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PRESENTATION ZEN. Introduction [1] Presenting in Today’s World Preparation [2] Creativity, Limitations, and Constraints [3] Planning Analog [4] Crafting the Story Design [5] Simplicity: Why It Matters [6] Presentation Design: Principles and Techniques [7] Sample Slides Delivery

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PRESENTATION ZEN


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  1. PRESENTATIONZEN

  2. Introduction [1] Presenting in Today’s World • Preparation [2] Creativity, Limitations, and Constraints [3] Planning Analog [4] Crafting the Story • Design [5] Simplicity: Why It Matters [6] Presentation Design: Principles and Techniques [7] Sample Slides • Delivery [8] The Art of Being Completely Present [9] Connecting With an Audience • The Next Step . . . [10] The Journey Begins

  3. Design Simplicity:Why It Matters

  4. When in doubt . . . add more ??? Many people confuse simple with simplistic & simplism—something that is “dummied-down” to the point of being deceptive or misleading Simple also is seen as oversimplification of an issue, which ignores complexities & can create outright falsehoods

  5. The kind of simplicity needed comes from an intelligent desire for clarity that gets to the essence of an issue Creating messages & visual designs that are “simple” doesn’t mean taking shortcuts, or ignoring complexities, or endorsing meaningless sound bytes & shallow content

  6. Simplicity = clarity directness subtlety essentialness minimalism The simple solutions are not necessarily the easiest BUT the results may end up being the “easiest” to use for the end user

  7. The best visuals are often ones designed with an eye towards simplicity The specifics of a visual presentation, though, will depend on the content & context

  8. Simplicity is often used as a means to greater clarity • Simplicity can also be viewed as a consequence • A consequence of our careful efforts to craft a story & create supporting visuals that focus on our audience’s needs in a clear & meaningful way

  9. Steve Jobs • Jobs was clear & to the point • His presentations generated a lot of buzz about the content • His content was easily grasped & remembered by both the media & regular customers • There was both a verbal & visual clarity—this is what leaders do! • In Jobs’s slides you can see evidence of restraint, simplicity, & powerful yet subtle use of empty space • He used slides to complement his talks—the visuals didn’t overpower him but they were a necessary part of the talk • He told a story & he interacted with the audience in a natural way, rarely turning his back on the audience

  10. Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means When you look at your visuals, can you say that you are getting the maximum impact with a minimum of graphic elements?

  11. Principles to apply: • Simplicity • Subtlety • Elegance • Suggestive rather than the descriptive or obvious • Naturalness (i.e., nothing artificial or forced) • Empty (or negative) space • Stillness/Tranquility • Eliminating the nonessential

  12. Learning from the Art of Comics • Cartooning is a form of ‘amplification through simplification’ because the abstract images in comics aren’t so much the elimination of detail as they are an effort to focus on specific details • Simple style doesn’t necessitate simple story

  13. Most people haven’t been exposed to the idea of making a visual stronger by stripping it down to its essence • Less always equals less in some people’s eyes

  14. Advice to live by: • All that’s needed is the desire to be heard • The will to learn • And the ability to see

  15. Simplicity is Not Easy Time is a constraint for us, but when planning a presentation, what if we took the notion of “timesaving” & looked at it from the point of our audience instead of our own personal desires to do things more quickly & save time?

  16. Your audience will be happy if you are a speaker who is engaged, has done your homework, has prepared compelling visuals which add rather than bore, & generally make them happy that they attended! Save time for your audience by not only not wasting their time but instead by sharing something important with them

  17. Summary • Simplicity is powerful & leads to greater clarity, yet it is neither simple nor easy to achieve • Simplicity can be obtained through the careful reduction of the nonessential • As you design slides, keep the following concepts in mind: • Subtlety • Grace • Understated elegance

  18. Good designs have plenty of empty space—think “subtract” not “add” • While simplicity is the goal, it is possible to be “too simple”—your job is to find the balance most appropriate to your situation

  19. Design Presentation Design:Principles & Techniques

  20. Without a good knowledge of the place & circumstance, & the content & context of a presentation, it is difficult to say what is “appropriate” & that is “inappropriate” necessarily, let alone to judge what is “good” or “bad”

  21. What is meant by design?

  22. Presentation Design • Design is necessary & a way to organize information in a way that makes things clearer • It is also a medium for persuasion • Design is more about subtraction than addition • Visually, we don’t want to include too much,nor do we want to exclude too much

  23. It might be tempting to show how smart, knowledgeable, & well-prepared you are by showering the audience with details—but if that information doesn’t really help you tell your story, & doesn’t help the audience understand your main points, then it just gets in the way

  24. You will force the audience members to search for the information-bearing needle in the haystack of your words & graphics— & they will probably just give up!

