How to write good presentations

I've been working between Christmas and New Year catching up on a number of things including some research and learning from some recorded external sessions. The quality of the sessions varied both in terms of the technical content, the delivery and the slides themselves.

James recently posted about slides slides and more slides in response to MichaelHyatt's How Not To Use Powerpoint post in which he links to Alexei Kapterev's "Death by Powerpoint (and how to avoid it).

If you want to improve the quality of the presentations you give then I strongly recommend reading each of the posts linked to above. I've found watching the recording of MichaelHyatt's session a number of times to be really helpful.

My top tips are as follows:

  • Be very clear about why you are presenting and what the goal of the session is for the audience
  • Don't present your handouts! I hate seeing slides that are littered with information - stick to a handful of words or even better use thought provoking images. You can always post the detailed information to the Internet for the audience to dig into later.
  • Use large fonts
  • Don't wizz through content - if it's not worthy of more than a few moments then it's probably not relevant
  • Keep it interesting
  • Be aware of the needs of your audience
  • Start by writing a clear abstract and make sure you stick to it during the presentation