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Recently, Laura Solorzano delivered a great presentation about presentations. Presentation Zen is a method for reaching audiences through simplicity and storytelling. Garr Reynolds designed this approach to creating presentations that engage an audience with a clear message. The resulting
There are six elements of creating a great presentation. Design is the first element. Design is not decoration. Design is thinking about the audience, what you want to express, how much time there is to present, and how to organize your information to present a story. Story is the second element. We are programmed to listen to stories. Translate your information into a story that people can understand and engage with. Include personal experience.
Symphony is the third element. How do your images and text work together to tell your story? People will listen to your message without having a lot of text to read. You should have no more than six words per slide. Focus only on the BIG PICTURE on every page. One picture can convey more information than a large block of text, and people will be more engaged. The fourth elements is empathy; put yourself in your audience’s shoes. They are not experts on your subject so think about how to design your presentation for everyone to understand. The fifth element is games or fun. Include fun and interaction in the presentation. Ask audience members to interact and discuss. Design moments for feedback and interaction into the presentation.
Significance is the sixth element. Stay focused on your message. Use note cards to help you avoid digressions and emphasize important points. If you are not sure about what you are saying or why, you will lose your audience. As teachers we can model these practices and encourage students to move toward presentation zen. Discuss these strategies and elements with students in order to help them develop better, more coherent presentations.