The other day I marked some presentations given by students which had a common theme: their presentation skills needed some more work. This made me reflect on my own performance especially as I am about to give a presentation next week at a conference about recruitment and retention of health professionals. I recently gave a small presentation at Otago Polytechnic and whilst I think it went well, I definitely went over time.
So I have revisited Sue Waters' blog posts about effective presentation skills and hope to incorporate them into my presentation. The key points for me are:
1. use humor and be entertaining - that doesn't just appeal to the audience but it relaxes me as well;
2. don't read from notes - I wish my students would take this point on board!;
3. be enthusiastic about your topic - that will draw in the audience;
4. minimize bullet points - use lots of images and keep font size large;
5. capture the audience's attention from the start - this may mean re-ordering what you were going to say.
The main thing that has struck me from reading Sue's posts is that there is a changing view of presentations and that bullet points are out - Sue calls this 'presentation 2.0'. Instead of using a lot of text, one uses images. This comes as a bit of blow to me because a. I like to use the text as a prompt for me and b. I am not very imaginative, so how am I going to come up with relevant images?
The outcome of all this is that I have become a lot more familiar with Flickr which is a great repository of images that can available for use as long as there an open or creative commons copyright attached to the image. The other outcome is that I am going to have to remember to take my camera around with me more so I build up a library of my own images to use. This may mean I have to get a smaller camera that is easier to cart around and even take a few photographic lessons, but at the very least I need to engage more with the creative part of my brain (I'm not even sure I have one?!?) and be proactive about looking for images to capture. So, I'll give presentation 2.0 a go next week and see how I get on.