What makes a great presentation? Why are some presenters more engaging than others? We will begin to explore these questions with this project and soon, you will know the secret too!
Step 1 – Summary of Project
After reading this, you will know how to do spectacular presentations. For this project, I created a presentation about myself to show my classmates and my teacher who I am and what I like. I also did this presentation to learn and understand how to make presentations stick with your audience. The workflow, which is a step by step process that will be discussed more throughout the blog post, is used by many people to make projects. This project does take up a lot of time with the creative process, but you do end up with an amazing project that is made to remember.
Step 2 – What is Good Presentation?
Make sure to always stay organized! Create an outline for your process from start to finish, preferably on paper. Try to stay away from technology as it usually distracts from the task at hand. Start first with the core. A good presentation is full of content, but it should always tell some kind of story. Tell stories with your presentation. Simplicity. Unexpectedness. Concrete. Credibility. Emotional. Stories. These are all elements that grab the audience. If the presentation has data, use it, but keep it real. In presentations, use minimal words and lots of pictures. Pictures grab attention. Talking does not. Unless you say something unexpected. A joke will have your audience interested in what you have to say. Try not to stutter or stay on topics for too long. Moving fast will keep people on the edge of their seats.
Step 3 – Brainwriting and Brainstorming Ideas
Brainwriting is a quiet, introverted activity that helps you create an idea for your presentation. As said in Step 2, start with a core. The core idea is simple and consists of one word. In my case, my topic was myself. In the center of a piece of paper in large writing (Remember, no technology yet!), write your core idea. From this, write your subtopics and other ideas off of your core idea for 5 minutes. After this, get together with a small group so that you can brainstorm. Brainstorming is an extraverted activity that can help you modify and organize your ideas. After you get a group’s input, take time to modify your ideas until you have found a path you want to take with your project. After you after made your “map” of ideas, upload it to your Flickr.com account. This is so you have your ideas as you work on a computer, in case the map paper is lost.
Step 4 – Creating the Storyboard
Storyboarding is when you take ideas and put them on a linear path that resembles a story. It is a great way to turn your brainstorm into a presentation. People love to see a rough draft of your thinking after a great presentation. We storyboard because it makes ideas turn clearly into stories for your audience to listen to. They would much rather listen to a story than a “traditional” presentation. Organize your ideas onto another piece of paper that is folded into 16 squares. You can use however many pieces of paper you want, but the squares with represent the amount of slides you use. Once you have made a rough draft of your story, share your ideas to a small group or anyone that will listen. If they help you modify, do that until you are ready to scan your storyboard onto a computer. Upload it to your Flickr.com account. This is again so you do not lose your ideas as you shift from paper to computer.
Step 5 – Gathering and Citing Images
As a young children, we are told never to steal. This applies for when you use pictures from the internet that aren’t yours. You must cite photos that you use, or else that is considered stealing in the eyes of the law. The best pictures to use for any project are photos that are in the Creative Commons. Photos in the Creative Commons are free to use by the author as long as you cite them. If photos are not in the Creative Commons, that means they are copyrighted. To obtain copyrighted images, you must ask the author if you can use the picture first. This is because they have established it as their property and if you do not ask them and also cite copyright as well, you could face legal trouble (yikes!). So to avoid getting sued, the first thing you should do is download your image. When you download, name your image in the order you are going to cite the picture. This is the order for citation when downloading: Date, site, author, picture name. An example of this is scottl. fenderstrat. N.d. Flickr.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2015. Once the file has been saved and you are ready to put your picture in the slide, make an extra slide at the end of your presentation titled Work Cited. Then you must cite your source in the citation slide, but you have to do it correctly in proper MLA citation format. Use this as your template and fill in your information about the photo you use :
Photographer_name. Name_of Picture. N.d. Flickr.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2017
Then you must alphabetize your citations in your Work Cited. Do this by the author’s name. We do all of this because it keeps us organized and it keeps us from being at risk with legal trouble. Stealing pictures is very serious, and we all must clearly cite sources so that everyone can use the images they want.
