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The thrills and spills of
presentations and workshops
@felderston
(I never use it anyway)
Hello
Hi…
I’m oli…
I spend a lot of time writing and
presenting half-baked presentations 

and running poorly planned work...
A disclaimer
A lot of this might be massively patronising,
but it’s not meant to be
Just hopefully a couple of useful poin...
This presentation includes…
Some fun tips on
writing
presentations
A couple of
pointers on how to
present them
(well?)
A c...
First up, presentations
How to write
them so they
don’t suck
How to present
them like a
badass
+
Firstly, I disagree with this:
Sex Presenting
You’re naked
You’re turned on
You’re doing it with a
roomful of colleagues
Y...
Tip #1
Don’t start
writing the
damn thing at
7pm the day
before it’s due
Source: Me @ 19:15 yesterday
But, overall, I think there are some simple things to
bear in mind
1.
who the hell are
you writing it
for and how
will the...
Why the context you are writing for matters
1.
who the hell are
you writing it
for and how
will they
receive it?
What’s the seniority and attitude of the audience?
CEOPerson doing all the work
“I need all the detail
because i’m actuall...
We aren’t paid by the chart
CEOPerson doing all the work
“I need all the detail
because i’m actually
making this happen”
“...
Are you presenting it? Does it need to be a leave-behind?
Is it a prop or fun visual
to make a point?
Or is it an idiot pr...
What do you want out of it?
Are you selling
something?
There are probably 3 main roles for a presentation…
Are you startin...
How to be clear in presentations
1.
who the hell are
you writing it
for and how
will they
receive it?
2.
What are you
tryi...
Have a narrative, and tell people what it is
People don’t (usually)
like surprises
They also want to know
where it’s going...
Map it out, don’t just throw charts at it
Know where you’re going
Thinking through at a
bullet point level
Go macro first
Say what you need in the headlines…
See Above
… And tell a story with them
(Although, know your audience… Some corporate
organisations don’t like them to be too convers...
It’s also a balancing act
as little as you
can get away with As much as you
need to get your
point across
“If in doubt, le...
Be a human
write like a human
Imagine your
audience is human
Try to engage them
as such
But also be a ruthless editor
When writing a presentation,
the temptation is to
overexplain everything. You
would do best ...
But you still need space for charm
1.
who the hell are
you writing it
for and how
will they
receive it?
2.
What are you
tr...
A picture cannot tell a thousand words
Pictures are tricky
They can make the most
boring shit interesting
BUt they can als...
illustrate, don’t decorate
A POWERFUL
POPOSITION
*PROUDLY Stolen from russell davies
Both terrible and lazy
A springboard, an evocation, or an illustration
Bring an anecdote to
life
Add emotional context
to a point
Carry informati...
A couple of “don’ts”
If you're talking about budgets you don't need a
picture of some money
If you're talking about having...
“Say it with boxes”
Even the most boring wall of text
or replaying of a simple brief can
be improved by breaking it into
b...
Have fun with it
It shows
And then, how to present it (WELL)
1.
Own IT (you are
a strong and
powerful
individual)
2.
Don’t read read
the charts, tel...
Embody the presentation
Behavioural psychology tells us
that body language can lead how
you feel
If you look, feel and act...
Rehearse it, know it, do it
Some people like to rehearse it solo
Or with an audience
Or in your head
But whatever you do… ...
But do whatever makes you feel comfortable
Everyone is different
Don’t listen to anyone telling
you how to do it
Just feel...
Feel free to go off piste
Detours are fun
it makes you seem human
It show’s you know your stuff
Run with it
But be the tour guide, don’t let them get lost
Bring them in to land
You’re in charge
Don’t let them stray or get
lost
Please… Shut up
Pauses give you time to
breathe
They also give people time
to think
ANd sometimes ask
questions
So… Onto workshops…
I love workshops
But I also hate workshops
A couple of tips for running workshops
1.
PlanNING
PLanning
planning
2.
Trust the process
3.
