15 October 2008

How to present to humans

I have an amateur interest in graphic design.

I figure that this ties into ultimate. Ultimate is quite the grassroots sport - the players are the administrators, coaches, referees, and recruiters. And when it comes to recruiting, you need to communicate clear ideas to the ultimate community or wider world, often through print, powerpoint, websites or video.

Most of us have zero training in design. If we design something, we just dump the information into the Word document or PowerPoint template, fiddle with a couple of borders or pictures til it looks a little nicer, and go with it. Passion for your topic will partly make up for lack of expertise!

But if you would like to really make your message more powerful, a few simple principles can make a big difference. And help you stand out from the crowd.

So from one of the blogs I read, Presentation Zen, I thought I would share an intro to presentation design and delivery.

It is a short pdf, that is a great reference for when you design your next PowerPoint, poster or flier for ultimate.

If you have to give a presentation, talking and visuals, and you decide to use PowerPoint, then you need to learn about Really Bad Powerpoint (and how to avoid it), from Seth Godin.
We can do better than this.
The biggest idea I took away was knowing the difference between what an audience member hears in your presentation, what they see in your presentation, and what they physically take away (e.g. a handout) from your presentation.

These three things should be very, very different, but with a cohesive overall message. Using the advice in the above pdfs, preparing your materials will actually take less time.

Personally, I have sat through too many lectures this semester where the lecturer shows slabs of text on a screen, read the same slabs of text, then hands out those same slabs of text as printouts. Has this happened to you?

I may as well print them out and read them at my own pace at home (and have actually taken that option regularly)!

If I give you my presence and attention, make it worth my time to be there!

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