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Hi Mark, Mike and everyone on these forums... Happy New Year!

I listened to the Presentations Cast on the way to our National Sales Conference today - good timing as I stood there and did the ...... P A U S E and it worked a treat, suddenly 90 people stopped and paid attention as I began with a Product Update. Thanks for the great tip.

I had a small number of slides, with minimal text and followed the guidance from the previous cast on presentations and I thought it went well, in as much as I could tell.

One of my co-presenters did 15 minutes with NO TEXT AT ALL.... just a series of pictures of our products and software, which I found out later was mixed together with the 'collage' function in 'Picasa' (available free from Google). I have just downloaded it and it is pretty neat. He had lots of slides, but kept them moving and along and not having to read the text just made his presentation stand out.

Anyway, long and short of it.. I was impressed. It was such a refreshing change from a text based, bullet point after bullet point presentation, that I wonder if anyone else has seen or used this. Are there any other presentation tools (not JUST PowerPoint) and techniques that people feel they can share that just are a bit different and make your content (and you!) stand out.

Or, do people think this is all a bit lame (US) or Naff (UK)..... ??

I'd be interested in thoughts and opinions of MT listeners on this.

Len's picture

The most senior folks with whom I work seem to prefer pictures/graphics to words. My conclusion: the kind of brain possessed by those most likely to achieve high positions in my organizational culture is pre-disposed to a preference for graphical information.

I once worked for a 3-star general who is known as an intellectual (Malcolm Gladwell includes a vignette about him in "BLINK"). This general once told me, "If you can't draw a picture to describe an idea, then you have not yet thought about the idea enough."

Len

Mark's picture

This is ABSOLUTELY the most effective way to present. The only reason we haven't talked about it is that it's a bridge too far for most people, and we're trying to help everyone get to the first level first.

Mark

sholden's picture

It is a very great way to present. I have done it twice on on two different extremely technical and expensive technology solutions for senior decision makers and it went very well. Both were funded and successfully started.

The bad news from my perspective was doing the slides, prepartions, etc. took an extremely long time. And I learned a lesson after the first one that I needed to also do in a parallel a traditional presentation that could easily be printed out and referenced later.

Very powerful stuff ... here is a demo that I saw that is amazingly good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrpajcAgR1E

Steve

Mark's picture

Steve-

Ewwwwww! I watched that video... NOT good, from my perspective. Can't recommend it.

But glad I watched it, and glad you posted it.

Mark

Rich Sheehy's picture

Steve Jobs is known for using pictures and limited text in his presentations. He also tells compelling stories about how his products change the lives of the users, not just a list of the features.

See Steve Jobs' presentation style...and all that jazz at http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2005/10/apple_special_e.html

I have found Presentation Zen to be a great resource.

sholden's picture

Mark ... I woke up this morning ... thinking that link to that 'demo' video wasn't probably the best example without knowing more about the context and it was built for a specific audience of people who attend O'Reilly & Associates conferences.

I wish I could post the ones I did for feedback (it was slower and more transitional) but the are behind a great big firewall. It just occured to me that I attempted to do one at Podcast Expo @ the Podango Unconference (http://sholden.typepad.com/pdf/Unconference-Podcast-Directories-v1.pdf).

I'd love to see one that you thought was well done for reference.

Steve

fcch_mngtools's picture

Just to chime in on presentations, ...

I've been doing quite a few in the past few weeks, ... Want to wake up the audience, ... DON'T use the projector.

I'm in small 30-80 person conference rooms with 20-80 people to present to.

I use a BLANK flip chart and I write down key points as I present them. A total of about 5 points get written down during the 45 minute presentation.

I use a second blank flip chart for a couple of "diagrams" I have to make during the presentation. (which is positioned on the right ride of the podium so I can write on it without turning my back to the audience).

My 0.02$ (and hey, ... 2¢ Canadian is starting to be worth something) :wink:

judithstaatz's picture

Hi Christopher,
It is interesting that others use this way of presentation too. I like it and made good experiences with it. Normally I use it in meetings as baisc for a discussion. Painting pictures and explane them at the same moment seems to be a possibility to get people together who think in different ways (Consultants and Developers for example).

That it works with 20 or more people is good to hear for me. Once I had to use the presentation of someone else. 15 slides in 15 minutes. There was no possibility to change them and it was nearly a desaster. Now I see that others use the same way of presentation. I will try it next time.

Judith

fcch_mngtools's picture

Judith,

I find it a useful tool to "build" the picture on a flip chart as I speak because the type of presentation is often to an audience composed of people with extreme differences in their technical background (such as in public consultation for forested lands management plans.)

If I were to use a slide in ppt and simply pop it up onto the screen, half of the people will see, assimulate the information in a half a second and understand. The other half of the audience will need explications (such as a graph x,y time vs evolution.

When I DRAW the graph "live", I explain the x,y axis first and put up the information afterwards. Keeps from having half the room being frustrated becasue things are too slow and the other half frustrated because they don't understand.

The opposite is true for presentations to the Brass. The VP's are very technically savy. I usually send the executive summary before hand and they get a "live" drill down on the 2 major points.

itilimp's picture

Kind of related, I just came across [url=http://www.slideshare.net/]this site [/url]for people to upload their presentations and of those I've browsed - they all have too many slides! Be nice to see some examples of good presentations if anyone is willing?

Mark's picture

My two hour presentation on Effective Meetings is at our main site. It's got 10 slides for the entire two hours. It's very basic... but you'll get a sense of it.

10 slides - 2 hours. Clear? :wink:

Mark