technology? Tell how many man-hours the new technology will save. Speaking aboutthe low rate of savings in U.S. households? Contrast it with the high rate of savings in Japan. Makea joke. Few things relax a speaker & click with an audience like a well-told, relevant joke. If you arepassionate about your topic & you find a joke that relates to it, youll be able to deliver the punchline like a pro.Quote someone. No matter how well you can say it; most likely someone else said it better. Awell-placed quotation from an expert can give your talk credibility. But you can also quote sportsfigures, actors, & especially children, to drive your point home. Whatever you do, dont quotedirectly from the dictionary because it’s very boring!Harness your fear to work in your favor. Imagine this: Youre at the podium. The room is darkexcept for a spotlight blanching your already ashen face. You cant quite make them out, but youknow that there are people staring at you, waiting, expecting. You fumble with your notes. A littlevoice is shouting inside your head: "Theyre staring at me; I sound foolish; Im not smart enough;Im not making sense. Sound familiar? Say hello to fear.Stop & take a deep breath & come back to reality. What went wrong in your imagined presentation?Something we all do: You lost your focus-the reason you are talking. The audience isnt there to seeyou (unless youre a famous movie star). They are there to hear the information you’re about toshare. So let go of the self-centered concerns & put your nervous energy into your talk. Make itCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 29 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 30. relevant to your listeners & fun. If you connect with your topic, you & your topic will connect withthe audience.2. What to do to calm downArrive early. Get familiar with the room in which youll be presenting, as well as the podium,lectern, AV equipment, & seating arrangement.Meet & greet. Shake hands & chat with people before the program begins. Familiarity breedscomfort.Breathe. Try deep, rhythmic breathing to the count of ten, in through your nose & out throughyour mouth. Yawning also brings oxygen into the lungs, relaxes your throat, & helps you breathemore slowly, & more steadily.Familiar faces. Keep a photo of your child or pet (whoever makes you smile) tucked into yourpocket or taped to your script. Glance at it as needed.Act "as if." Smile warmly, be enthusiastic & confident, as if you were actually feeling that way. Youmay surprise yourself when you do.Rubber band. Wear one around your wrist. Snap it every time you find yourself thinking negativelyor getting lost in your talk.Eye-connect. Seek out a couple of friendly faces & eye-connect with them during your talk. Ormake eye contact with empty chairs or spots on the carpet.Clock check. If you are scheduled to talk for 20 minutes beginning at 3 p.m., remember that nomatter how nervous you are, your talk will be done by 3:2 1 -a finite time that will come & go in aflash, & you can get on with your life.3. Why be nervous? Youre the expert!Take ownership of your presentation! Your knowledge & experience bought you the right to becalled an expert. But its your unique point of view that adds real value to your talk. Whether youvolunteered-or were volunteered-to make this presentation, your perspective on the topic is whatpermits you to take ownership of it.Having a firm grasp of your subject matter is certainly the key. However, if you dont feel fully upto speed on your topic, youll need to do some in-depth research posthaste. Depending on thesubject of your talk, try doing some Internet searches for presentations on the same topic thatoffer valuable ideas you can borrow. Seek out best practices in your field, new developments in thefield, or innovative thinking on the topic.Once youve mastered the information, master the art of how best to communicate it. Remember,your audience will appreciate the information more if you make it relevant to them. Get them toCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 30 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 31. want to listen to your point of view, because ultimately theres something in it for them. Engage theaudience with direct questions; share personal experiences; put conviction behind your words. Whenyou communicate your passion for the subject, youll also be communicating your expertise.4. How to lower the pressureThe more information you have, the calmer youll be. Before you start planning your presentation,youll need to know some basic information to soothe your nerves.5. Understanding your audienceA simple question, but the answer speaks volumes. To make an impact with your speech, youll wantto tailor your talk to your audience. Even the most far-flung topics can be made relevant to nichegroups. For example, if you are a scientist presenting the topic of global warming to a group offinancial analysts, you might focus on the economic implications of your subject. If you areaddressing coworkers, speak on familiar terms ("we" & "our") & include anecdotes that all employeeswill relate to. Always, always put your audiences interests first.Why are they there? Youll want to know the purpose of the gathering to help you tailor yourspeech. For example, if your talk is to provide key information, then consider using audiovisuals.Is there a theme? Very often, conferences & meetings will have an overall theme for thegathering, i.e. "Windows on the Future " or "New Visions for Teaching and Learning" Find out whatthe theme is & weave it into your talk.Who else is speaking? If you are one of several speakers, find out the names of the otherpresenters & the titles of their talks. You may want to read up on their backgrounds to see howyour speech topic can complement theirs.6. Room, equipment, time & other important considerationsHow will the room be set up? Find out how the audience will be arranged. Will they be sitting inrows or