Learn about the key areas involved in presentation preparation and suggestions on how to best allocate time.
- [Narrator] Here are some wise words for you, and very wise they are indeed. Thank you for this, Benjamin Franklin. As with any worthy endeavor, preparation is key. And in her book, "Slide:ology," Nancy Duarte, a guru in presentation, suggests that the amount of time required to develop a presentation is directly proportional to how high the stakes are. And these are also words that I would agree wholeheartedly with, although, sadly, there are many times that I've seen colleagues of mine in other jobs I've had still building decks at the 11th hour, and they only started at the end of the day before. And many people also start by jumping straight into the software with no clue as to what they're going to build. And I often think about this with the analogy of building a house. Because you wouldn't start just doing that with all the materials and throwing things together. Because it would be ridiculous. You'd be pulling things down, you'd waste a lot of money and energy. Now, you're probably thinking, "Well, it's hardly the same thing." But, given that some pitch presentations are worth way more than many of our houses, I'd suggest that it's not too smart to build without a plan. And there's a really good reason why there's that word, "building," in there. So, where do you start? You need to connect with your thoughts, and I'm not talking about the organized, ordered ones that you use to fill out your tax return. You need the free-flowing good ones that know you're capable of great things and want to help you get there. So get away from the software, as far away from it, in fact, as you can get. And the essential tools for this job would be some paper, and a variety of colored pens and/or pencils, some Wite-Out can be handy sometimes, and put some music on or have a glass of fizzy pop, do whatever you need to do to focus on your ideas, and start to write and scribble them out. Imagine what your best-ever presentation is going to look like and what's going to be in it. Now, I know it can be daunting to look at a blank sheet of paper. I have to look at several of them every single day. So get over that by starting to scribble on a corner, and take it from there. It doesn't matter what your drawings are like, as long as you understand what they represent. All of this exercise is about generating ideas and you need to use your imagination. People tend to forget that they use their imagination without abandon as children, and get wrapped up in a misplaced notion of being an artist. Well, this is not an art project and this is not you. And this probably isn't you either. What you need to be is this. You need to write, doodle, scratch, scribble, and just let ideas come from your mind onto the paper. Highlight the things that are useful, maybe you want to cross out things are not, and then from there, it's time to move on to refining your presentation by turning it into an outline. And that's what we're going to be looking at later on in this chapter.
- Outlining your topic
- Creating a storyboard
- Developing your design ideas with moodboards
- Exploring slide typography
- Using colors, words, and images effectively
- Using charts and graphs
- Effectively using animations and transitions
- Beyond the presentation