Richard Goring is a Director at BrightCarbon, the specialist presentation and eLearning agency. He has helped to write and create thousands of presentations, and coached hundreds of teams to present more effectively using visuals, diagrams, and animated sequences that explain and reinforce the key points.
In this conversation, Richard talks about the Presentation Summit, being held in San Antonio, TX this year from October 6 to 9, 2019.
Geetesh: Richard, you are doing two sessions at this year’s Presentation Summit, No Text Allowed! and Beyond Hyperlinks. What is the main reason participants should attend these sessions, and what will be their major takeaways. Please explain individually for both sessions.
Richard: Presentations are often used to tell a story live. There’s a presenter talking, and the slides provide visual support. If you’re doing that, it’s almost impossible for your audience to read and listen at the same time, so you have to use visual presentations, allowing your audience to focus on what you’re saying and use the visuals to understand complex concepts, or support their recall of the information later.
Adding text (certainly more than a few words) just gets in the way and often distracts. The session will explore how to create slides with no text (or minimize if you simply have to for various reasons), with the thought process to follow to draft out a visual storyboard, into the design layouts to make it work, the PowerPoint skills to construct it, and the ways you would present a slide really easily, despite it having no text. It’s an approach that will dramatically improve your presentations as it forces you think about what your audience cares about and focus only on the key ideas.
Visual presentations are great communication tools, but they don’t always allow you to be responsive to your audience. Most presentations are linear, going from slide 1 to the end. That’s where the second session at the Presentation Summit comes in, to go in-depth into interactive presentations. You can use triggers and hyperlinks to create presentation tools that allow your audience to be heavily involved. They can answer questions, give you input, make suggestions, go into different topics, and just generally be responsive. We’ll be looking at ways that you can have a conversation with your audience and draw inspiration from some of the techniques used in eLearning to make your presentation far more engaging.
Geetesh: Please tell us more about your role at BrightCarbon. And if there is one idea you can share with Indezine readers that will help them create better, more effective presentations, what would that be?
Richard: I help our clients develop persuasive stories for their presentations and storyboard compelling visuals for them, working alongside the graphic designers in our team to bring the content to life. I also run lots of advanced PowerPoint training to help others do exactly the same thing, and create their own effective presentations, and thoroughly enjoy hosting some of the free online presentation masterclasses that we run every Thursday. As a result, I see a lot of presentations and one thing that can make a huge impact in many of them is custom highlighting with masks to focus attention on what’s important. From simple up to complex slides, it’s usually the case that you want your audience to focus on one thing at a time.
Using a combination of the Freeform and Merge Shape tools, you can create custom masks that highlight specific elements on a slide. Create a series of them, and you can take your audience through different parts of a complex story. It works so well and is really quick and easy to do. I’d highly recommend it. I’ve put together a video tutorial of how to do it, if you’d like.
Sorry, I can’t resist, one more quick link, which is to a great site called from Data to Viz that gives you a great flow chart for deciding on the best type of chart to show your data with. It’s such an elegant way to decide and it’s certainly one to bookmark for future reference.
What is the Presentation Summit?
For nearly two decades, Rick Altman has been hosting the Presentation Summit, a highly popular event that is geared towards users of PowerPoint and other presentation platforms.
Indezine.com is the official Media Partner for the Presentation Summit.
Date: October 6 to 9, 2019
Location: Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio, TX, United States