I’ve just been to
Singapore and had a blast. What a nice bunch of people I met there!
And the event was super; fun well organised and informative - that’s all
i want from conference.
I also had an opportunity to give a presentation there. It was quite
some time since I created one for scratch so I took it (the opportunity)
to rewrite my
Some people have asked me how I create presentations and I thought that
it could be good idea to write it down for myself as well. Hopefully I
will do more presentations… then I can use this.
I don’t consider myself an expert on desimomomooahahahaaa (sorry could
not keep a straight face… ok - once again…) on design of slides nor
do I have deep communication education. I have failed a lot though and I
really enjoy doing presentation. Below works for me - your milage may
Strategy - introduction
I’ve come to notice that I work on my presentation in a number of
iterations. In true lean fashion I try to produce something that would
be possible to deliver as a presentation at the end of each iteration,
each iteration producing something more and more polished.
This has another advantage I’ve noticed - I takes much less effort to
learn once I have the finished presentation. I have already rehearsed
the presentation a number of times in my head. Meaning that the time
from any step below to “ready to give presentation” should be short.
Sometimes that works.
Here’s my rough process, sometimes I do more than one thing at the time
and sometimes I skip steps. I has to do with how much time I’ve got.
Once I have a talk coming up I usually know just the title or the theme
for the talk. In this case I also had an abstract, but that’s seldom the
case. Let’s pretend we just had a
title: Kanban in Action”. Often I
have a time constraint too. This is a 2 hour talk, 45 min or workshop or
10 min talk.
I start to let that thought soar around my head when I’m walking or
running (really good time to think I’ve noticed). What would I want to
hear around Kanban in Action in a 45 min talk? The crowd I’m meeting -
what would be good for them? What should I include, what should I skip?
I even try out sound bytes for part of my talk:
So that means I rather do small steps often than gigant steps seldom.
Kanban is a process improvement tool. It makes you and your team
better. It’s collaborative, visual and really simple to pick up
Often I end up doing run-throughs of the talk or parts of it. Just to
get a feel for how I would present this.
The hardest part for me here is to remember what I thought… So I
usually write down some points or bullets when I get the chance, after
the run for example. They are often repeated and unstructured. Doesn’t
After this stage, if pressed I could deliver a very unstructured and
clumsy presentation. Maybe it could be good, but most likely not.
However I could deliver the talk, in a impromptu fashion
I’ve been blogging for about 8 years now. I like to write and I type
pretty fast. So my way of concretize my thoughts is to write. In this
step I take my notes from the thinking and turn them into a script.
I write the script in markdown in my favorite
Buy it now - you will not be disappointed.
First I just structure this as bullets but little-by-little I start to
add content in there.
The first version of the document, where I've just ordered my thoughts,
probably looks something like a table of contents.
Like the screen shot on the right.
Often I end up just writing the entire thing out as I would say it. Like
a long narrative. This is the way I think, probably from all the
blogging - I just get it out there.
In fact that will prove useful in a little while.
Any how, a finished version of that document might look something like
the extract below. Or rather exactly like that.
Some of the bullets might be empty for now. But it's mostly filled out.
I tend to move things around a lot in this phase. And "cut and paste"
(in my mind sometimes) from other presentations I've given.
Once I'm at this place I could actually give the talk as I wanted to -
but without slides. Hmmm - that's a thought that I might try. But I have
not yet. I like my visuals to speak together with, or at least
complement my talk. So let's move on to that.
It's now time to move to slides. I
is of course another option.
or some of
. As you soon realise the way I do slides the tool doesn't
matter too much. Most of the tools I've seen or use can handle my ...
One thing that have saved me a lot of time and helps me past creative
blockage is to have a small introduction deck of me. Here's how it looks
right now - I change it a lot:
This is the same basic introduction I do of myself for all talks. With
this I also get started pretty quickly. I don't have to set up any
fonts, or decide on background color etc. I just go.
It's maybe a bit boring using the same thing over and over but sometimes
I get time over and redo this template.
I have added a slide for title and an outro slide to. And a final black
one because I go past the last slide sometimes I have a hard time
getting back into the slidedeck at the right place.
### Blank sheets
The first thing I do is to move all of the script I created above into
the Presenter Notes of my slides. I try to split the slides into ca 1-2
min of talking. That's maybe 15 lines above.
I use the blank template for all my slide (no content) and for each I
try to add a single word or a short sentence that sums up what I will
talk about on the slide.
Once that it can look something like this:
Limiting the presenter notes to 1-2 minutes of talk gives me quite a lot
of slides, maybe 30-40 slides for the 45 minute talk. Just like I want
Quite often I find it
hard to find a single word or concept that describes the thing I talk
about. In those cases I split the slides into several, until I can find
a word per slide. Giving me maybe 50 slides for 45 minutes.