around tables? Will you be seated or standing when you speak? Is the room so large thatyou’ll need a microphone?What equipment will you have? Having a lectern or podium will allow you to handle notes or ascript easily. If you want to project slides, film, or a PowerPoint presentation, the room must bedark enough to enhance image quality & long enough to allow for a projectors lens to fill thescreen.How much time do you have? Regardless of the amount of time you have to speak, structure yourpresentation so that you allow approximately 20% of the time you have to your opening, 70% toyour major points, and 10% to your close. If youve been given more time than you need to present,use it for a Q&A at the end of your talk, or negotiate the timing issue with the meeting planner.Where are you on the agenda? Every good speaker thinks of his or her audience first. The timeyou are slated to speak will directly affect your audiences level of consciousness. If you speakCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 31 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 32. before a coffee or lunch break, be sure not to run over your allotted time. In fact, you would be ahero for running short. If you are to speak during or after a cocktail reception, remember thatsome of your audience may have had a few drinks & are probably not too receptive to an excessivelytechnical or detailed speech.Who’s introducing you? Find out who will introduce you, & be sure to thank that person by namewhen you get to the podium. If you would like your introducer to include specific points about yourbackground, be sure to send a copy of your bio to the conference organizer well ahead of yourspeech. Whatever they say to introduce you, be sure that they are brief. Nothing flattens acrowd’s enthusiasm & focus more than a long, boring introduction.What’s the dress code for the event? For a presenter, it is always better to err on the side ofdressing up rather than down. This is doubly true if you are speaking to an "external" audience, thatis, a gathering of people other than co-workers. If you are speaking to an "internal" audience ofemployees, your dress should be consistent with the standards of your organizations dress code orthe tone of the gathering.Your presentation has to be a topic that ignites interest. To do this, you have to be passionatelyconnected to the subject material. If you don’t care, why should they? The key is that when you arepreparing the presentation, you must find something exciting & capture that excitement in an imageor with your words.7. Using humorEach laugh is a speech giver’s victory. Youve no doubt heard the arguments against the use ofhumor in a speech: Jokes can alienate, offend, anger, confuse, or annoy an audience. While poorlydelivered, inappropriate, or sarcastic jokes will backfire on you, be assured that the right joke canwin your audience over from the get-go & may even be the only part of your speech they rememberthe next day.Why is humor such a powerful influencer? A good joke will put your audience into a more relaxed &receptive mood. According to Stanford University studies, even one good belly laugh can boostmood-enhancing endorphins & melt muscle tension as effectively as ten minutes on a rowingmachine. Additionally, humor has been shown to be a valuable component of presentations. A TempleUniversity study found that people who use humor tend to wield more influence over groupdecisions.Studies, of course, are important, but just ask yourself, wouldnt you rather listen to someone whograbs your interest with a clever joke, who allows you to release a little tension, & shows you itssafe to laugh in a business or formal setting? Thats the person who will earn your attention &yourtrust. Thats the person who scores a victory with every laugh.Humor Do’s • use material thats relevant to your message. • tell the joke as if it actually happened to you.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 32 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 33. • weave humor throughout your presentation. • keep your jokes short, devoid of unnecessary detail. • consider timing when writing and telling your joke. Humor Don’ts • never insult your audience. • dont use material that doesnt fit the purpose or tone of the event. • keep ethnicity, religion, politics, & sexuality out of your remarks. • dont apologize if your joke falls flat; move on. • never build up a joke before you tell it. - 8. Using quotations. Words from the wise can express powerful ideas. A well-chosen quotation can knock the socks off your audience. It can inspire, educate, surprise, delight, & make a long-lasting positive impression-of both you & your talk. Quotes that relate directly to your topic can lend credibility & importance to your subject. But quotes that expand on or complement ideas that are peripherally addressed in your talk are just as meaningful. For example, youve been asked to give a talk to a group of product development managers. Your topic: Harnessing creativity in the workplace. Imagine your audiences delight when you share quotes that illustrate what happens when product innovation is not embraced: “The problem with television,” wrote a New York Times reporter in 1939, "is that the people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasnt time for it.” "What use could this company make of an electrical toy?" said the president of Western Union in 1876 when he turned down exclusive rights to the telephone offered by Alexander Graham Bell $100,000. “A cookie store is a bad idea wrote a potential investor in response to a business plan hed received from Mrs. Debbi Fields. "Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make!”Dont feel compelled to open your talk with a quote from some ancient Greek philosopher whomnobodys heard of (Former President George H. Bush once told his speechwriter, "Dont ever give meany more quotations by that guy Thucydides.") Use the quote if it clarifies, illuminates, or reinforcesyour point, & share it with your audience the way youd share it with a friend.9. Survival strategies for Q & AWait, its not over yet! Well, most presentations usually end with a question-and-answer session. Ifyou feel a little queasy at the thought of handling a Q &A session, relax. There are a few strategiesyou can use to make the experience painless, & even turn it into an opportunity to shine.First, confirm with your host (as much in advance as possible) if you even have enough time to build aQ & A session into your speech. For example, if you have a total time limit of 45 minutes, you maywant to schedule 30 minutes for your talk and leave 15 minutes for Q &A. If no one asks anyquestions, youre done early & theres no harm done.