It was another Monday and another day travelling to London. I was interviewing a candidate for a job. Preparation and post-processing (?) always takes longer than you think it will.
On Tuesday I spent some time preparing for the a knowledge call on presentation skills that I am leading on.
These two blog posts were very influential on my presentation style
Gates, Jobs, & the Zen aesthetic
Learning from Bill Gates & Steve Jobs
Back in 2010 I was invited to deliver a 15 minute keynote, which was then shortened to 12 minutes as other presenters had over run. I always think it’s just selfish of other presenters to run over their time slot, it’s unfair to the other presenters and the audience. A good chair will ensure that this doesn’t happen, and should cut presentations short if needed.
I always plan for the time allocated so I don’t run over. Now the accepted model for powerpoint presentations is 2-5 minutes per slide, so if I was presenting according to the accepted model I would have had no more than six slides.
So how many slides did you have?
I used ninety six slides.
Did you really?
Yes I did.
96 slides in 12 minutes – Presentation Styles
I am also going to use this link about a presentation on presentations at a recent Jisc TEDx event A duck goes quack…
Some final thoughts on presentations
- When presenting read your slides out.
- Make sure you fill with slides with as much text as possible, just so you can ask people at the back can they read them.
- Ensure graphs and diagrams are taken from a document so that the details are unreadable even from the front row.
- Cover your presentation with organisational branding, so that everyone knows where you are from and can be distracted from the actual content.
- Seriously do think about your presentation. Think of the session as a story.
- Don’t read your slides out, use the slides to inform and talk to the audience about the stuff you did or are doing. The slides should inform this not be all the talk written down. Despite everyone saying don’t read your slides, people still do it.
- Less is more, sometimes more is better. So don’t cover your slides in lots of text. One slide with six bullet points has less impact then six slides with a single piece of information. Use less words (or even just a single word) and expand this when you present.
Images can be very powerful and can replace words.
- Don’t use clipart though, go somewhere like Pixabay or Unsplash and find some decent photographic images.
- When using graphs and diagrams, don’t just copy them from your report or Excel spreadsheet, simplify them. Do they add to the story you are telling?
Wednesday I was in the Bristol office. It was nice to meet people, as I haven’t been in the Bristol office for a while now.
Thursday I was back in London for the Jisc Horizons meeting on assessment. The aim of the meeting is to explore the future of assessment in universities and colleges and how technology could be used to help address some of the problems or opportunities we face. My main role for the day is to act as a scribe noting down the comments and ideas from the participants.
It was an exhausting day, but I do feel that we delved deep into the assessment space and identifying some of the challenges and problems universities and colleges face. We also identified some of the opportunities that are out there as well. What can Jisc do in this space, well we’ll discover that later this year.
I also wrote a blog post reminiscing about the Jisc Pedagogy Experts meeting I had attended back in 2007, twelve years ago.
On Friday I was back to the Bristol office, twice in a week. I had various back to back meetings.
In the afternoon we had the knowledge call on presentation skills. Though attendance was low the format appeared to work well. I used a tweetchat format, but used Teams as the platform.
My top tweet this week was this one.
Just dropping this into the conversation....— James Clay (@jamesclay) June 26, 2019
Sticky campus roadshow | Jisc https://t.co/zl4XR1OiNB #AdvanceHE_chat #LTHEchat pic.twitter.com/WNo7OdegZ8