28 Jan 2009

Presentation Zen: getting your point across

We've all experienced 'death by PowerPoint', and I'm sure we've all been guilty of producing 60+ slides of mind-numbing bullet point, after bullet point, interspersed with dodgy Clip Art. Come on....admit it.

Ever nodded off at a conference? Or completely lost track of the point the speaker is trying to make? Or from the other side of the lectern, ever felt like you've lost your audience? Finding those blank stares from your audience off-putting?

Then read on...we've got some medicine for you.

It's easy to slip into - what we know, what we've always done. But it's lazy. And it's not productive. Great communication is getting your point across effectively and succinctly whilst captivating, educating and entertaining your audience.

In our quest to improve our own presentations and presenting we've been on a journey to learn from others and have assembled the following collection of tips, examples and stimulus.

Hopefully they'll provide you with enough inspiration to challenge your current presentation techniques and perhaps even advance you (and your audience) on a journey to Presentation Zen:

1. Left brain/right brain - a few tips from Seth Godin on avoiding Really Bad PowerPoint.

2. Scott Schwertly of Ethos3 argues it's all about storytelling - well Hollywood are pretty successful at drawing audiences into their presentations, night after night.

3. Where to put stuff on slides to improve composition and draw the viewer in - the rule of thirds.

4. Leave behind the projector and use a hard copy when presenting to a small audience.

5. Neat way to visualise the key point of your story using words and wordle. (Our blog's beautiful 'Word Cloud' sits at the top of the page)

6. The example below shows how PowerPoint, if done well, can get an important message across eloquently and with style.....and it presents itself! For more inspiring examples jump here.

7. Presentations and inspiring talks. Learn (steal, borrow) from some of the best.

8. Best 10 presentations ever? You decide.

Credit and thanks to Team Zen for source material.