I sort the pictures under respectively header by moving them in under
each other. In this way I can collapse and expand the pictures as needed
and keep my overview even though I end up with many pictures. See the
picture to the right.
After this I have a completed slide deck with short, descriptive words
on each slide and all of my presenter notes in the talk. I have given
presentations like this. It's pretty dull but if you move fast it can be
very effective too. Check out
people often use this technique.
### Choosing pictures
I can still give a pretty descent talk at this point.
But it's boring.
We need to change that. I do that by replacing the text with pictures.
So I go through the slide deck again focusing on the actual slide. I
replace just about all of the headings with pictures. It might look
something like the picture on the left
My thinking around the pictures:
- Try to replace the word or phrase with a single picture. Which of
course sometimes is hard to I end up splitting the slides even
- I'm not looking for perfect matches but rather something that
associates the mind. For example: the "Why should I care?"-slide
might have someone yawning.
- Only one picture per slide unless I'm showing a process or progress
(see animation below)
- Make the picture big. Over the entire slide big. Too many
presentations have pictures in the lower corner of a slide covered
with a lot text. Don't do that! Remove the text and make the picture
big and bold.
Once that is done my slide deck start to live up a bit:
At this point the presentation is more or less completed. I usually run
through it a couple of times but usually that's also unnecessary since I
have worked through it so many times. I know this by now. It's just to
make sure that my nervosity doesn't take over.
#### Downloading pictures
I'm not rich. Neither am I a designer nor photographer. So I have to
borrow stuff from others. You can do that but you have to know what you
are borrowing and how to give credit for that. I primarily use two
resources for my work:
Let's talk about Google first. It's just a subset of the normal search
that returns images. All images. You cannot use all of them right off.
But you can let the tool help you. There's a "Search tool" button on the
page of the search result. With it you can filter to only show pictures
that you can reuse.
Note the different options here and then think about what you are doing.
More on that below.
No - you should not disregard that. It's, in worst case, stealing and in
best case just rude. Which ever picture you use make sure to credit the
My favorite tool is Flickr. The quality of the pictures there is often
much better. On their search you can also configure it to the things
that you can use, under
The same rules apply - please borrow the pictures but credit the person
in question properly.
I have a link to a search with the Creative Commons filtering
, default searching for burgers... I cannot explain why.
While we're on the subject. What does those licenses mean... First you
should be aware of if you are selling this material or presentation
(commercial use). Secondly do you plan to modify the picture; adding to
it or not.
Those two properties are limited in most cases, so they are really
Then; always credit the artist, with links to the license being use. I
do it with a little box on each slide where I have a picture used under
a license. Like the picture to the right.
Finally - spend 5 minutes watching this. You'll thank me later and can
sleep sounder knowing that you've followed the rules of the opportunity
the Creative Commons, Flickr and Google Images gives us.
I need to mention animations since they have been part of almost all
presentations I've ever given. And
reputation enough to get to
write a book
Here is the gist on my take about animations; I avoid animations. Unless
they are good. And animations are good to show progress and process. But
I don't use them for flying, spinning or dropping pictures in.
I frequently remove animations and duplicate slides and just move a
little piece of the picture. That helps me to easier move back and forth
through the animations too. Using this technique I have created animations and simulations of games
instructive and clarifying.
simulation - less is more!
Don't fret the many slides. Hide them using collapse to get the
### Giving the prezi
During the presentation I just try to enjoy myself. Try to have fun -
chances are that the people you're talking to are having more fun
Remember that most people listening dread standing in front of others.
Don't sweat that everything doesn't come out perfect. Make jokes on your
own expense if something goes wrong. But don't let too many things go
wrong - practice past that.
Technicalities especially is one thing that should be practices past.
Try the slides out - try it on a projector. And make sure you know your
tool; how to configure and tweak Keynote (or what ever you use).
One thought that has helped me is what been said to many couples being
nervous before their wedding: One thing will not go according to plan -
accept it and just live with it. It's just a presentation - it's not
such a big deal after all.
### After the presentation - read this before giving the presentation
Make sure that you have time over for questions after the talk. If in no
other way - just hang around in front afterwards and tell people you
will be in the front if they have questions. I've learned so much from
I always give a link to a download the slides on my last slide. So I
have to upload slides before the talk, or at least get a bit.ly-link
ready. Sharing is caring. Sometimes I don't share my presenter notes but
most times I share them too.
My last slide always contains contact information so people can ask me
questions that pops up afterwards.
That's how I've ended up creating my presentation. One of my idols in
presenting, Scott Hanselman
have this saying around presentations:
> People have decided to go to your specific talk - don't waste their
That's what I'm trying to do - bringing them value so that they don't
feel that it was time wasted. That's the most important thing - HOW I
create and deliver the presentation will most certainly change over
This works for me, please use the parts that you like and create
something better of the rest. Please tell me what you do.
My latest presentation can be found here: