Thing 20 aims to give you a brief overview of presentation style, tips to create a more professional presentation and finally touch on the technologies that can enhance your presentation and thus increasing your profile within your Organisations or Communities.
While technologies have advanced, the different forms of presentations have remained similar and can be classed in four distinct types:
- The exposition: this is a data-reporting presentation, clarity is most important. Think about company results, investor presentations where there is no room for error or interpretation.
- The showpiece: used for a major announcement, perhaps the result of personal experience like a charity led visit to a foreign country, climbing Mount Everest. These presentations are designed to engage and inspire you.
- The conversation: This one is used to document a 'work in progress' or a creative project that is been developed.
- The sales pitch: the sales pitch is a continuation of the conversation but with an ending styled for a sale or purchase. This goes further in that it actively asks your audience to purchase your product or sponsor your program. Very important to note - if you don't ask for a sale or sponsorship you won't get it'
You should know your audience and your subject. Research your audience, who are you presenting to? What are their interests? From a library perspective, is the presentation for senior managers who are interested in your projects technology or are they more interested in your literacy work within the project?
Know your subject, this can't be emphasised enough. If you are unsure about any part of the presentation this will shine through no matter how fancy your slides or video footage.
Most importantly, before you even look at what type of presentation or technology you are going to use write your story. Do not be tempted to start with your presentation slides and work backwards. I deliberately stated story because this really is what a presentation is all about. It has a beginning, middle and end and the importance of having a continuous flow to your presentation will make it successful.
Once the story is written it is time to look at the software.
For the software we will look at two examples - PowerPoint and Prezi.
PowerPoint was invented some 20 plus years ago and has been adopted by most businesses throughout the world. Microsoft claims that over 30 million PowerPoint presentations are given every day! As with all software it has its' advantages - it is easy to use, has a wide availability and now has an online version.
|Poor example of PowerPoint|
PowerPoint is easy to use, but very hard to use well. Some tips for developing your presentation with PowerPoint include:
- Choose a simple scheme and stick to it. Do not mess around with fonts and colour schemes as this just wastes time
- Do not type your script on screen and then read it out to your audience
- Do not have complex charts - use a number of simple charts is preferable - think of your audience
- Do not get obsessed with the pictorial side of things, focus on the story and the pictorial side will develop
|Good example of PowerPoint - simplicity|
The difficulties arise as it can be confusing to work with in the beginning, it's not as user friendly as PowerPoint and there may be issues when trying to work offline. Where PowerPoint allows users the option to use too much text, Prezi can allow you to create presentations that would be more distracting to your audience but again, it's all about awareness and building your presentation correctly regardless of the software.
This handy tutorial on Prezi might assist you in getting started.
Another option that is similar to PowerPoint is Google Slides, which is available online and is free to use. It has limited options in relation to format and design but it is very user friendly.
|Example of Prezi|
Option 1 - Select a topic that you would like to give a presentation on and create a presentation of no more than 6 slides using PowerPoint, Prezi or Google Slides. Share your slideshow and thoughts on the process in your blog.
Option 2 - Think about a presentation that you have given. If possible share the slideshow on your blog and your thoughts on how you planned, created and gave the presentation. What worked well for you? Was it a case of nerves and you didn't deliver it as well as you would have liked? What there anything you would change? Perhaps take the opportunity to offer advice to anyone who is planning their own presentation.
Resources for the post:
I've used lecture notes from my Masters plus the following books:
'Perfect your presentation: deliver confident, high impact performances' by Steve Shipside, 2006
'Brilliant presentation: what the best presenters know, do and say' by Richard Hall, 2011
'Successful presenting in a week' by Malcolm Peel, Teach yourself series, 2012