Step 6 – Creating the Master Slide
The master slide is the control center of your slideshow. This is where you change the format and look of your presentation. You will save so much more time if you use the master slide to change formatting instead of going to each individual slide. I used the master slide because I wanted all of my slides to have one textbox and to be centered. With the master slide, I could just edit one of my slides like that, making my entire presentation the format I wanted, instead of going to each individual slide and making it the exact same way. It saves time and energy that you can use for finishing a project efficiently.
Step 7 – Building the Slide Show
Now we have come to the juicy stuff. Building your slideshow. The first thing that I did for this project that helped was putting words on every single slide. Put all the words you know you are going to say one by one on different slides. Using mine as an example I said “Hey. I. Am. Natalie.”. I used 4 slides just to say my name, but stuff like that catches the audience’s attention. For your pictures, use words to say what pictures you are going to use. Even though it isn’t shown in the example slide, I put a slide that said (PIC OF ME) on a slide highlighted so that I remembered and had the visual reminder that I needed a photo of myself. Once you’ve found a photo you like, put it in your place holder slide and delete the text so that you catch the audience with unexpectedness of just a photo. Make sure that your presentation always has some type of element of S.U.C.C.E.Ss. You know, like Simplicity. Unexpectedness. Concrete. Credibility. Emotional. Stories. We do everything in this order because it is kind of like a system. You put all your words and your placeholder photos and as you go through your project you see everything you still need to do and everything you wish to say. This method is like your electronic project planner.
Step 8 – Sharing the Slide Show
Using VoiceThread.com is a great way for people to look and review your presentation on any computer as long as they have an account (you must have a LinkedIn account first) and internet access. You want to do this because it gives you a larger audience to view your project. Plus, your audience can hear your voice and get to know you better through your sound! This is great in a class setting because if your teacher or fellow classmates would like to revisit your slideshow because they thought you did an excellent job, they can go directly to your Voicethread.com account. And speaking of accounts, go check out my Presentation as an example!
Step 9 – Preparing to Present/Pitch
For my personal preparation, I first wrote a script in my head. I used Voicethread.com as a way to record my voice as I narrated the slideshow. I turned my presentation into a video. Writing the script in my head consisted of all the funny jokes and elements of S.U.C.C.E.Ss I was going to use for my project. Then I wrote my script out on paper. I never used full sentences, always use bullet points of your main ideas because you want to sound authentic, not like a robot reading a boring play. Bullet Points are also great because as you practice you can play with different ways to get your point across while still having your main idea. Then I rehearsed. A couple times in my head and a couple times out loud. If you are a nervous person (like me) OVER PREPARE. You want to make sure you could do this presentation naked. Well, almost naked. Okay I’m kidding but you want to make sure you work on your weak spots, like speaking clearly if you know you stutter or slowly down if you sometimes go too fast. Make sure to know your environment as well! Know your audience and know your stage. You are an actor and this is your play. You’ve worked so hard, don’t let the little easy-to-fix things mess you up. Lastly, shake it off and act natural, own the front of the room and if you are recording, make it sound like a conversation. You’ve got this.
Step 10 – What I Learned
The biggest thing that I learned out of this project is that you must take away all your distractions when you are trying to work. I finished so much in so little time when I put away all the distractions and technology. I only used technology when I needed to, which was all the way in Step 5. Not using my phone opened up so much time and thinking to be focused on this project. When you have a distraction, it takes your brain 10 seconds to refocus. If you constantly use your phone, that ends up being a huge amount of time that you aren’t focused on the task at hand. The other main thing I learned is that even though the little steps are tedious, they definitely pay off in the long run. Most people don’t do steps 1-4 because they believe it takes too much time and it is not worth it, but the little steps are make the project truly come together and make it memorable. The more you work on something, the better you remember it. This same concept comes through with this project. By the time I was in the sound room recording the audio for my presentation, I had known my project so well that I could look away from the screen and tell you everything that was on there. The steps that involve paper are so crucial for sucess that I will now do it for all of my presentations. So overall, I learned that when I work I need to storyboard and work on paper when necessary and put the technology and phone away when I am at work.
- Brain Writing Article
- Video Tutorial: Searching The Creative Commons (3:26)
- Video Tutorial: Uploadingto Flickr and Embedding Into Blog Post
- Video Tutorial: MLA Citation Examples for PowerPoint