Top 5 reasons to Prezi

Prezi’s are to presenters as 3D printers are to designers; no one really knows what they are or how they work, but everyone wants one! I get more questions about Prezi than any other presentation design tool. It is 100% unique, used by presenters all over the globe, and contrary to popular belief, quite easy to use.

Is Prezi worth all the hype? In my opinion, yes, it is, and here are the top 5 reasons why: Continue reading

Presenting Data Better

Many attendees of The Better Presenter workshop are doctors or research scientists, and their presentations are very complex and often contain a lot of data. Half-way in to the workshop, after they have a good understanding of my approach to presenting, someone inevitably asks the question, “If I can’t use bullets points or tables and charts, how am I supposed to make my case? I can’t replace my data with images from iStock!”

First of all, I’m not suggesting that you remove all of the complexity from your slides and replace it with downloaded pictures of puppies and sunsets. What I am suggesting… Continue reading

Better FONTS! (pt 2)

In part 1 of this Better FONTS! post, we learned about typography, design, and explored the font collection that we already have on our computers. Now we’re getting to the fun part – downloading and using new fonts! Continue reading

Better FONTS! (pt 1)

Most of us don’t put much thought into the fonts we use in our presentations. We just pick a template and accept the fonts that come along with the template. This is a good strategy if your goal is to create a presentation that looks common and typical. One way to spice things up is to create your own collection of fonts that compliment the subject and tone of your presentation. I have a lot of cool tips and resources to share with you on this topic, so let’s dive right in! Continue reading

Pecha Kucha: Speed Dating for Presenters

The purpose of speed dating is to get as many “good” phone numbers as possible in a short time. Little time is wasted, and potential suitors have to sell their best qualities quickly. If the bell rings before you told her that you liked romantic walks on the beach and kittens, you’re out of luck.

There is a trend in presentation delivery that places a presenter in a similar situation. Unlike speed dating, however, your success rate is determined by more than your rugged good looks. It’s called Pecha Kucha (pronouncedPecha Kucha not Pickachu peh-chach-ka, not to be confused with Pikachu). Originating in Tokyo and created by two architects, this presentation style has officially gone viral and has swept across the globe. Regular “PechaKucha Nights” now happen monthly in (at last count) 527 cities across the globe… including San Francisco! Pecha Kucha is named for the Japanese sound of conversation, or “chit chat” when translated.

When the two creators were asked why they started this whole thing in the first place, they replied, “Because architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect – or most creative people for that matter – and they’ll go on forever! Give PowerPoint to anyone else and they have the same problem.” Amen to that!

This is how it works: Each presenter talks through 20 slides, each of which is auto-timed to appear for exactly 20 seconds. The format is also referred to as 20×20. And so, each presentation is exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds long. And that’s pretty much it. Simple.

But is it effective?

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Design Templates: Good or Evil?

The idea of becoming a better presenter is far from controversial… that is, until we start talking about slideshow design templates! Before we share our ideas and tips, however, we want to know what you think about the proper use (or misuse) of design templates in presentations. Are templates good, or evil? Do you use them? If so, how often? Do you value consistency over creativity? Can you have both? Do templates save you time, or create more work for you?

Please take the poll below, and then share your thoughts in the comment box.

 

Sample slides from the Zen master

My personal foray into the world of presentation design and support began a few years back, at a community college in Michigan, when the dean of the business school approached me and asked if I would like to co-teach a new workshop with him. Sure, I said, why not? He handed me a book, and said that our presentation would be based on its content. I read it, and was immediately hooked.

The book was Presentation Zen, by Garr Reynolds. After reading it, my perspective on presentations changed forever. If presentation-giving was a religion, Garr would be the healer laying his hands on the people to miraculously cure them of their bullet points and bad clip art!

I just stumbled upon a very practical resource from Garr Reynolds, which will provide inspiration and help you design better slides.

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