Presenter’s Manifesto: Last Slide

The Presenter’s Manifesto series was born out of literally hundreds of bad experiences I’ve had as either a presenter or an audience member. The technical issues I’ve encountered are legion, and the presenter malpractice I’ve been subjected to has been so egregious and so maddening that I thought I could easily come up with 25 tips to improve things for both myself and the audience world in general.

King Kong

Presenter’s Manifesto: Bring Your Own Gear

Avoiding Embarrassment 101

When presenting on the road (a.k.a. an “away game”) Murphy’s Law rules supreme: when you really need your venue to supply <insert important thing> to do your presentation, the odds are good that you will be disappointed. So what to do? Tip 13, Bring Your Own Gear, recommends that we bring anything crucial to our presentation along with us to the venue.

Vintage gear - Don't bring one of these.

Vintage gear – Don’t bring one of these.

Presenter’s Manifesto: Animate With Purpose

Much like the villain Loki of Avengers fame, animations should be burdened with purpose. Perhaps not glorious purpose, but purpose nonetheless, because gratuitous animation wears out audiences quickly. Tip 11, Animate With Purpose, states that animations should be carefully chosen to help the audience better understand the information being presented.

Chuck Jones, my favorite animator, at work

Chuck Jones, my favorite animator, at work

Presenter’s Manifesto: Color Counts

Presentation malpractice takes many forms, one of which is color selection. Color selection is partly a matter of style and partly a matter of function. In Tip 10, Color Matters, we are concerned primarily about function, because unwise color choices can detract from our message and lead to a presentation that is difficult to view.

The Master at work

The Master at work.

Why The New MacBook May Be Right For You

After a week of feedback, I realize I unintentionally sent the wrong message when I said I wasn’t buying the new MacBook. It’s true; I’m not, and I haven’t changed my mind for all of the reasons I gave. However, for the majority of people looking for a new laptop, it is probably the perfect machine. Here is the ultimate litmus test: If I were buying a laptop for my parents, my in-laws, my friends, or anyone else I know who is a casual computer user and who trusts me, what would I buy? It would be the new MacBook, hands down. Why so?

A flip side image, since we're taking another view. Copyright 2015 - Apple Inc.

A flip-side image, since we’re examining a different view. Copyright (C) Apple Inc.

Presenter’s Manifesto: Bullets Kill

When talking about gun laws, it is sometimes said that guns don’t kill people; people do. Regardless of where you stand on that issue, the physical reality is that it is in fact the bullet that makes contact and causes the damage. Tip 8 in the Presenter’s Manifesto states exactly that: Bullets Kill. And by that, we mean the text bullets on our slides. Too many bullets can kill our audience’s attention and render our presentation ineffective.

The Matrix - Copyright (C) Warner Bros

You too have the power to stop bullets. The Matrix – Copyright (C) Warner Bros

Presenter’s Manifesto: Quality Matters

In Tip 1 of our Manifesto, we declared that the purpose of presenting is to communicate a message in order to enable or persuade. We also noted that anything that detracts from this goal must be eliminated. Here in Tip 7, we examine the first of many things that have the ability to greatly enhance our message or greatly detract from it – the quality of our presentation. Quality matters in both the visual appearance of our slides and the delivery of the words that we use.

Courtesy Auntie P. via Flickr

Courtesy Auntie P. via Flickr