96 slides in 12 minutes – Presentation Styles

April 14, 2010

At a Becta LSIS Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology Conference at the NEC last year I had a twelve minute slot for a presentation on how the future of learning is mobile.

I did use slides.

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.

I remember been asked to send a copy of my presentation to the organisers, which I had to do via a version uploaded to the web as it was too big for e-mail. I then got a “worried” e-mail reminding me that I only had twelve minutes and that I might have too many slides. I did in fact cut a few slides, I think initially it was over a hundred… so cutting to ninety six was quite tough!

Even at the event, I was taken to one side and reminded how important it was to stick to the timeslot I had been given.

Then it was time….

I use to have quite light slides when I started doing conference presentations, but was noted by someone else that my slides a few years ago were getting more text heavy… and it was true! I had more and more text on my slides.

So I decided to stop how I wrote my presentation slides and think again about how and what I present.

Most times text is on slides as a crutch to the presenter who may not know their stuff, or certainly doesn’t have the confidence to present without the security blanket of lots of text.

I decided that if I was using words I would use phrases or key words. Where possible I would use images.

So where do you get the images?

Most times they are images I have taken myself or had taken for me. But for a lot of images I use creative commons licensed images from Flickr. There is a wealth of images available on Flickr and they can be used to convey lots of different things. If I can’t find the image I want, I have been known to get the camera and go and take the image. I also upload my images to Flickr, not just so others can use them, but if I am out and about and I want to use one of my images I needn’t worry about having it on my computer as it may be on my Flickr account.

Images are very powerful and can convey and support what I am saying

But what about the text?

Presentations are not about text they are about presentations.

Word documents are about text, so write a Word document or a blog post.

I try to use a small number of words and where possible avoid bullet points.

I have seen too many presentations that consist of bullet points with lots of explanatory text, often too small to read!

But when I post my presentation online…

Come on, really who is the presentation for, the audience in the conference room or the online audience.

Remember that the core audience for a presentation is the live audience in the conference room. It is not the remote audience who will only read your presentation and won’t get the full benefit of your actual talk and any questions afterwards.

If it is necessary to offer a more detailed presentation online. then video or film the presentation. Or how about creating one text heavy presentation for the online audience who won’t hear you and one for the live audience who will.

Anyone who puts loads of text onto a slide so that it makes sense to someone who reads it online (notice the use of the word reads) then they might as well not present their work and just print it out and let us read it.

Presentations that are watched are different to documents that are read.

Use the right tool for the right audience and the right location.

I can’t take all the credit for how I create my slides for my presentations, one of the articles I read gave me a real insight into making a good looking presentation. The article talks about the different presentation styles of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and reading it, it makes a lot of sense to me.

So what of the rules about 2-5 minutes per slide?

If you know the rules, you can break the rules.

So how did I do?

Yup, I delivered all ninety six slides in twelve minutes. Got lots of positive feedback as well. The feedback was on the content of the  presentation and what I said, and not on the presentation slides themselves.

Job done!

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Fighting Death by PowerPoint

May 13, 2009

Interesting presentation on how to present presentations.


Mobile Presentations

March 18, 2009

I have liked Slideshare as a place to put my presentations and store them online and show them online.

One problem was that they used Flash which of course did not work on mobile devices such as the iPod touch or the iPhone.

Today Slideshare announced a mobile version of their website.

We’re quite excited to announce the new SlideShare Mobile website today. Visit http://m.slideshare.com on your mobile phone and you can view any presentation, search through presentations, login to save favorites and even download to your mobile phone!

Impress that client you bump into somewhere by running a quick pitch off your phone! Or review the latest conference presentations you missed while travelling!

As a result it is now easier to put presentations on mobile devices.


Sharing my presentation

January 22, 2008

Today I have been at a JISC workshop on repurposing resources at which I gave a ten minute presentation on the institutional perspective on repurposing resources.Sharing my presentation

This gave me an opportunity to share my presentation with others.

Now I know I could just upload my PowerPoint presentation, but that means people need to download and open it. Problems arise as I used Apple’s Keynote presentation software and not everyone has that. Yes I can export to PowerPoint, but that is not always perfect, more so if you use some of the more advanced features of Keynote.

So I decided to use a feature of Keynote which is to send to Youtube.

This works quite well, though some institutions ban YouTube so less useful there then.

I also used Slideshare and uploaded my presentation there as well, though I had to export as PowerPoint first.

On both presentations there is (virtually) no audio, which to be honest the presentation does need. I think I prefer the YouTube version as it captures the transitions from Keynote which Slideshare doesn’t.

Another option would be to use Google’s Presentation.


Send that presentation to YouTube

October 22, 2007

If you are creating a presentation then generally most people use PowerPoint. Personally I now create virtually all my presentations using Apple’s Keynote. One of the many reasons I like Keynote is the way it handles images, audio and video compared to PowerPoint.

One of the features of Keynote that I have always liked is the ability to save a presentation as a movie file. As once a movie file it can be converted in many different ways. For a JISC online conference I did this and then converted into multiple mobile formats. Of course once a movie file you could upload your presentation to YouTube.

In version 4.0 of Keynote (part of iWork ’08) you can now send your presentation direct to YouTube.

Keynote to YouTube

This avoids the need to export the file and then upload to YouTube, you can upload direct to YouTube quickly and easily.

I’ve not yet tried it, but I can see after attending a conference I could upload my presentation and then embed it into my blog or the organisers could embed into their website. It also avoids the problems that you can have with Keynote files as not everyone has Keynote and even if you export as PowerPoint, not everyone has PowerPoint.


Presentation, not Presently

September 21, 2007

Following my post about Presently, the official Google Blog has announced that they are releasing presentation software and are going to call it Presentation.

In April we announced that we were working to bring presentations to Google Docs. (Astute readers may recall learning about this even earlier, which caused a bit of excitement around here.) And today we’re unveiling the new Google Docs presentations feature and invite you to try it at documents.google.com. Maybe more than any other type of document, presentations are created to be shared. But assembling slide decks by emailing them around is as frustrating as it is time-consuming. The new presentations feature of Google Docs helps you to easily organize, share, present, and collaborate on presentations, using only a web browser.

This will provide a real solution to delivering online presentations and also enable learners to access PowerPoint presentations via the web (say delivered from a VLE). Not every learner will have Microsoft Office installed and though PowerPoint Viewer is an option for some, it is not an option for all.

Regardless of whether you think PowerPoint is not an useful e-learning tool (death by PowerPoint anyone) or is, it is used on a regular basis by a lot of practitioners across the world.

I think despite the dominance of Microsoft Office there is room for a web based presentation application and I am hoping that Presentation will fit the bill.

Thanks Seb


Are you Presently?

September 15, 2007

Google Docs and Spreadsheets are proving very popular in the e-learning community, though one obvious application is “missing”, and that is presentation software (a PowerPoint replacement).

Mashable is reporting that Google is about to launch their web based presentation software, Presently.

Google’s PowerPoint killer looks to be on the horizon. Called Presently, the presentation-creation tool will offer a web-based solution for users.

This will provide a real solution to delivering online presentations and also enable learners to access PowerPoint presentations via the web (say delivered from a VLE). Not every learner will have Microsoft Office installed and though PowerPoint Viewer is an option for some, it is not an option for all.

Regardless of whether you think PowerPoint is not an useful e-learning tool (death by PowerPoint anyone) or is, it is used on a regular basis by a lot of practitioners across the world.

I think despite the dominance of Microsoft Office there is room for a web based presentation application and I am hoping that Presently will fit the bill.