Two Ways to Improve your Presentations

me giving a presentation in Spain. Fun time!In the last couple of days, I’ve been working on a new presentation that I’m giving up in Toronto for Future Tech Strategies for Libraries. I’m looking forward to it! I’ll be giving the presentation around the same time you’ll be reading this :-)

Over the years, I have given and attended a TON of presentations. Some I’ve learned from, some I’ve been entertained by, and some … honestly … have bored me to tears.

Here’s what I’ve learned – there are two things most of us could work on to raise the level of our presentations.

  1. Tell a story.
  2. End with Next Steps.

Let’s look a bit closer at each of these:

Tell a Story: We like stories. Heck, most of you work in libraries – places full of stories! Stories are good. One way to greatly improve your presentation is to treat your presentation like a story, or at least incorporate elements of a story into your presentation.

Why do this? Stories are easy to follow, and easy to remember. Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, which works great for a presentation outline. Stories have chapters, which can be individual slides, or sections of your presentation, complete with visual queues and themes. Stories have pictures – so emphasize visual elements on your slides, rather than a wordy outline.

Here are some examples stories you might tell in your presentation:

  • The story of how your library improved something.
  • The story of what you do (your job, your coding, your new service).
  • The story of why your organization needs more funding.
  • The story of what’s on the horizon (emerging trends).
  • The story of … fill in the blank…

End with Next Steps: So many presentations just end. With an embarrassed “and that’s my last slide, so I guess I’m done.”

First things first – work on transitions and writing a good ending to the presentation. But even better – end with what’s next for your listener/participant/attendee. Here are some examples of next steps:

  • What can I do next week after hearing your presentation?
  • What can I do different or change?
  • What are three steps I can take tomorrow to improve something?
  • How should I respond to emerging trends?
  • etc.

See how that works? Share stories and next steps .. and immediately improve the quality of those presentations!

My Presentations at Internet Librarian 2014

 

Last week, I gave four presentations at Internet Librarian 2014. As usual, it was a really useful conference, full of takeaways for me.

Here are the presentations I gave:

Web Trends to Watch in 2015: web design trends to watch for, think about, and maybe adapt (included in this post).

Emerging Technology Trends in Libraries for 2015: 10 emerging technology trends, and how they might affect libraries. This was a three hour pre-conference session.

Make your Website UX ROCK: All about basic website UX improvements.

Five Firsts of Website Strategy: This one was presented at the Library Leaders Digital Strategy Summit, which ran concurrently to Internet Librarian. Fun time! I prepared slides, and then the format changed at the last minute. So instead of slides, I gave short table talks about my topic. Much fun and some good discussion happened.

Enjoy!

Change, Adaptation, and Revolutions in Libraries – my MLA2014 talk

Last week, I gave the opening keynote presentation at the Missouri Library Association‘s annual conference. Fun stuff! My talk swirled around the topics of changes taking place in the library and the technology world; services and processes that we need to adapt in order to be a modern library; and how to start small and larger revolutions in your library and in your job.
Here are my slides – enjoy!

Register for this UX Virtual Conference

Make sure to register!

I’m participating in a really cool virtual conference this Friday focused on UX for libraries. Here’s the info:

What: User Experience: Seeing Your Library through the User’s Eyes

When: Friday, September 19, 2014

Description: User Experience, or UX, is an increasingly important way of evaluating and informing library practices. UX focuses on knowing about our patrons and understanding their perspectives, then using that to inform everything that libraries do, from our websites to the services we provide to the physical layout of our buildings. Join five nationally recognized experts on user experience in libraries for this one-day, live online conference!

Speakers include: Michael Stephens, Aaron Schmidt, Kathryn Whitenton, Elliot Felix, and David Lee King

Make sure to register!

My Trend (with Stats) from the #alaac14 Top Tech Trends Panel

I was recently on the Top Tech Trends panel at the American Library Association’s annual conference (and have finally recuperated – whew!).

Someone asked me for references to the stats I quoted. Here they are, with a version of what I said (quasi-outline form).

My trend was Mobile First technology:

Some stats (with links!):

What’s going on here?

  • Mobile revolution. Smartphones and tablets.
  • wifi & cell connectivity pretty much anywhere. Except in my hotel.
  • This allows people to connect whenever.

And this is HUGE.

My trend is Mobile First technology. This is the idea that websites should be designed for mobile devices first, and then expand out. Desktops get an enhanced site experience (bigger buttons, full logo) rather than mobiles getting a pared down one.

You can also apply this philosophy to a larger library setting, there are some pretty big ramifications for how we work:

  • mobile on website – Build for mobile first. Write for mobile (there’s a way to do it to make it look “right” on mobile devices). If it doesn’t work on a mobile device … maybe you don’t need it anywhere.
  • mobile in building – Huge untapped user base here. wifi, power. Power cables and charging stations to check out. Comfy chairs. Text messaging in catalog. Simple things like signage – “we have wifi” or “we have ebooks.”
  • mobile in community – Wifi in 9 blocks. Jason’s LibraryBoxes in the park or at the farmer’s market. Mifi hotspot at the farmer’s market. Ebooks in the mall. Etc.
  • mobile for staff – who uses a smartphone for work-related activities? And does your library pay for it, or subsidize it? Maybe they should. Wifi for staff. Tablets for reference staff.

Final thought – Mobile has been a trend for awhile now. But I don’t think libraries have a mobile first philosophy yet. We don’t have some simple “mobile first” things yet, like a truly responsive mobile-friendly website, let alone great mobile access and services in the building or our community.

So let’s start working on mobile first NOW.

Pic by Karlis Dambrans