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Archive for the ‘Presentations’ Category

Heard on the Digital Street

Monday, December 17th, 2012

I recently attended a free webinar by PowerPoint makeover guru Rick Altman. Here are some of the notes I took:

  • Put the needs of your audience first.
  • Don’t include these slides:
      •  About us
      • Mission Statement
  • Slides should compliment/enhance the message.
  • Share your ideas; don’t explain your slides.
  • Remember phone booths? Remember seeing pictures of people trying to cram as many people as possible into a phone booth? Is your slide like that phone booth…crammed with information? You’re not going to get any contents for that.
  • Nobody goes to a presentation to see your slides. They come for your expertise. Don’t make your slides more important than yourself.
  • They come for you, but make it about them.
  • Ask yourself: if the projector blew up, could you give your presentation without your slides?
  • Three things that make a good presentation (these should all be different from each other):

1. What you say.
2. What you show.
3. What you give to the audience.

  • Asked: What is your biggest complaint about PowerPoint slides. Answered: Too much text on slides.
  • Try to make each bullet point 3 words or less (unlike this bullet point).
  • Problem:You want your slides to do double duty; to be the visual component for a presentation and a handout. The purposes are disparate. Create 2 different documents.
  • Say it first, and then show it.
  • You can follow Rick Altman on Twitter (@rickaltman)


Monday, December 10th, 2012

Connie Malamed, an eLearning coach, posted an article on her blog called: 20 Things to Remember about Forgetting. Follow the link:

Note items 15-19 and their implications for training.

Boredom Busters

Friday, December 7th, 2012

The title of the article I’ve linked to here is 5 Great eLearning Boredom Busters, however, I think the suggestions work for in-person presentations as well. I’ve listed the 5 suggestions below. Follow the link to read more and about each item and solutions.

  • Avoid content-centered design
  • When talking about content…make it “sticky”
  • Show, don’t tell!
  • Spell out the famous WIFM (What’s in it for me)
  • Avoid “busy work” interactivity
  • Attention versus Engagement

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

    Olivia Mitchell is a presentation trainer based in New Zealand who writes a blog called Speaking about Presenting [].

    In a post titled 4 Ways to Move People from Attention to Engagement Olivia writes that you have people’s attention to begin with; the next step is to try to engage them so that they want to hear and learn more.

    Olivia says this about the difference between attention and engagement:

    If your audience is attentive, you can pour information into them.
    If your audience is engaged, they are sucking that information from you.

    Visit this link to read the full blog post:

    Just a Suggestion

    Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

    From a post by Tom Mucciolo on the Indezine blog.

    Designing to the Delivery

    “Imagine a presenter who is challenged by verbal fillers (ums, uhs) when trying to paraphrase text, giving the appearance of nervousness. A slide designer could create more graphic images, data-driven charts, perhaps interspersed video, to allow the speaker to “talk around” the visual imagery (cues) with little or no text on the screen.”

    The described approach will only work if the presenter knows the material well. Instead of reading a slide, create a visually rich slide that has all the information the speaker needs to convey a message. Less is more.

    Read the full post called Slides and Speakers at:

    What We Learned in “School”: Stories from Three Training and Learning Conferences

    Monday, September 24th, 2012

    Join the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) trainers as they share “aha moments,” tips, techniques and research-based recommendations from three recent professional development conferences.  We will discuss:

    • Presentation skills, including better PowerPoint design
    • Tips for creating participant-centered training activities
    • Distance learning recommendations

    Date:  November 7, 2012

    Time:  3 – 4 pm ET

    Place:  Adobe Connect; web address will be sent to registrants

    Register here

    Visualizing Data

    Friday, September 14th, 2012

    You’ve done the work; you’ve collected the data; now what? In recent years, there has been an outpouring  of tools to corral data and present it in a human-friendly format (ex. Infographics). A recent article in Information Today provides a run down of many different options based on the type of information you are trying to present.

    Teacher Disposition

    Thursday, September 13th, 2012

    In a recent presentation I attended there was a discussion was about about two groups of students, one undergraduate, the other graduate, who were asked to name the 10 most important qualities of behavior of the teacher during an online course. The top two qualities named they named?

    Number one: Communication (that we understand)
    Number two: Instructor disposition (we might need help with that)

    Teacher disposition can be defined as having empathy, positive view of self, positive view of others, honesty, genuineness, meaningful purpose and vision.

    Teacher disposition may lead to better student success with increased learning outcomes.

    How do we make sure we are demonstrating the desired disposition during an online course?

    Some key qualities:
    • Be very present from the start.
    • Personalize to each student.
    • When a question is asked respond as quickly as possible, if possible immediately.
    • Use the person’s name when communicating and if possible write a personal note.
    • Provide positive feedback.
    • Your tone can and will be detected. Present with positive, high-energy.

    Don’t Let this be Your Presentation

    Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

    A very humorous (and sad) look at PowerPoint presentations.

    Tools for Better Presentations

    Friday, August 31st, 2012

    The American Evaluation Association [] is creating a resource with presentation guidelines to help you “prepare, develop, and deliver awesome presentations that will better engage your audience and make your content stick.”

    To view the tools they have posted, visit