How to Make Presentations that are Seen, Heard and Felt


How to Make Presentations that are Seen, Heard and Felt

This
week, I have been preparing for back-to-back presentations that are being given
3753 kilometers apart; Calgary in the west and Halifax in
the east. 

After hours of writing I noticed that my design process hasn’t changed much since the early 90s when I was a full-time trainer. I wrote
and facilitated many custom-designed sessions in industries as diverse as steel
making, cosmetics, book publishing, non-destructive testing, farming and
retail. It was a fascinating time.

Like many trainers, my biggest challenge is to not create talks
or workshops based solely on my own learning preferences. For example, I am a visual
learner who loves pictures and I prefer to work in small groups solving
problems. But the best presentations appeal equally to all
learning styles.
Here
is how I make presentations that can be seen, heard and felt:

  • Write objectives based on needs and session length
  • List key learning points
  • Arrange points in a logical order
  • Add exercises (validate with peers if required.
    Will it work?)
  • Create
    slides (text only)
  • Test 
    design to see if it delivers objectives
  • Add visuals for interest and emotional appeal
    (my favourite step)
  • Write the script including stories and examples
  • Dry run the slides with the script to test flow,
    pacing and interest level
  • Read the script out loud as I cycle through the
    slides the night before and morning of the presentation
  • Present with no notes, amplifying points through
    passion, gestures and humour 

There are a lot of steps but like all patterns, it has
become a seamless routine. I jot down notes after presenting based on what worked
and what could be improved. There are always things that could have been better seen,
heard or felt.

Phil
 
 

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