So there I was, reading about this presentation I went to by one of the business profs on his design and presentation blog(presentation zen), when I noticed I am in a photo of the presentation audience. It was a kinda weird sensation.
The presentation focused on design and presentation and zen. I know, big surprise for having a blog called ‘Presentation Zen.’ It highlighted problems people often have with presenting, especially with slides. You see, many people, when they make slides, use bullet points and lots of text and complex diagrams. Gar(the Professor)’s argues that is boring and not necessary anyway.
Presenting Naked(The Title of the Presentation more or less)
Presentations are about emotion, you are trying to get people interested in what you are talking about. If they don’t remember a thing you said but they liked it, it was still good. Maybe not everything you say though.
I guess it has a lot in common with improv in that respect. When I took an improv class, one of the things I learned was that audiences will rarely remember the jokes, the awkward moments. They will just remember if they had fun, laughed hard and enjoyed the show. That is what makes people come back, it is not the content in and of itself. It is about feeling.
Anyway, About slides.
Most people use too few, with too high a density of information. InformationDensity is for papers or blogs or books, not presentation slides. Slides support your ideas, your words but should not get in the way. Density gets in the way.
Dense text is also not memorable, except maybe when confusing and irritating. Dense slides also remove the focus from the speaker to some boring picture with letters on it. You don’t want to be boring.
Sort reminds me of my technical writing course back in Montana. One of the things I took away from that class is that design and aesthetic are always important, especially when dealing with boring subjects… but thats another story.