I would like to share with you what I learnt from the book I read recently called Presentation Zen written by Garr Reynolds
My storyNowadays everyone of us have chances to attend presentations or do presentation at work or study. So do I.I always do presentation at work or studyThere are times that I feel bored attending presentations or I am not satisfied with the presentation I did. I want to improve, but HOW?
Want I want to have breakthrough in my presentation I want to identify ways to make the differenceHow can I breakthrough?
Got recommendation to read a book called “Presentation Zen” written by Garr Reynolds, published on 2008.He is a presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert.
Zen usually refers to the way or quality of living.Presentation Zen is an approach, a direction
Presentation Zen is a way of thinking
The book has inspired me to view Presentation Design and Delivery from the New Eyes.Aim of my presentation today: to share what I learn from the book so that you and I will be benefited
The book has enabled me to view ppt presentation differently.A way of thinking in design and delivery of presentationTo connect the audienceTo inform/persuade the audienceIn a meaningful way
Step 1 PreparationMillions of presentations are now given every day using Powerpoint. Yet most of the presentations are dull and ineffective. Most presenters had learned bad habits, lack awareness and knowledge about what makes for a good presentation and what does not.
In doing presentation, there are restraints such as time, place, people/audience.Who are the audience?How much do we have for the presentation?What do the audience need for the topic you present?We need prepare the presentation by exercise the restraints. How?To change our firm beliefs and long established habits.Most presenters had learned bad habits, lack awareness and knowledge about what makes for a good presentation and what does not. Bad habits such as1. Slides are used for presentation at meetings/conferences. It seems that ppt is the only way for communicating ideas at meetings/conferences 2. Bullet points are still the prevailing content of most slides, and usually add nothing, say Kathy Sierra, co-author of Head First Java, Creating Passionate Users weblog. Not effective/impactful3. Sometimes for a 20-min. presentation, presenting to an audience with a screen of text-filled slides does not work.
How did you prepare your presentation?Do you sit in front of the PC, jot down ideas, organise it in bullet points and add in clipart? Design starts at the beginning. Get away from the PC, use paper and pens to first record and sketch your ideas.Consider your topic, your objectives, your messages and your audienceASKWhat is your main point? Why does it matter?If the audience only remembers one thing, what should it be? Then sketch out ideas that will appear in some digital visual form later.
Step 2 DesignDesign matters. It’s not about decoration or ornamentation. Design is about making communication as easy and clear for the viewer as possible.Remove all nonessential elements. Remove visual clutter.The author suggested use Visuals as people Remember visuals Better than bullet points.He also suggest use “Empty space”. Empty space is not nothing, it’s a powerful something.
The first attempt is to summarize the key points from Dan Pinks’ book “A Whole New Mind”How will you modify this slide to make it more easily connected to the audience?Visuals are more memorable than wordsSix characteristics, six senses, or right-brain directed aptitudesDesign: start from the beginning Story 故事性, make up your story that can be remembered easilySymphony 調和: logic, analyst, 整合、直覺, decide what to keep, what to deleteEmpathy 同理心: view from the audience’s anglePlay 好玩, playful, humourMeaning 意義
Here’s an illustration for the modification of the ppt, use half the text to summarise the key points in a more engaging, visual way.DesignDesign starts at the beginning. You may consider your topic, your objectives, your messages and your audience. Then sketch out ideas that will appear in some digital visual form later. StoryPut your own personality, character, experiences into the material in the form of a narrative, which is illuminating, engaging and memorable.Stories can be used for good: for teaching, sharing, illuminating, for honest persuasionSymphonySymphony is about utilizing our whole mind – logic, analysis, synthesis, intuition – to make sense of our world (i.e. our topic), find the big picture, and determine what is important and what is not before the day of our talk. Deciding what matters and let go of the rest.EmpathyIt’s about putting yourself in the position of others, e.g. the users, the customers, the audience. Empathy allows a presenter to notice when the audience is “getting it” and when they are not. The empathetic presenter can make adjustments based on his reading of this particular audience. PlaySerious people are more responsible. Laughing people are more creative.Playfulness and humor can make a presentation palatable.MeaningWe are born for meaning. Live for self-expression and an opportunity to share that which we feel is important. It can be more rewarding than connecting with someone by teaching something new, or sharing that which you feel is very important with others.Mastering the talents with abilities such as strong analytical skills will take you far as a communicator in the conceptual age.
Simplicity is the KEYSimplicity is not easy, in fact, it’s hard. That is “How to make things clear with less”. It comes from an intelligent desire for greater clarity that gets to the essence of an issue.The ultimate goal is to craft a story with supporting visuals that focus on audience’s needs in a clear and meaningful way.Simplicity is the goal, but as Einstein said, “Making everything as simple as possible but no simplier.”
The fish story from IndiaA man is putting up a sign in front of his food store that said “ We sell fresh fish here.” His father stopped by and said that the word “we” suggested an emphasis on the seller rather than the customer, and is not really needed.
So the sign was changed to “Fresh Fish Sold Here”His brother came by and suggested that the word “here” could be done away with – it is nonessential.
So the man changed the sign to “Fresh Fish Sold”His sister came along and said the sign should just say “Fresh Fish”. Clearly it is being sold.
Later his neighbour stopped by to congratulate him. He mentioned that all passers by could easily tell that the fish was really fresh.Mentioning the word “fresh” actually made it sound defensive as though there was room for doubt about the freshness. Now the sign just read “Fish”.The man walked back to the store and keep thinking….He noticed that one could identify the fish from its smell from very far.As the distance from which one could barely read the sign, what will the sign need to display?
This is what he come up with eventually.What do you think?
The background is a tired overused ppt templateThe text is difficult to readThe clip art used does not reinforce the simple statistic,It does not fit the theme of women in the Japanese labor market.
The text is easy to readThe clip art is a bit more appropriate to the subjectYet it does not give the ppt a strong visual impact or overall professional look and feel
The bullet points are easy to read in an instant.The photo of a part-time female worker in Japan is a step in the right direction,But it could still be much better.
This is the redesign that was used in the end. This gives the entire ppt a consistent visual theme that supported the presenter’s words.
Like conversation, presentation requires your full presence at that time and place.The presenter must be completely in the moment without thoughts of the past or the future when you deliver your presentation.
You will make it look easy and natural by preparing and practicing like mad.The more you rehearse, the more confident you’ll become, and the easier it will seem to the audience.Connect with the audience
Make a connection with the audience, must appeal to both the logical and the emotional.If you have a passion for your topic, then let people know.Keep your lights on: the audience must always be able to see you.
Remember these six aptitudes:
• Not just function but also DESIGN
• Not just argument but also STORY
• Not just focus but also SYMPHONY
• Not just logic but also EMPATHY
• Not just seriousness but also PLAY
• Not just accumulation but also MEANING