Articles in category: Visual Aids

For decades, popular opinion pegged Bill Gates as a mediocre presenter.

That all changed on February 5, 2009, when he unleashed one of the most memorable props ever on his audience: live mosquitos.

In this article, we discuss:

  • key benefits of props,
  • how to choose a prop, and
  • how to use it effectively in a speech.

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When I was in high school, every teacher used an overhead projector regularly. Many years later, I can’t recall the last time I saw one used as meeting rooms are increasing equipped with digital projectors to display PowerPoint and Keynote slides. This is a clear technology upgrade, and I don’t miss the overhead projector at all.

Similarly, the flip chart is another device my teachers used often; sadly, it also gathers dust often in dark, neglected corners of meeting rooms. But flip charts are more than just relics; they remain one of the most versatile tools readily available to speakers.

In this article, we list the core benefits of using flip charts, and give several tips that will help you use this wonderful tool effectively.

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Quick… think back to the last slide presentation you attended.

  • What kind of titles were used on the slides?
  • Do you remember any of them?
  • Were there titles like “Background”, “Research Study”, “October Sales”, and “Conclusions”?

If you are nodding to that last question (and most people reading this will be), you already know that most slide titles are pretty mundane: they are quickly written and quickly forgotten.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Slide titles can help communicate your message, and set the context of the slide for your audience.

In this article, we discuss five simple guidelines you can use to quickly improve your slides, and see how these guidelines apply to slide examples.

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Crafting a presentation is hard work, and as a presenter, you must make many tough decisions. How long should you present? How many slides should you create? How should you organize the speech?

What if there was a template you could use to help you with all of these decisions? There is such a template, and it is growing in popularity. Read on to find out more about Ignite!

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Full-day training courses offer many challenges for speakers, including:

  • massive preparation requirements;
  • physical and mental fatigue (for both the speaker and audience); and
  • maintaining interest requires dynamic delivery and varied presentation techniques.

If you can overcome these challenges, you can provide significant value for your audience.

This past week, I was fortunate to attend a series of full-day training courses (Usability Week 2012 in San Francisco, offered by the Nielsen Norman Group). While my focus was building my usability knowledge, it was also a great opportunity to learn from people who speak regularly around the world. One of these speakers was Marieke McCloskey, who taught my first session of the week.

This article offers 28 tips for designing and presenting training courses inspired by Marieke’s strengths and areas for improvement.

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Presenters, teachers, and students all resist design-centered slide design on the basis of a perceived lack of time. Since I know that the visually-driven, Zen approach works, I am not deterred by this resistance; instead, I use one simple phrase to help cultivate strong design from presenters whose time is limited.

If you want to create beautiful, impactful, and audience-centered slides but don’t have 20 hours or more to devote to designing a slide deck, just remember the acronym C-R-A-P *, and create slides that embody strong Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
This event is over now, but you can send your questions anytime.

Imagine yourself in these scenarios:

  1. You’re delivering a 1-hour keynote address on pursuing your dreams to high school graduates.
  2. You’re teaching a full-day corporate course on quality assurance processes.
  3. You’re giving a 10-minute pitch at your local service club to partner with Habitat for Humanity.

How many slides would you prepare for each presentation?

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When you hear the term “presentation design”, what do you think of?

PowerPoint? Or perhaps Keynote if you’re a Mac fan, right?

When you take the first step in designing your presentation, how do you start?  I believe most people sit down in front of their computers and open their favorite slide software (slideware).  Sounds good, right?  Wrong.

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You’ve just been asked to give a project update to your colleagues at next week’s lunch-hour seminar.

Quick…
How many slides will you use?
How much text can you put on them?
How long should you speak — the whole hour, or less?

Don’t know? Guy Kawasaki, a famous author and venture capitalist, has the answers and they may surprise you.

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The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures is a wonderful book packed with insights for translating ideas into visuals. It’s not a surprise to me that this book was listed in the Top 10 Business Books list for 2008.

Being a great speaker requires more than simply adopting the “more visuals, less bullet points” approach. You need to have effective visuals. The Back of the Napkin helps you figure out how by boosting your visual thinking skills.

This article is the latest of a series of public speaking book reviews here on Six Minutes.

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Universal Principles of Design is a valuable resource for anyone who designs anything, including speeches and presentations

This article is the latest of a series of public speaking book reviews here on Six Minutes.

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