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Open Thread: Your best tip on doing presentations

As I mentioned yesterday, I'll be leading a discussion on Tinderbox and "the trusted system" tomorrow. Probably running a few Keynote slides, but mostly just casually chatting with a small group of enthusiastic Tinderbox fans.

I'm not a seasoned public speaker by anyone's estimation, so I've made my share of rookie mistakes in the past (hint: avoid doing a rambling, overlong talk without slides at ETech; people get confused, hungry, and eventually want to defenestrate you).

So, as I prep myself for tomorrow, I turn to you guys:

What's your best presentation tip? What's the "never break it" rule for PowerPoint/Keynote decks? What's your favorite site, article, or link on great presentations? How do I get that Lessig-, Jobs-, or Veen-like fu that makes audiences so giddy? (Self-links are okay within reason here)

I'll be over here imagining people in their underwear, but I'd love to hear your best advice on this stuff.

Update 2005-11-19 21:37:26

I've posted the slides from my talk today along with links to some of the posts and cool applications I mentioned.

Summary: went well! Very enthusiastic group -- great questions and conversations. And no one threw rotten vegetables. Elin liked it, and that's good enough for me. :-)

TOPICS: Off Topic, Tips
Lee Potts's picture

If you don't mind a...

If you don't mind a little shameless self promotion, I'd like to suggest a blog that I contribute to (along with several other presentation industry professionals): Visual Being. One of the more useful features of the site is the "Presentation Facts" series which looks for and examines the actual research behind much of the common wisdom that is so often given and received as fact in our field (i.e., We retain only 10% of what we hear. But by adding visual aids, the retention rate zooms to 50%). There's not as much hard data out there as you might think. Good luck with your talk!




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