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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
Lester's picture

Use lower-diaphragmatic breathing (stomach breathing)...

Use lower-diaphragmatic breathing (stomach breathing) rather than upper thoracic breathing (chest breathing, which is what you've most likely trained yourself to do in nervous situations - suck in your gut, etc. But it's actually the worst thing to do when you're doing public speaking), and if you get nervous, focus all your negative energy into curling your toes or squeezing your presenter-remote so that you can focus all your positive energy into your speaking and appear confident. It sounds crazy, but it really works.

Also, anyone who wants to make truly awesome presentations, use Keynote! It helps you keep things simple, keep graphics aligned and beautiful (and it preserves transparencies!), and the text looks much smoother and crisper. Truly cinematic-quality presentations.




An Oblique Strategy:
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