Be the energy
Rules help us all have fun
No No’s
Quantity not quality
Reserve judgement
Park it
No pet projects
Follow the leader
Be crystal clear on what you want to achieve
Learn / Create / Develop
People / Purpose / Process
Fuck seniority
Everyone is equal
It’s not just a chance for the
most senior people to say
their piece
It’s your job to mak...
Don’t speak
A workshop should be
participative
No more than 1/3 should be
presenting
Shut the hell up
Trust the process
It should feel chaotic
If you follow the right
process it will get the right
idea
Help everyone trust to...
Take everyone on the journey
Get consensus
Sort, cluster, improve and
vote
The process matters as much
as the output
Avoid groupthink
Get people working solo and
sharing back
Break people into small teams
Minimise ‘full group’ time
icebreakers and energisers work
They seem naff
But they make a real
difference
Build them in and take them
seriously (even...
Make it a safe space
It should be playful
Stupid ideas are the path to
good ideas
There are really no bad
answers (at leas...
Lastly, some little exercises to steal for workshops
Nearly there…
have a goal - 40 in 20
Studies show, if you don’t give
a target, people come up with
about 8 ideas in 20 minutes
If you gi...
Make it a race - get to the end of the table
Post-it note race
Fun, gives everyone a target
Visual and uses the space
What would x do?
A fun projective to push
people in new directions
What would apple / amazon /
facebook / gandhi / corbin ...
Get outside of the norm - what would get you fired?
challenge everyone to come up
with a good idea that would
get them fir...
Speed dating
Get different people to own
different products / problems
/ areas
Get them to speed date with
other people fo...
projective - imagine you’ve nailed it
Imagine it’s 2020
What went well
What’s the headline
What are customers saying
What ...
map out the consumer journey
What do they do throughout the day?
Pain points? Touch points?
Where can we make a difference?
What would a better / the opposite company do?
Imagine you are launching the
opposite company in the same
category
It does...
Lastly, have a think, make it up, have fun
It’s not rocket science
BUt it should be fun
And it should be creative
What wil...
In summary
1.
Know your audience,
know yourself, and
break the
presentation down
into a structure
2.
Have fun, make it
par...
Questions?
*22:23, half a bottle of wine and 57 charts later
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The thrills and spills of presenting and workshops

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Just a little presentation I've written about writing presentations, presenting them, running workshops and generally doing work (hopefully better).

I used it for an internal session at work but figured I'd share it.

Published in: Marketing
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The thrills and spills of presenting and workshops

  1. 1. The thrills and spills of presentations and workshops @felderston (I never use it anyway)
  2. 2. Hello Hi… I’m oli… I spend a lot of time writing and presenting half-baked presentations 
 and running poorly planned workshops
  3. 3. A disclaimer A lot of this might be massively patronising, but it’s not meant to be Just hopefully a couple of useful points to ignore or borrow from
  4. 4. This presentation includes… Some fun tips on writing presentations A couple of pointers on how to present them (well?) A couple of tips for setting up and running workshops Some goofy workshop techniques you can steal
  5. 5. First up, presentations How to write them so they don’t suck How to present them like a badass +
  6. 6. Firstly, I disagree with this: Sex Presenting You’re naked You’re turned on You’re doing it with a roomful of colleagues You have a clicker *If you love presenting as much as sex, you’re doing one, or both of them wrong
  7. 7. Tip #1 Don’t start writing the damn thing at 7pm the day before it’s due Source: Me @ 19:15 yesterday
  8. 8. But, overall, I think there are some simple things to bear in mind 1. who the hell are you writing it for and how will they receive it? 2. What are you trying to say? And how will you say it in a way that makes sense? 3. How will you make it sexy and not dull and horrible?
  9. 9. Why the context you are writing for matters 1. who the hell are you writing it for and how will they receive it?
