A great presentation involves planning, evidence-based instructional design, engaging delivery, compelling visuals and some way for people to do something new or differently or better as a result. Easy, right?
Maybe not so much. I’ve never met a single person who could do every one of those things well. So how can someone cobble together a great presentation with all of those elements?
Great presentations all begin with a plan. My colleague Heather wrote about the dangers of “winging it” last week. Many people begin mapping out their presentations by opening PowerPoint and beginning to put some slides together, maybe throwing some talking points into the notes.
While PowerPoint can help give you a little structure, it’s not actually a presentation planning tool. If you’re looking for some help in giving some initial structure to your thoughts, you may want to try:
Evidence-based Instructional Design
Just because you know about a subject and/or know how to talk, doesn’t mean you know how to put together an effective presentation. If you (or someone you know) needs some help designing a more effective presentation, here are two great resources:
- Learner-centered approach (a series of curated articles and resources from Emma Chiappetta)
- The decisive dozen (12 factors of instructional design outlined by Will Thalheimer backed by scientific research)
Sometimes lecture works… a lot of times it doesn’t. If you want to get away from traditional lecture, here are a few options:
- STORY model for Storytelling
- 292 ideas for training activities (both in-person and online delivery)
- Pecha Kucha
- Secrets of a Great Talk (video featuring Phil Waknell)
Just because you have PowerPoint on your machine doesn’t mean that what you produce will hold your audience’s attention. Following are four resources to help make your visuals more compelling:
- You Suck at PowerPoint (SlideShare presentation)
- 3 principles for effective PowerPoint presentations
- Effective PowerPoint Checklist
- Canva (online tool)
If your presentation is truly aimed at changing the world (or at least the behaviors of your audience), you need to have some support in place for the hours and days and weeks following your presentation. Below is a link to a video sharing some scientific research on how you can better make your presentation “stick”:
- Learning and forgetting curves (video)
Shortcut/Presentation Design “Cheat Code”
It takes a lot of time and attention and work to put together and to deliver amazing presentations. If you want a shortcut, our Soapbox presentation design tool will be available next week. It allows you to skip over the need to put a lot of time and effort into planning and instructional design (because it does all that for you). Sign up here or use the form below for a 14-day free trial and begin generating presentation outlines, slides, activities and handout templates in less than 5 minutes (maybe 10 minutes if you have a more complex presentation).