An introduction to the presentation best practices that have inspired Haiku Deck, as well as some specific tips and techniques for presenting data. Created as a guest lecture for the UW Communication Leadership Graduate Program
Here's a fairly typical presentation slide I clipped from Slideshare.
It's great content, don't get me wrong, but when this is the 2nd slide you see, it might be tough to get past. Or at minimum you'd probably want to skip over it pretty quickly. Is there a different way to communicate this?
Tip #6: Keep your focus on what really matters: your story.
When you're working on a presentation, it's easy to get caught up in time-consuming things like building animations, text formatting, and fancy transitions. But these aren't the things that make your message memorable--it's the story.
Give yourself time to explore and create.
Sometimes a little metaphorical thinking can help you discover your big idea, and everything just flows from there.
We have tried to make Haiku Deck incredibly simple to use so you can concentrate on your message. And we often find that the very process of exploring pictures and words with Haiku Deck's built-in image search unlocks ideas and opens up new creative possibilities.
When it comes to presentation design, we often favor consistency over individual style. We grab the corporate template, or we stick with a set combination of fonts, layouts, and colors.
We believe every story deserves to be told in its own unique way, and that injecting your own personality is going to make your communication more effective. This approach will also help you establish a real connection with your audience.
It takes practice not to just read everything you're going to say right off your slides, but it's well worth the effort.
When your slides are there to reinforce and beautifully illustrate your ideas, you can engage with your audience in a more meaningful, authentic way.
The same expert I mentioned earlier, Dave Paradi, did a companion study with a couple hundred executives and business leaders, to uncover what they found frustration about the presentation of financial information (one flavor of data) specifically. The results really echo what we saw before. More than two-thirds felt there were too many numbers. (Hello, information overload!)
Tables are tempting because they feel information dense and authoritative. But in a presentation context, it's pretty difficult to absorb all that information. Consider other ways to tell the story that matters!