Monday, February 13, 2012

Summary of "Don't Just Present, Enchant"

Here is it. The summary of entire talk at BarCamp 11 held at Bangalore 2012.

Somebody asked me to share the presentation, and I replied - "You won't find it enjoyable unless its me who is delivering it".  So I compiled the slides into points that talk about the content covered in the presentation. Hope all of you will enjoy it. Go out and Enchant ! (BTW, Love the book - Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki)

Don't just present. Enchant! 
11th Feb 2012, BarCamp Bangalore

Summary of the session :-

0. The Real Problem of the world is NOT Global Warming, its Global Yawning. Millions of minutes are wasted each year in presentations that do not create any impact, thereby leading to Global Yawning problem. A solution to Global Yawning can solve all problems of the world.

1. Bad presentations are awful. They waste time, energy and create moments of despair. They kill people.. literally.
  a. Why do people suck at Presentations ? Some say
    - They don't have time to prepare
    - They do no have any idea about the topic to present
    - They need to cram as much of information in one slide
    - They feel they are color blind i.e. they do not know about     design and color.

2. Three BIG ideas to change your presentation - AWARE, STORY, PLAN: "Aware of the story and plan of your presentation."

3. The AWARE aspect of the becoming a presentation rockstar includes having a fair knowledge of the:

a) Audience
b) Content
c) Message
d) Body Language
e) Style
f) Story

4. Know Your Audience: Each presentation is different. Every audience is different. Knowledge of the type of audience is the most important key to creating great enchantments.

5. The power that any speaker has over any audience - The speaker should be in control of the NEXT. In other words, the speaker knows what comes next. (Inspired from the book Confessions of a Public Speaker - by Scott Berkun)

6. Audience wants to be entertained. They want to learn, and they want the speaker to do well.

7. The Density Theory - To increase the impact of the presentation, it is essential to increase the density of the seating arrangement of the audience. This creates a better setup to enhance the energy of the talk. For example, its essential to bring the audience closer to the speaker in a room where people are seated evenly and far apart.
Note: The speaker needs to always have the front row occupied - that's the moral booster.
In a room where people are seated far apart and are less in number, it makes sense to bring them together in a semi-circular arrangement.

8. There is absolutely no escape to having thorough knowledge of the content of a talk. Knowing the topic is in itself a confidence booster. In-depth knowledge allows the speaker to take risks and use creative ways to impart the idea.

9. What is the core of the message?
The core of the message is the very nucleus of the presenter. When weighed against the presenter's content, this weighs slightly more than the content in importance. Finding the core of the message is a difficult task. People may forget the content, but they will always remember the core message.

10. Key ways to find the core of the message :

a) Learn to let go - The core of the message is a singular concept. The way to reach to it requires filtering down the content. Content is noise as opposed to message which is peace- its tranquillity.

b) Focus on the important parts of the content: Interrogate yourself with this question- What is one thing and the only one thing you want the audience to remember if they don't get anything else?

c) Use the 'so what?' principle: Instead of asking what - focus on so what. The so what principle allows you to zero in on the point that the audience really would care about.

11. Read the book Made to stick - The book provides 6 simple ideas to find the core message. The core of the message should be simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and cushioned with a story.

12. Body language complements the 'AWARE' aspect-
a) Hands are an important vehicle to transport messages. Use them to your advantage.
b) Do not be a robot. People want to see the human side of the speaker - they make mistakes, they laugh, they have emotions.
c) Do not show your back to your audience. Face them!
d) Always use verbal emphasis.
e) Just Relax: Presentation is not the end of the world. Be your natural self - not a copy-cat. Do not be someone else. The world needs you to be the real you.

13. Find your style: Every speaker has a style. Develop your own style through practice.

14. Always think about the good and bad presentations that you may have attended. Learn from them. Keep a Journal that you can use to collect these ideas.

15. Story: Stories need to be emotional. They better be true (not always  :)). Stories come out of experience. Stories impact remembrance. It enforces ideas into our memory.

16. How can you tell a story: The key to a successful story telling is to:
a. Find the Hero - element of the idea that needs to be sold
b. Find the obstacles for the Hero
c. What is at stake for the Hero ? Why is getting rid of obstacle so important ?
d. Create the big climax for thero

17. Don't enforce story telling techniques: The story must match the mood, message and the type of audience.

18. How can you be good at story telling: Here are some tips:
a. Think of how your grandma or anybody else who used to tell you stories did it
b. Listen to people
c. Read as much as possible
d. Travel to new places
e. Interact with local culture

19. Plan: Planning for a presentation includes:
a) Being analog
b) Planning the layout
c) How to involve/engage the audience
d) Use visual medium to impart ideas
e) Using the right tools
f) Designing your presentation

20. Always start analog: Avoid the need to use PowerPoint, OpenOffice or any machine in the first place. Use pen, paper, pencil, whiteboard, paper notebook. Collect ideas first.
Remember: Ideas come when we are analog. So, first be analog and then go digital.

21. How can you be analog?
a. Find some time alone : Take some time out of your schedule to reflect on the content and message that you want people to remember.
b. Scribble: Use analog tools first. Figure out the entire story and then start off with the computer. Remember: PowerPoint is not the presentation.

22. We are all fascinated by bullet points. Did you know? There are ways to avoid them. Bullet points if used incorrectly can make your presentation look like a document.

23. What are the alternatives to bullet points? Typography can be your answer: Use a mix of varied sizes of text and a proper lay out. Use icons, shapes and images. Look at good presentations on

24. How do you engage the audience? Involve the audience by asking questions, views and feedback.

25. Use visuals instead of text as much as possible. Visual imagery has a larger impact than text. They evoke emotions and guarantee a better learning experience.

26. You can use varied tools to accomplish a presentation:
a. For images: iStockPhoto, Flickr and etc.
b. Newer ways to create presentation: slideRocket and Prezi
c. Alternative to ppts: movies and animations
d. Look at Impress.JS - fascinating tools for developing presentations for geeks.

27. Design is universal: Everybody is a designer.

28. Things that you can best avoid (as much as possible, if not completely):
a) The tendency to fill every space on the screen
b) Usage of text animations: Try not to make the text fly, jump etc.
c) Usage of footers in your presentation: You do not need footers. Page numbers are a visual clutter. Avoid anything that is not required in the presentation. Read, re-read and edit your presentation.
d) Usage of brand Logos on each and every slide is a passe. Nobody uses it. Its a clutter and does not add any value to the presentation. Instead, it adds to the visual noise.

29. Everybody is a designer. Learn about design, i.e, fonts, colors and human psychology.

30. Lastly, CARE about the audience. Care about their time, patience, limited levels of concentration we all have. Care for them.

31. And again, PRACTISE. There is no shortcut to success. You got to practise like crazy. It really makes things for the presenter near to perfection (in not completely perfect)

30. Get more information at:

31. Learn more from the following books :

a) Slide:ology
b) Presentation Zen
c) Made to Stick
d) Confessions of a public speaker
e) Zen of creativity
f) Resonance

32. Conclusion:-
Presentation is not about powerpoint. Its about you!
   Sometimes the best presentation is NO Presentation

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