It’s no secret that we love our work, and working together. We hope sharing how we work help give you some ideas about how to approach your own projects.
Scroll on for our tips as told through words and (of course) a few pictures.
1. We take time to plan all our presentations. In fact, the more concise the end-product, the more time it probably took us to figure out how to make it happen. The time you’re willing to dedicate to the planning phase will determine your success.
2. We approach empty slides like blank canvases. Presentation software like PowerPoint or Keynote has capabilities far beyond typing in text, they are made for visuals. We use slide decks to reinforce our spoken words, not duplicate them. Many people mistakenly think this approach requires a lot of natural artistic talent, but truthfully we’re not terribly talented or creative. We’ve just learned to use our resources. There are many places to find images, photos, and videos that can be used in presentations. Visit our Tools and Resources pages for more information. The basic shapes features in most slide deck software can also be especially helpful. Making simple illustrations from basic shapes is quite easy to master with a bit of practice, and can give you a custom look.
3. We bounce ideas around. Having someone to share your work with can make a big difference. We’ve had some wild ideas. Some have turned into incredibly successful projects. We might not have dared to see them through if we hadn’t had each other to ask: is this a good idea? Don’t worry if the person you’d like to share your ideas with isn’t familiar with your subject-matter. That can actually be an advantage. Someone who doesn’t know a lot about your work can often give great feedback about the parts you’re explaining well, and those that need more work.
4. We explain using stories, analogies, images, and activities. The best of the best presenters use these tools to connect their audiences with information.
5. We take risks. If you’ve followed our blog, you know that our approach to presentations is likely a bit different than many have seen or considered. We’re talking about a paradigm shift for folks, and that can seem pretty risky. We think once you get started you’ll agree that the rewards far outweigh the initial risks.
6. It’s a bit cliche to say, but practice really does make perfect when it comes to delivering a stellar presentation. Since our slide decks are light on text, we need to practice the script that will accompany the visuals.
7. Know a few things about your audience. Taking time to consider the audience’s needs will help you plan a presentation that is more likely to reach them.
8. We strive to say things as simply as possible by eliminating acronyms, avoiding industry jargon, and by working hard to find concrete ways to explain complex ideas.