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 33 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 34. Second, be sure to tell your audience at the outset that there will be a question-&-answer session atthe end of your talk.Third, make sure that the room is set up for questions. Logistics are important here. If its a verylarge room, will there be a microphone set up for people to walk up to & speak into? Or will there bespotters in the audience to bring microphones to the questioners? If you dont have the luxury ofeither, be sure to repeat the question after it is asked, & gently rephrase it to your liking. This way,youll not only clarify the question asked & ensure that your audience heard it, but youll buy somevaluable time to formulate the answer.Fourth, save a few minutes for a final knock em dead closer after your Q &A is complete. The lastwords your audience should hear is your profound final thought - a memorable quote, philosophy, oridea that will stay with your audience for days, months, or years. If that proves to be just too muchfor you, a simple thank-you will do.10. Speaking tipsFixing common speech fault. Some years ago, a Gallup poll surveyed what annoys people most aboutother peoples voices. Mumbling & talking too softly topped the list, followed by yelling, speaking in amonotone, using "um," "like," & "uh," a nasal voice, talking too fast, bad grammar, & a high-pitchedvoice. Though you may think you fall into one of these categories, dont panic just yet. First, assessthe situation. Get a tape recorder & record your voice. How you sound on tape is not exactly how yousound to an audience, but it will most likely reveal a few common speech flaws.Mumbling. The best way to knock speech fillers (such as the ever popular "um" or "ah") out of yourtalk is to tape yourself & study how often, & especially where, you use these fillers. Look forpatterns. If you find you use them before you pronounce an unfamiliar word or prior to introducingeach key point, you may want to adjust your vocabulary or transitions to help you glide through yourtalk filler-free. Another technique is to pause when you feel filler coming on. Pausing will help youreplace that speech filler with a breath. It also offers the benefit of commanding your audiencesattention.Upward inflection. When you ask a question. To correct this, record yourself with the aim oflistening & practicing till you get rid of that invisible question mark. Another tip: Cue your script witha symbol in the margin (a downward arrow, for example) to remind yourself not to inflect skyward atthe end of each sentence.Nasal voice. A voice sounds "nasally" when the sound waves traveling up from your chest have moreresonance in the nose & not enough in the mouth. It could be caused by a tightening of the lower jaw,which tenses the throat muscles. Or you may be bunching your tongue at the back of your mouth soit blocks the passage of sound into your mouth & forces it into your nose.High pitch. A high-pitched voice can be very distracting. To fix it, remember to do yourdeep-breathing exercises (stomach out, chest in). The deeper you breathe (which helps yourdiaphragm massage your lungs), the more relaxed youll feel, & your voice will become richer & fuller. Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 34 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 35. Poor articulation. Not pronouncing words dearly & succinctly makes an audience work much harderthan they need to or want to. Plus, you leave the impression that you dont really care if you arebeing understood. By slowing down & really thinking about each word & point you’re making, you standa much better chance of communicating clearly.Inappropriate gestures. Nervous tics such as finger drumming lip biting, & coin jingling can drive anaudience mad. To limit such fidgety behaviors, you need to be aware of them. Record yourself onvideotape to isolate your fidgets, & practice your talk as you consciously try to rid yourself of theseties. A cue in the margin (i.e., "DONT FIDGET") cant hurt, either.11.Rehearsing your speechPractice, then rehearse, to make perfect. If you are wondering whether you need to practice &rehearse your presentation, stop. You do. Period. The phrase "wing it" should not even enter yourmind, unless preceded by the word "dont.How does practice differ from rehearsal? When you practice your talk, your focus is on content &emphasis. You fine-tune any phrasings, transitions, jokes, and ideas that dont quite work. You timeyour talk to make sure its within the parameters youve been given. You figure out which wordsyoull emphasize & where youll build in pauses. You practice your jokes. You study yourself on tapeto ensure that you speak clearly, without fillers such "ah," "uh," & "like.Rehearsal takes all of these things into consideration, but also includes the physical aspects of yourtalk if you are using visual aids. For example, rehearsing your talk lets you know when to advance yourslides as you speak, or use a laser pointer or remote mouse. If you have access to the room in whichyoull be speaking, get familiar with the stage, podium, & microphone. You should do at least one fullrehearsal