Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Good Example of Non-Linear Presentation from UPS
Friday, March 23, 2007
Reminder of the importance of presentation structure
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
PowerPoint Tip - Ideas for More Visuals
The web site is a project from some academics who are studying ways to represent concepts visually and it is an interesting site. The specific page I suggest as a resource is at: http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html . This page contains a large number of potential visual ideas organized into categories based on the periodic table of elements (there's the academic influence showing through).
Notice that they have organized the visual methods (as they term them) by color to represent what you are trying to visualize (data, concept, strategy, etc.) and they have added letter colors and symbols to further categorize the methods on the basis of process vs. structure, detail vs. overview and divergent vs. convergent thinking. I know this may seem a little too academic, but stay with me.
By rolling your mouse over any of the boxes in the table, you will see a popup example of the visual relating to that method. It is interesting to see some of these examples. There are some common ones like pie charts, line graphs, venn diagrams and timelines. There are also some less common ones such as the data flow diagram, concentric circles, iceberg and performance charting. Almost all I could see being valuable in certain situations. Spend a few minutes rolling your mouse around the page and consider whether each visual you see could be a good idea for an upcoming presentation.
What's missing is a list of best practices for each of these diagrams. My fear when using diagrams or visuals is the tendency to make them too complicated that the audience can't understand them. That's why in my ebook "Transforming Text Slides into Visual Slides" I demonstrate 15 of the most common situations you will encounter in business and how to take a normal text slide and create a visual slide from it. The ebook also include a list of best practices for each visual so you know how to create it correctly. You can get your copy from http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/transformtext.htm.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Graphics for the jury
How ambient light affects your slides
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Are your presentations delivering valuable information?
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
PowerPoint Tip - What The Audience Really Needs
A few months later a fellow professional speaker reinforced for me the need to dig deeper to find out what the audience really needs. So now I regularly use online survey tools to find out what topics the audience wants me to cover and I structure my presentation accordingly.
The past two weekends I spoke in Nashville and Las Vegas for the same organization. And the presentation was so successful because of my preparation, specifically my audience research. When they asked me to speak, I suggested that we do an online survey of the attendees so that I could focus the presentation.
When the results came in, I was able to start formulating the topics I would present. Then I had another conversation with the conference organizer and we discussed the results of the survey. She was able to add more insight, including the biggest question that the people attending the meeting struggle with. She also clarified the overall purpose of the meeting. These two critical pieces of information helped me focus even tighter on what would be of value to my audience.
This audience focus is one of my key philosophies when presenting and was a key driver in my latest ebook, "Presenting Data to Executives". Too many specialists and analysts deliver "data dump" presentations that don't take into account the perspective of the executives in the room. This leaves the executives confused and without the information they need to make important decisions. It also hurts the presenters chances at advancement. If you present data to management or executive groups, check out this new ebook at http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/presentdata.htm . If you are an executive who has seen one too many of these confusing "data dump" presentations, email me so we can discuss a customized session to teach your staff the secrets of executive presentations.