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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
Jill's picture

I'm a senior English Lit...

I'm a senior English Lit major, and a month and a half ago I had my thesis proposal defense. I kept in mind how irritated I was that every time someone had a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation in class, they would glance at the projected presentation and read right off it. Keeping that in mind, I didn't look at the projected image at all, choosing to make a few quick glances at my laptop screen instead. I made it a point to speak to the audience, as clearly as I could, making sure the non-Lit majors in the audience could still understand what I was trying to say. I also started using Presenter's View for Powerpoint and Keynote, and haven't stopped using it since. Anyway, I got an A for my defense and final grade, so I guess it worked!




An Oblique Strategy:
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