with all your technical devices, though it doesnt matter if you cant rehearse from thestage on which youll be speaking. As long as you are comfortable with your talk & your technologytools, youll communicate your confidence when you speak.12.AppearanceYour entrance is the indelible first impression. Youre sitting in the front row at the AmericanMedical Supply Associations annual sales meeting, going over your notes for the speech you’re aboutto make. Its a lively and enthusiastic crowd, & the host has been doing a super job of keeping themood of the room elevated and fun. Suddenly he begins a familiar introduction: yours. In the nextfew minutes - & thats all it takes – you’ll create an impression that will either win the audience overor lose them to daydreams & deep sighs.As the host continues your intro, you tuck your notes into your suit pocket & wait till your name isannounced. You smile as you jog energetically up the steps & stride confidently across the stage. Yougreet the host with a warm handshake & continue to the podium, where you take out your noteswithout looking at them. Then you look out at the audience & thank them for the opportunity tospeak. You tell them how moved you are by their remarkable esprit de corps, & then you tell ahumorous sales success story that you heard from two meeting participants youd been chatting with Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 35 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 36. on a break prior to your speech. After their laughter subsides, you tie the sales success story toyour reason for being there, & glance down at your notes to begin.13. Tips on what you can do just before you starting • Write your own introduction & send it to the meeting host well before the event. Include key accomplishments to help build your credibility with the audience. • Prepare your speech notes so they are well organized and easy to handle. • Dress appropriately for the event. • Spend some time on meeting breaks chatting with audience members. This can yield great material for your talk. It can also ease your jitters as you become more familiar with your audience. • Be energetic as you approach the podium. • Focus your opening remarks on something this specific audience can relate to or appreciate. • Respect your audience by expressing gratitude for the invitation to speak. • Cite members of the audience or the organization itself-by quote, joke, or story-in your opening. • Show warm regard toward them. • Help them see why your talk is relevant to them.14. Body language, personal style, & dressWhat you say & how you move your body should be governed by one simple guideline: Be yourself.Your posture, facial expression, eyes, & gestures can speak volumes about you. Are you genuinelyinterested in your topic? Your eyes will shine. Youll use your hands & arms to describe how tallsomeone is, how big an idea is, how close a goal is. Are you interested in your audience? You will haveplenty of eye contact. Youll lean toward your audience as if to engage them in conversation, & walkout from behind the podium so theres nothing between you & your listeners. Are you really gladyou were invited to speak? Youll smile easily & genuinely. Your face will be animated & lively.Dont underestimate the power of your body language. It can sabotage the effectiveness of yourtalk by contradicting your verbal messages. The expression "A picture is worth a thousand words"applies here.Here are some common body postures and their supposed hidden psychological meanings: • Arms behind your back? Youre confident. • Fists clenched? Youre hiding something. • Palms facing the audience? Youre being open with them. • Hands on your hips? Youre trying to intimidate. • Rubbing your neck? Youre not sure about what youre saying. • Scratching your nose? Youre not being truthful. • Arms crossed over your chest? Youre defensive. • Raising your eyebrows? Youre interested and alert.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 36 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 37. • Nodding your head? Youre connecting with someoneDos & Don’ts. The following list is a summary of what we consider the most important: • Use natural movements youd use in conversation, but make them a bit broader, consistent with the size of your audience. • Keep elbows bent with your hands resting on the podium or gesturing. Its a more open, energetic position than just letting your am-is hang. • Vary your hand gestures. Put your hands in your pockets or hold a pencil-but limit the time you do so. • Stand a bit back from the podium so your head isnt bent over to read your text. • Move! Not while making your key points, but during the transitions between them. • Stand tall & confidently. • Dont force your smile. • Dont rock back & forth or shift your weight from leg to leg at the podium. • Dont let your arms droop at your sides • Dont slump your shoulders or cross your arms over your chest. • Dont jiggle coins in your pockets. • Dont assume the "soccer penalty kick" posture, with hands clasped in front of you defensively. • Dont point your finger at anyone in the audience, ever-even in a friendly way.Eye contact. Lock them in with your eyes. If the eyes are indeed the windows to the soul, you canbet that your audience will have a pretty good idea of whats going on in your head (i.e. nervous,sincere, scared, ready) just by how much or how little you engage them with your eyes. Good eyecontact can help you establish a connection with your audience - a bond-that even the mostprofound speech alone cant do. Its a way to create the feel of a one-to-one conversation.But meaningful eye contact is not scanning your audience, where you quickly glance across a row orsection of the room. Nor is it staring, which you may find yourself doing without realizing it.Meaningful eye contact means holding the gaze of one member of your audience for up to 10seconds-just enough time to finish a thought, register