Books to help your Presentations ROCK

Just a follow-up to my last post. There are a lot of books out there that have some great tips on improving your presentations. Here are some good places to start:

And some awesome online resources:

What books, blogs, or other stuff would you add? Please add em in the comments!

Doing a Presentation with the iPad

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a presentation using my iPad, and it worked out pretty well! I used the iPad version of Keynote (Apple’s Powerpoint-like presentation software). Keynote has a handy-dandy presenter notes feature that is really easy to use, so your notes are on your screen, and your slides still appear on the LCD projector – in a much easier and user-friendly way than Powerpoint.

Guess what? The iPad version of Keynote does the same thing. The screengrab above shows the presenter notes view on the iPad. If there’s more text than shows on the screen, just use your finger to scroll down to the rest of the text.

You also use your finger to advance slides – just swipe the screen, and slides advance. Swipe the other way to go back a slide. Pretty simple to use!

Now – how did it work?

  • It was really easy to set up and use – I just needed to get the iPad VGA adapter, and plug that into our LCD projector. Then the iPad magically did everything else, so I didn’t have to mess with screen resolution compatibility, etc.
  • I was able to stand up in front of the room (I was presenting for the library’s Board of Trustees, who sit at a long table) with no podium – I just held the iPad, and finger-swiped away.

There were a couple of oddities, too:

  • If you stand with the iPad, you need to hold onto the VGA cable. Otherwise, the weight of the cable will pull iPad VGA adapter out of your iPad. Not good.
  • Finger swiping the slides felt a bit odd to me – I’m used to clicking a hand-held thingie to advance slides.
  • Most important – the on-screen slide appeared first, followed by the presenter notes, so there was a bit of lag time. It looked weird for a bit, so I was swiping back and forth, looking for the correct notes, until I figured out the 1 second lag. Once I figured that out, I was ok.

So – looking to do a presentation without having to lug around a laptop? You might consider using an iPad/Keynote setup – easy stuff!

Your slides aren’t the presentation

I sometimes see/hear a presenter who, though they probably don’t realize this, ends up talking in outline form. They’re looking at their outline that’s up on the screen, and they don’t even read the whole screen – instead, they summarize the words of their outlined slide … and end up sounding like a rough-draft outline of their presentation.

Remember this – your presentation is not the slides. And believe me – I spend a lot of time on my slides, to make them as attractive as possible, sometimes to make them funny, and always to have them relate to what I want to say. I DO think slides are important – they work great at conveying information visually.

But I have also realized that the actual presentation is me – it’s the words I say. Even if I’m summarizing something on the screen – I still need to speak clearly, in complete sentences, with a good explanation. A story that summarizes what’s on the screen is even better.

Just something to think about if you present.