A few months ago a friend from LA invited me to talk at EO Alchemy 2010, what a great event. Amazing set of speakers, great event production, and everything was done right. Here is the video of me speaking at the event. Warning: I start a bit slow as I had been up for 24 hours.
If you know anything about me, you know my dream is to give a TED talk at some point in my life. So when I saw the tedPAD, and this video, it was love at first sight. With all the data available on TED talks, the statistics show everything from topics, to what color to use for creating the best presentation. They even help you figure out what to wear, so it looks like I may need to get some thick-rimmed eyeglasses and grow my hair long.
I had the privilege of being invited to talk at LessConf in October and it was one of the best conferences I have been to in a while. The other speakers were amazing and I learned a ton. From thinking differently about design and conventions from the Contrast.ie guys to how Wufoo does support, it was an all-around awesome experience. I had a great time chatting with Mike from FreshBooks and even stole his customer dinner concept. Better than any of the speakers were the attendees and BarCamp the next day. Everyone there was doing interesting things, engaged in the community and super passionate. This is what makes a great conference.
While I am still not sure why the great guys (Allan and Steve) from LessEverything wanted me to talk, they did a great job recording and editing in my slides. Watch the full presentation below.
Nobody likes boring presentations. Even worse, boring presentations don’t provide any value to viewers. If you’re giving a talk or a presentation, don’t bore your audience! Just follow some advice from Garr Reynolds and his Presentation Zen method.
Realize that your presentation is an opportunity to tell a story and impart some knowledge. Don’t make people do the work of trying to figure out the purpose of your presentation. Tell them what it is.
Don’t give it all away. This is perhaps the most important piece of advice: don’t put your entire presentation, word for word, on the PowerPoint slide. Pick out the main points and then do the hard work yourself and speak semi-extemporaneously (you’ll need to memorize a little). You can’t ask the audience to get down in the trenches with you—they want a succinct presentation with key points illustrated on the screen in front of them, so give them that.
Bring some design to your presentations. No, you don’t have to be a graphics guru, but try to stay away from using the cartoonish images that came with your laptop. That’s a sin. Try iStockphoto, which usually has some good options that can add visual interest to your presentation. And while this does make more time, it’s better than polluting your screen with massive quantities of text. People want to be enlightened, not overwhelmed.
Make transitions seamless. You don’t want to look like you’re doing a lot of work to make your presentation or you’ll make the audience tired, too. One of the easiest ways to make flawless transitions in your presentations is by purchasing an Apple Remote if you’ve got an Apple laptop, or a mini slide changer if you’ve got a PC. Seems like a no-brainer, but I see a lot of presentations where people forget to do this and fumble around as they move through the presentation.
For more advice, watch the Presentation Zen video, part of the Google Talk series, below.
Resource, tips and tricks