an idea, & maybe even receive feedback (anod, a smile) from the listener. Then move on to another person. Seek out people from all sectionsof the room. If its appropriate, smile while you connect visually with them. If a person youretrying to connect with looks away, dont take it personally. Its a pretty good bet hesuncomfortable with your attention. Just turn to another person.Remember, you can reveal even more than your soul through your eyes. They can also communicateyour enthusiasm, professionalism, & competence.Your personal style. Let the best "you shine through. Right now youre probably thinking, "I haveto let my personality come through my talk? Im going to have enough trouble just getting throughthe presentation!" But whether you like it or not, your personal style of delivery will have as muchof an impact - or more-than your words alone. In fact, some studies on communicationsCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 37 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 38. effectiveness show that what is actually said in a presentation (your words) counts for as little as10% of overall impact, while how you say it (your delivery) commands 90%. Yikes!Fortunately, there are ways to improve your physical presence. For starters, when you walk up tothat podium, try to present the very best that you are. Your enthusiasm, respect, professionalism,warmth, insight, & humor will contribute toward the charisma that can gain you so much. Youveheard it before: Be yourself up there. Let the special person that you are shine through.First impressions are powerful audience influencers. Through your sound & movement onstage, youraudience gets a powerful sense of who you are & what your potential is. They pick up on your uniquevision, your ability to relate to people, & your professionalism in a tense situation. In short, they cansee if you have what it takes to be an effective communicator.Your dress. Your clothes should suit the occasion. Years ago, if you stood outside an IBM salesoffice at quitting time, youd see a flood of blue suits, white shirts, black shoes, and rep ties comethrough the doors. IBMs founder, T. J. Watson, Sr., never told his employees specifically what towear, but he made it clear that his salespeople must dress conservatively so that potential clientswould not be distracted or offended by an IBMers clothing. The blue suit ensemble became theIBM uniform.Though dress codes have relaxed at IBM & at companies around the globe, theres a lot of wisdombehind Mr. Watson seniors edict. When you are center stage to give your presentation, whether ina conference room of 20 people or an auditorium of 200, you want people to be focused on yourmessage, not on your outfit.But that doesnt mean you should wear a dark blue suit or navy dress whenever you speak. In fact,if you wore an outfit like that to an off-site executive gathering where everyone else was in shortsand polo shirts, youd look pretty silly.The rule of thumb is this: If you are a business person about to address a business audience, findout from the meeting planner what the style of dress is for the event, then dress one step up. Forexample, if the attire is "business casual;" that means some men & women may wear jackets overkhakis or dark pants. A male speaker should wear a casual tie with a colored shirt & sports jacket.A female presenter could wear a colorful skirt & knit sweater. Youre fitting into the category ofbusiness casual, but taking it one step better.If you are about to address a school or community group, wear the suit or dress you would normallywear in a meeting with an important client. You want to leave the impression of total competence &crisp professionalism, & khaki pants just wont cut it.15. Know thy audienceLearn all you can about your listeners. To really communicate with your audience, learn everythingyou can about them ahead of time. Find out who your typical listener is - friend or foe? Expert,familiar with, or totally clueless about your topic? Whats the average age? How large is the group?Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 38 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 39. Are different cultures, religions, or races represented? How many men & women will be present?Why are they there? Understanding the motivation & background of your listeners will help Youcraft your presentation so that it makes the most sense to the most people. For example, is youraudience there by choice? If so, theyve already demonstrated that they have an interest in yourtopic. People whose attendance is required may not be as receptive to or interested in what youhave to say, so you can prepare for that, perhaps by using more humor & less detail.If your audience is small, you have an opportunity to get up close & personal. Take advantage of thisvaluable point by engaging your listeners, personalizing your talk, & involving them in the topic. Itsharder for people in a small group to zone out during your talk, or yawn, nudge their buddy, or runout for coffee. With large audiences, learn what you can about areas of commonality. Are you allvisiting Las Vegas for a conference? Comment about your first visit to the blackjack table or acurious sight you saw at a $1.95 buffet line. The trick is to build connections between you & youraudience so theyll want to hear what you have to say.What does your audience expect? Tell them what they want to hear. Theres a Chineseproverb youd do well to remember: Square words dont fit into a round ear. Lets say that youknow why youve been invited to address your audience, & you know what you want to accomplishwith your talk. Youve researched who will attend your presentation, & you’ve a good idea of theirbackground, experience, & level of interest in your topic. You know what you expect of them, but doyou know what they expect of you? Its simple. Audiences want their needs met. And the best wayto meet their needs is to tell them what