With Ignite Boise 2 coming up in a couple weeks I wanted to share my thoughts on how the new presenters can make their presentations even better.
1. Limit Your Points
Just because you have 20 slides, doesn’t mean you should make 20 different points. You don’t have time to do justice that many ideas. Instead limit it to about 5-10 points, and use several slides for each one. If you try to say too much, then you will be too rushed and end up saying nothing.
2. Use Clean and Simple Design
That means less words per slide and to be more visual. Simple. Follow it.
Your slides are not a substitute for notes. They should accent your talk, not repeat it verbatim. If you have more than a single sentence or point on a slide you’re doing it wrong. Here, try this:
- Write your slide.
- Cut the number of words in half.
- Smile at your incredible progress.
- Then try to cut the word count in half again.
You will have more people listening to you, rather than reading a slide (which will probably have already changed anyway).
3. Memorize Your Presentation
Your presentation is really a performance. If you have ever done a school play, or any acting then you know the how imperative it is to memorize your lines. As a presenter you will be much more free to improve other aspects of your presentation. You would be surprised how hindering notes can be on stage. It will be easier to engage the audience and you will have a better stage presence. Plus, it’s five minutes! Not that much to memorize.
4. Practice Under Realistic Circumstances
At the last Ignite Boise some presenters seemed genuinely surprised at how quickly their slides moved. Everyone knows to practice, but you need to practice under realistic circumstances. That includes making sure that your slides are timed to the 15 seconds, not whenever you are ready to push the button. Both PowerPoint and Keynote make that easy.
Also when you practice try to do in in a large space. At the Egyptian theatre you have a huge amount of space. The most engaging speakers used that space. Walk, move, gesture, and keep the audience interested!
The first Ignite Boise 1 was a huge success (thanks to everyone who put it on!) and I am looking forward to brilliance from IB2.
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