  10. 10. What’s the seniority and attitude of the audience? CEOPerson doing all the work “I need all the detail because i’m actually making this happen” “This is my life, please keep going” 80+ charts Fewer than 10 charts “Yay another meeting” “What are the key decisions I’m making” “Hang on, I’ve got an important call” “Who the hell are you and why are you still talking?”
  11. 11. We aren’t paid by the chart CEOPerson doing all the work “I need all the detail because i’m actually making this happen” “This is my life, please keep going” 80+ charts Fewer than 10 charts “Yay another meeting” “What are the key decisions I’m making” “Hang on, I’ve got an important call” “Who the hell are you and why are you still talking?” Focus on what is important for the people in the room
 Don’t throw in the kitchen sink for the sake of it What do you want actioned? Why is it happening?
  12. 12. Are you presenting it? Does it need to be a leave-behind? Is it a prop or fun visual to make a point? Or is it an idiot proof explanation of what you need to do?
  13. 13. What do you want out of it? Are you selling something? There are probably 3 main roles for a presentation… Are you starting a discussion? Are you explaining something? • “Miss World Order • Subtle crescendo • Hints to call back to - leave breadcrumbs • Shape the discussion • Whatever you need to bring it to life • Clear signposting • Summary charts and executive summaries • Short, simple accompanying text • Provide supporting links and examples • Frame the question and discussion clearly • Pause for discussion, and direct it • Force the question and bank the answers • Just enough stimulus *I completely made this up
  14. 14. How to be clear in presentations 1. who the hell are you writing it for and how will they receive it? 2. What are you trying to say? And how will you say it in a way that makes sense?
  15. 15. Have a narrative, and tell people what it is People don’t (usually) like surprises They also want to know where it’s going (And when they can go to the toilet) Source: Joyfully stolen from Russell Davies
  16. 16. Map it out, don’t just throw charts at it Know where you’re going Thinking through at a bullet point level Go macro first
  17. 17. Say what you need in the headlines… See Above
  18. 18. … And tell a story with them (Although, know your audience… Some corporate organisations don’t like them to be too conversational)
  19. 19. It’s also a balancing act as little as you can get away with As much as you need to get your point across “If in doubt, less is more”
  20. 20. Be a human write like a human Imagine your audience is human Try to engage them as such
  21. 21. But also be a ruthless editor When writing a presentation, the temptation is to overexplain everything. You would do best to edit every unnecessary word, avoid leaving chunks of prose in, and make it as clear and precise so you can talk around it when you’re presenting it Don’t overexplain edit every unnecessary word No chunks of prose Be clear and precise Talk around it when presenting
  22. 22. But you still need space for charm 1. who the hell are you writing it for and how will they receive it? 2. What are you trying to say? And how will you say it in a way that makes sense? 3. How will you make it sexy and not dull and horrible?
  23. 23. A picture cannot tell a thousand words Pictures are tricky They can make the most boring shit interesting BUt they can also distract you from making sense
  24. 24. illustrate, don’t decorate A POWERFUL POPOSITION *PROUDLY Stolen from russell davies Both terrible and lazy
  25. 25. A springboard, an evocation, or an illustration Bring an anecdote to life Add emotional context to a point Carry information in an engaging way
  26. 26. A couple of “don’ts” If you're talking about budgets you don't need a picture of some money If you're talking about having ideas you don't need pictures of lightbulbs If you're talking about teamwork you don't need a picture of some brightly coloured people holding a piece of jigsaw Don’t use full-stops on every single point line Even more specifically, never, ever use clipart *Because We hate ourselves enough already
  27. 27. “Say it with boxes” Even the most boring wall of text or replaying of a simple brief can be improved by breaking it into boxes because it makes it easier to digest, clearer to talk around, and creates (the illusion) of thinking. It also gives you some kind of framework to work around, even if it’s nonsense. The most boring of text or simple brief can be improved by: Breaking it into some boxes, or a simple framework Easier to digest Clearer to talk around Creates (the illusion) of thought It also makes it look less boring