they want to hear. This doesnt mean that you should tellthem something that they already know, agree with, or support. It means that whatever messageyou want to communicate must be communicated in such a way that meets their basic human needsso it becomes something that they want to hear.For example, you are a tire manufacturer addressing an audience from the "Concerned Sport UtilityVehicle Owners of America. " This could easily be a hostile group, with expectations that youlldodge the tough issues about tire failure & SUVs. To get this group to really listen to you, you mustbe prepared to tackle the tough issues right off the bat. Then appeal to basic human needs such assecurity & esteem by addressing advances made to ensure tire safety & how organizations such astheirs have brought these issues to the forefront & kept them there.By meeting their needs head on, youll exceed your audiences expectations as well as your own.Will they be comfortable? You need to set the scene. The combination of a stiff chair, a hotroom, & a long presentation is lethal. If you have any influence at all on room conditions, there are anumber of things you can do to make your audiences experience as pleasant as possible.What is your audience saying? If they snooze, you lose! Thats right. Its not enough to keep yourown body language inviting & confident, but you have to pay attention to the body language of youraudience, too. Dont worry; its not as hard as you think. Fortunately, your audience is in a constantstate of communication, so it is fairly easy to monitor their reaction& adapt accordingly.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 39 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 40. Here are some audience reactions that every speaker loves: • leaning forward intently • nodding in agreement • taking notes • smiling warmly • meeting your eye contact • clapping • laughing Heres what you dont want to see your audience doing: • yawning • nodding out • fidgeting • smiling in a frozen way • squinting at you • avoiding your eye contact • crossing their arms and legs • talking • stretching • tapping their feet Be sensitive to your audiences reactions. There are so many reasons to make sure that you are connecting with them, besides ensuring that your talk is a smash hit. Youll build credibility for yourself, support for your project, & a foundation of respect to enhance your reputation. An added bonus: Youll probably get fewer questions or requests to clarify points youve already made!Attention spans. According to the 3M Corporation, presenters who appropriately use visual aids are43% more effective in persuading audiences to take a desired course of action than presenters whodon’t use visuals. In the attention economy slides have an average of 13 seconds to capture theattention of the audience. According to their research, the average time a slide should be on screenis 40 to 90 seconds. The average attention span of a member of the audience without misdirection orthe chance to download what has been said is 18 minutes. This is a direct result of our TV viewinghabits that typically have a commercial break every 10 to 15 minutes. TV has programmed us to lastabout 1/2 hour if we can re-focus or get up & move around during a commercial break. 16. Refreshments, food, & other considerations No one ever complained about having coffee & soft drinks available during a meeting. If possible, offer a beverage & snack table at the back of the room. Use paper cups & plates so there are no dishes clattering during your talk. Food. If any meals are promised, please make sure ahead of time that the meals will arrive at the time requested (you lose time & momentum if this is not co-ordinated) - if you are putting together a meal plan for the day, try to avoid lots of carbohydrates, particularly for the main meal - if possible, stick to fruit & vegetables for snacks, & for meals, avoid pasta, potatoes, rice becauseCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 40 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 41. these require large amounts of processing power by your body to digest (that’s what makes yousleepy!!! Instead, stick to sliced meats, cheeses & salads.Sight lines. You need to be visible to all the people in the room. In a large room, chairs should beset up theater-style, with aisles. Stagger the chairs so that people dont sit directly in front ofeach other. If the room is huge, consider projecting your image on a large screen behind you whenyou arent showing visuals. Or use a video camera hooked up to TVs placed toward the back third ofthe room.Temperature. A setting of 68 degrees is ideal. Remember, rooms warm up as they fill with peopleand stage lights & computer equipment are turned on. While it may be hard to guesstimate whatyour initial temperature setting should be, its better to err on the side of being too cool. It helpskeep people alert.Podium. If you are speaking from a podium, be sure you can be seen. If the podium is as tall as youare, your audience will get distracted & ultimately disinterested if they cant see you. Considerworking from a lower, transparent, or tabletop podium instead.Stage set. Make the stage as attractive as possible. Have banners, flags, or other signsappropriate to the event. All these added visuals offer eye relief to the audience.Sound. Make sure you can be heard in all four corners of the room. Refine your microphonetechnique during your rehearsal. Make sure you dont turn away from the microphone as you speak.Practice how close your lips can get to the mike without "popping" your ps or "hissing" your ss.17. Timing of visuals, where to stand, & rating yourselfThere are definite strategies for synchronizing your slides with what you are saying. In a studyconducted by the University of Colorado in 1994, there were 7 versions of a presentation where thenarration was synchronized as a new slide appeared in the following ways: • the slide presented 7 seconds before the narration began • the slide presented 14 seconds before the narration began • the slide presented 21 seconds before the narration began • the slide presented 7 seconds after the narration began • the slide presented 14 seconds after the narration began • the slide presented 21 seconds after the narration beganThe retention was significantly higher for 1 and 2, than other groups. 