  25. In the world of design, there is more than 1 solution to a single problem • Ultimately, you need to look for the most appropriate solution for the problem, given the context of your information • Design is about making conscious decisions about inclusion & exclusion

  26. General Design Principles • There are 7 interconnected design principles that are fundamental to good slide design • The first 2 • Signal vs. Noise Ratio • Picture Superiority Effect Are quite broad concepts but with practical applications to slide design

  27. The 3rd (Empty Space) helps us look at slides in a different way & appreciate the power of what is not included to make visual messages stronger • The final 4 principles are grouped together in what is called “The Big 4” of basic design principles: • Contrast • Repetition • Alignment • Proximity

  28. [1] Signal vs. Noise Ratio • Borrowed from radio & electronic communications • Applied to design & communication problems in any field • The ratio of relevant to irrelevant elements or information in a slide • The goal is to have the highest signal-to-noise ratio possible • Means communicating (designing) with as little degradation to the message as possible

  29. Degradation to the message: • Selection of inappropriate charts • Using ambiguous labels & icons • Unnecessarily emphasizing items such as lines, shapes, symbols, & logos that don’t play a key role in support of the message

  30. If the item can be removed w/o compromising the visual message, then strong consideration should be given to minimizing the element or removing it altogether • Examples: • Lines in grids or tables can be made quite thin, lightened, or even removed • Footers & logos can usually be removed w/good results

  31. “The Smallest Effective Difference” • Make all visual distinctions as subtle as possible but still clear & effective • If the message can be designed w/fewer elements, then there is no point in using more

  32. Examples – p. 123-125

  33. But Is the Nonessential Always “Noise”? • It is generally true that unnecessary elements decrease the design’s efficiency & increase the possibility of unintended consequences – a minimalist approach can be the most efficient • Efficiency itself is not necessarily an absolute good or always the ideal approach • Display designs that include the highest SNR possible w/o any adornment • Use a lot of photographic images in presentations • When you use a chart or table, don’t place any other elements on the slide • It is OK to place a chart or table over a background image as long as there is proper contrast

  34. There are other times when you will want to add or keep elements that serve to support the message at a more emotional level • Clarity should be your guiding principle • Balance is important & the use of emotional elements depends on your particular circumstance, audience, & objectives

  35. Examples – p. 126 The 1st slide is simple The last slides have “nonessential elements” added that make the slide more interesting, but do not necessarily increase clarity Any of the designs may be appropriate, however, depending on the situation

  36. Examples – p. 127 • A simple bar chart w/o the use of an image • The same simple data w/an image added—the image complements the underlining theme –save the planet – w/o getting in the way of the chart

  37. 2-D or Not to 2-D? • Taking 2-D data & creating a 3-D chart doesn’t simplify it • The idea is that 3-D may add emotion, but when it comes to charts & graphics, you should aim for simple, clean, & 2-D(for 2-D data) • What is essential & what is extra is up to you to decide, but stripping away the extra ink in 3-D charts is a good place to start

  38. A 3-D representation of 2-D data increases the “ratio of ink-to-data” • 2-D charts & graphs will almost always be a better solution • 3-D charts appear less accurate & can be difficult to comprehend—the viewing angle of 3-D charts often makes it hard to see where data points sit on an axis • If you do use 3-D charts, avoid extreme perspectives

  39. Examples – p. 129

  40. Who Says Your Logo Should Be on Every Slide? • “Branding” is one of the most overused & misunderstood terms in use today • Many people confuse the elements of brand identity with brand or branding • If you are presenting for an org. , try removing logos from all except the 1st & last slide • If you want people to learn something & remember you, then make a good, honest presentation • The logo won’t help sell or make a point, but the clutter it brings does add unnecessary noise & makes the presentation visuals look like a commercial

  41. Slide real estate is limited as it is, so don’t clutter it with logos & trademarks, footers, & so on If you want people to hear & understand your visual message, the answer is not to add more clutter but to remove it all

  42. A Word About Bullet Points

  43. The 1-7-7 Rule: What is it? • Have only one main idea per slide • Insert only seven lines of text maximum • Use only seven words per line maximum • The question is through: does this work? • Is this method really good advice? • Is this really an appropriate, effective “visual”? • This slide has just seven bullet points!

  44. A series of text-filled slides w/plenty of charts or tables shows that you are a “serious employee” • Never mind that the audience can’t really see the detail in the slides well (or that the executive board doesn’t really understand your charts” – if it looks complicated it must be “good”

  45. No one can do well w/slide after slide of bullet points • Bullet points work well when used sparingly in documents to help readers scan content or to summarize key points • Bullet points are not usually effective in a live talk

  46. How Many Bullet Points per Slide? A good general guideline is to use bullet points only very rarely & only after you have considered other options for displaying the information in a way that best supports your point visually • Sometimes bullet points may be the best choice depending on your content, objectives, & audience • Use of bullet points should be a rare exception

  47. Example 1: Bulleted slide Example 2: No bullets

  48. Remember these six aptitudes: • Not just function, but also DESIGN • Not just argument, but also STORY • Not just focus, but also SYMPHONY • Not just logic but also EMPATHY • Not just seriousness, but also PLAY • Not just accumulation, but also MEANING

  49. The 1st slide is a bullet list of information • The 2nd slide uses about ½ the text to summarize the key points in a more engaging, visual way