I have been studying the art of presentation. At Liquid Church, we are visual communicators. We use video, images, and stories to communicate the greatest story ever told. And so I’ve become a student of that and have integrated reading widely and studying visual presentation. This week I was reading Akash Karia’s book: How to Design TED worthy Presentation Slides.
I’ve read so many books and taken a visual presentation course that they all seem to run together. But there were a few things from this book that I found helpful. In the preparation stage and in the delivery stage.
When I’m writing a talk, whether it’s a sermon, leadership talk or anything I’ve had a few phases. There has been the research phase, outline phase and the manuscripting phase. After reading this book, I may add a phase, the conceptualization phase. As I research, I would isolate specific ideas or concepts. Then link the concepts together in a coherent way. Those concepts would be the visual components that would need clarification. Another way to put this is that these concepts would become my storyboard. To help me create the story-arc in my talk.
I’m always looking to improve my delivery. Especially when I am practicing. Usually I write a message that will be 30-45 minutes long. Practicing all that at one time can be exhausting. Something I’ve found helpful in this book is to actually break up the practice. Practice the intro in the morning, the body of your presentation in the afternoon, and the conclusion in the evening. By breaking it into chunks you can focus on the specific sections to have focused practice, practice using your slides, props, etc for greater impact.
While this book is mostly about design, that wasn’t my biggest take away. Only because much of the material was repeated in books like Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte and Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. Principles like space, fonts, and color are indispensable for communicating your message. The reminder that your slides must be made for your audience in mind, not as prompts for yourself.
This is a great book, I highly recommend it.