3 & 4 outperformed 5,6 & 7by about 30%. It appears that the audience will remember the presentation best if they are giventhe chance to look at each new slide for a few seconds before you begin speaking. In giving noticeof a transition to a new idea or point, it gives people the chance to consolidate the ideas & catch upas well as the opportunity to bring their own emotions and experiences to the image before theyare ready to hear what the image or heading means to you.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 41 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 42. Where to stand. Where do you stand from the audience’s perspective & why? • to the left of the screen (stage right) • to the right of the screen (stage left) • directly in front of the projectorAlthough it’s fun to make shadow puppets the correct answer is 1, because in English we read left toright, so especially if there is text on the screen, you want the audience to anchor on you, standingat the beginning rather than the end of the text, then read across than come back & anchor again...Particularly if you are talking while they are reading, it can be very distracting to have you to theright.Rating your presentation- the 10 X 10 X 10 rule. David Thornburg (as described in LynellBurmark’s Visual Literacy book, p.62) suggests that you can rate or have your presentation rated on3 scales: • 1 to 10 points for technique and technoflash (How) • 1 to 10 points for content (What) • 1 to 10 points for impact (How)You figure out your score multiplying the 3 grades (8 X 6 X 6= 298). It shows that even if you havegreat technique & content, if the audience doesn’t respond, the presentation isn’t worth much.18. Projection unitsProjection units. The 4 critical elements in picking out a projections device are cost, weight, clarity &brightness – what we call CLCB (cheaper, lighter, clearer, brighter) - yes, we also would like to have greatsound, inputs for 2 computers plus VCR & digital camera, a remote with laser pointer built in, a silent (butpowerful) fan, zoom lens & a 3- year warranty. The amazing thing is all of those ideal features do exist today,just not in one unit. To be realistic, consider the trade-offs: for less money, you get lower lumens (lessbrightness) & lower resolution (less pixels.) On the ultra-light units, you pay more & you sacrifice featuressuch as zoom lenses, powerful fans, two computer inputs & so on.On the weight issue, be aware that the advertised weight typically does not include the cords &cables, remote, any additional devices, & carrying case, all of which could add up to another 4 to 5pounds.19. Remote control devicesThere are many remote devices out there. The two basic types are radio-controlled & direct line-of-sight infrared devices. We’ve e used both & come to several conclusions. The radio-controlleddevices are great as you can work them from anywhere. However ambient radio signals tend torandomly interfere with presentations causing presentations to take on a life of their own. Theinfrared ones work really well for a distance of up to 50 to 100 feet, but there has to be a directline of sight between the handheld & the base station that connects to the USB port of theCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 42 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 43. computer. Thus you can’t just wander about the room, you have to stay relatively close to the basestation.As for the remote after much experimentation, we’ve settled on Varatouch with a laser pointer.There are several versions: Ian likes the programmable remote that looks something like a TVremote and which includes a laser pointer and a device to move the mouse in an all-in-one unit. Thisunit allows you to create non-linear presentations that can take advantage of the hyperlinkcapabilities of the latest versions of PowerPoint. Other versions have the programmable remote &mouse with no laser pointer, & a third version has a basic remote which looks like a credit car butwhich is not programmable, & only allows forward and back movement. They all use the same remotebase station, which connects, to the USB ports on both Macs & Windows-based machines. You canfind out more about them by visiting:http://www.varatouch.com.20. Our setup?We use 2 Macs (a G4 and an iBook). We find Macs to be more reliable; reliability is critical when makingpresentations. We’ve have worked regularly with both platforms, & find OSX to be quite reliable now.In the end however, beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder. That said, we also make sure that we runNorton Utilities (or SystemWorks) on our computers regularly & try to reduce the number ofextensions & control panels during presentations.The G4s are very powerful, & they have magnificent screens that are good for viewing from a distanceas well as a CD player &/or CD burner &/or a DVD player. At the same time, we find the G4s (and all ofthe new smaller ultra laptops) to be very fragile. This particularly applies to their screens. On the otherhand, the iBook screen is very sturdy. These days we use 2 computers (very sturdy) & two remote basestations for all of our presentations. We put the two computers side-by-side on the presentation table& use a rubber band to attach the two remote bases together one on top of the other, so that they canbe activated by a single remote control click. Thus, when both presentations are in presentation mode,we can click once & both screens move forward in a synchronized manner.On the computer attached to the projection unit, we run