  28. 28. Have fun with it It shows
  29. 29. And then, how to present it (WELL) 1. Own IT (you are a strong and powerful individual) 2. Don’t read read the charts, tell a story 3. It’s not all about you (AK A SHUT UP)
  30. 30. Embody the presentation Behavioural psychology tells us that body language can lead how you feel If you look, feel and act like a badass, you will present like one
  31. 31. Rehearse it, know it, do it Some people like to rehearse it solo Or with an audience Or in your head But whatever you do… internalise it
  32. 32. But do whatever makes you feel comfortable Everyone is different Don’t listen to anyone telling you how to do it Just feel how you like to do it
  33. 33. Feel free to go off piste Detours are fun it makes you seem human It show’s you know your stuff Run with it
  34. 34. But be the tour guide, don’t let them get lost Bring them in to land You’re in charge Don’t let them stray or get lost
  35. 35. Please… Shut up Pauses give you time to breathe They also give people time to think ANd sometimes ask questions
  36. 36. So… Onto workshops… I love workshops But I also hate workshops
  37. 37. A couple of tips for running workshops 1. PlanNING PLanning planning 2. Trust the process 3. Be the energy
  38. 38. Rules help us all have fun No No’s Quantity not quality Reserve judgement Park it No pet projects Follow the leader
  39. 39. Be crystal clear on what you want to achieve Learn / Create / Develop People / Purpose / Process
  40. 40. Fuck seniority Everyone is equal It’s not just a chance for the most senior people to say their piece It’s your job to make it feel equal
  41. 41. Don’t speak A workshop should be participative No more than 1/3 should be presenting Shut the hell up
  42. 42. Trust the process It should feel chaotic If you follow the right process it will get the right idea Help everyone trust together
  43. 43. Take everyone on the journey Get consensus Sort, cluster, improve and vote The process matters as much as the output
  44. 44. Avoid groupthink Get people working solo and sharing back Break people into small teams Minimise ‘full group’ time
  45. 45. icebreakers and energisers work They seem naff But they make a real difference Build them in and take them seriously (even if they feel stupid)
  46. 46. Make it a safe space It should be playful Stupid ideas are the path to good ideas There are really no bad answers (at least at this stage) Only boring ones
  47. 47. Lastly, some little exercises to steal for workshops Nearly there…
  48. 48. have a goal - 40 in 20 Studies show, if you don’t give a target, people come up with about 8 ideas in 20 minutes If you give them a goal of 40 ideas, they come up with 24 *I made these numbers up because I can’t find the source
  49. 49. Make it a race - get to the end of the table Post-it note race Fun, gives everyone a target Visual and uses the space
  50. 50. What would x do? A fun projective to push people in new directions What would apple / amazon / facebook / gandhi / corbin do?
  51. 51. Get outside of the norm - what would get you fired? challenge everyone to come up with a good idea that would get them fired Prize for the best
  52. 52. Speed dating Get different people to own different products / problems / areas Get them to speed date with other people for 2 minutes and see what sticks
  53. 53. projective - imagine you’ve nailed it Imagine it’s 2020 What went well What’s the headline What are customers saying What did you have to do to get there? What did you have to stop? What was the biggest investment?
  54. 54. map out the consumer journey What do they do throughout the day? Pain points? Touch points? Where can we make a difference?
  55. 55. What would a better / the opposite company do? Imagine you are launching the opposite company in the same category It does all the stuff you wish you could do but can’t It makes a fresh start and is massively successful SOGRA EKIN IDUA
  56. 56. Lastly, have a think, make it up, have fun It’s not rocket science BUt it should be fun And it should be creative What will get the best results?
  57. 57. In summary 1. Know your audience, know yourself, and break the presentation down into a structure 2. Have fun, make it participative, keep it interesting and tailor it to the purpose and the audience 3. Be creative, use a range of techniques, don’t just make it “another presentation / workshop / brainstorm / snooze- fest”
  58. 58. Questions? *22:23, half a bottle of wine and 57 charts later

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