what we call the sacrificial presentation – aversion of the presentation, where the words are kept to a bare minimum & lots of powerful imagery.We no longer use much clip art, only photos or quick time video that we’ve selected toreflect/support/complement our commentary.On the other computer, we have the very same presentation with the same slides, the same sequence, &the same number of points on each slide, but this version has no graphics; instead, it contains lots ofadditional background & alternative ideas/commentary that we can reference with a quick glance. Someslides also contain PowerPoint hyperlink hot buttons that, using the movable mouse, allow us to jump outof the linear track of the presentation. This allows us to go different directions during thepresentation. We can respond to a question or the mood of the audience, head off on a tangent, & thencome right back into the linear track of the presentation without the audience knowing what we did. OnCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 43 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 44. each slide, weve also add little reminders of ideas, stories, jokes, & details about the points on thepage can be used if the audience wants to go a little deeper or need to be sent in a different direction.Since we dont usually have to run heavy graphics on the backup computer, we don’t need a high-endlaptop as a backup. This means we can use one of our older laptops (you can buy inexpensive upgradecards that will upgrade the processor). Besides, using this technique we also have a backup computershould something ever happen to our lead computer (and it has!!!). Having gone through breakdown hellon more than one occasion, we like having backups for every technical aspect of a presentation. We puttwo versions of the presentation (the sacrificial and the complete presentation with all the notes &reminders) on each computer in case the lead computer breaks down, We can still deliver the visualversion of the presentation from the backup (albeit a little slower than we would like). Although its abit of a pain to carry both around, we also know that, as Intel’s Andy Grove once wrote, only theparanoid survive!We use network cards in each computer to quickly transfer files back & forth between the twocomputers and ensure that all of our presentations are synchronized & current. We carry aninexpensive Ethernet cable to connect the computers together physically just in case one of thenetwork cards decides to be stubborn (which occasionally happens for no apparent reason). Wefigure that using this technique has improved the quality of our presentations by 30% - & thefeedback we have received would seem to confirm this.Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 44 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 45. Part VReferences for Creating Knock Your Socks Off PresentationsThere are literally hundreds of books & Web sites out there that profess to show you how tocreate powerful presentations (and Ian’s read most of them). Unfortunately, none of them do agreat job of explaining the principles of graphical design very well. If you’re interested in exploringthe presentation techniques component in a little more detail, here are some excellent resourcesthat can be found and ordered through Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com)We highly recommend Visual Literacy: Learn to See, See to Learn, Lynell Burmark, ASCD Press,2002 – a really fresh look at design – many of the ideas for this presentation came from her bookI Can See You Naked, Ron Hoff, Andrews and McMeel, Kansas City, 2001 (3rd edition)Successful Presentations for Dummies, Malcolm Kushner, IDG Books, 2001 (2nd edition)Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message With Power, Punch and Pizzazz, DianeDiResta, Chandler House Press, Worchester, 1999The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Successful Business Presentations, Lin Kroger, Alpha Books, NewYork, 1999 (2nd edition)Secrets of Power Presentations, Peter Urs Bender, The Achievement Group, Toronto, 2001 (3rdedition)On the web, check out the Allyn and Bacon Public Speaking site - http://www.abacon.com/pubspeak/There are a number of great articles about the planning process for creating great presentations.Also take a look at InFocus’ site, The Presenter’s University athttp://www.presentersuniversity.com/index.cfmAs for the graphical component of presentations about the only design book out there is: Designingfor Communication by Ted McCain (tmccain@netcom.ca) - the book is being re-done, but if youreally want to understand the principles of graphical design, there are a few copies of it floatingaround. It might be worth contacting Ted directly.Don’t forget all the links we’ve included throughout the document. You can add more links &resources based on your own investigations!Creating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 45 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group
  • 46. FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:Phone: 250-462-0767Fax: 250-490-4969E-mail: ijukes@mindspring.comCheck out the Committed Sardine Blog at:http://homepage.mac.com/iajukes/blogwavestudio/index.htmlandhttp://web.mac.com/iajukes/iWeb/thecommittedsardine/Home.htmlWeb siteswww.infosavvygroup.comwww.ianjukes.comwww.thecommittedsardine.nethttp://web.mac.com/iajukes/iWeb/thecommittedsardine/Home.htmlOFFICE MANAGERLori AndersonOffice Phone: 250-717-0998Office Fax: 250-717-0999E-mail: ijukes@shaw.ca (Lori Anderson) © The InfoSavvy Group, 2007 Copyright Policy: Materials published on The Committed Sardine web site may be duplicated in hard copy format for educational, non-profit school district use only and must include this copyright policy. All other uses, transmissions and duplications are prohibited unless permission has been expressly grantedCreating Knock-Your-Socks-Off Presentations Page 46 of 46 Copyright, 2007, The InfoSavvy Group