LINKS OF THE WEEK: 2014.06

Standard

This week started off busy, but by its end, I got exactly what I needed: a much-needed break.  This time of year means the end of my Spring semester at UCF and Spring Break at work, so I am where I need to be: relaxing and enjoying some time to refocus on the things that are important.  During that time, I am planning to read for pleasure.  I just received Dan Roam’s Show And Tell in the mail yesterday, got Kafka On The Shore from my brother for my birthday, and purchased Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald today at Target.  As a reader, I cannot tell you how excited I am for some pleasure reading for the next few weeks between graduate classes.

Today, I also had a bit of time to catch up on my favorite blogs.  I’d like to share new offerings from Chiara Ojeda and Ethos3.

Chiara Ojeda of Tweak Your Slides shared two incredible posts this week.  “Participation: Action Speaks Louder Than Your Words” shares some audience-centered advice on how to include participation and activity in your next speech.  Chiara writes, “When an audience can move beyond passive absorption of information or even active visualization of an idea, that audience is more likely to not only remember the idea, but pass it along to others (whether it is through action, word of mouth, or influence). A message come alive in the audience’s hearts and minds creates that ripple effect speakers need to gain traction for their ideas” (Source).  I think activity CAN be incorporated in any presentation.  If you are short on time, that activity could be asking your audience to imagine something or asking for them to raise their hand in response to a prompt.  If you have more time, that activity can be acting out a scene, drawing on a whiteboard, or engaging in some sort of play.

Chiara also posted “Design Smarter: Learn To Generate Color,” a must-read for slide designers.  She shares tips for how we can work to create effective color schemes in our slideshows using helpful tools such as Design Seeds (my personal favorite) and Adobe’s Kuler.  If choosing a color scheme is difficult for you when you create a slideshow, this article is essential! 

linksoftheweek

Ethos3 also published two great articles since the last time I read the blog.  Amy Cuddy is one of my favorites, and I always recommend that my students watch her TED Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.”  I was delighted to see Ethos3′s “Presentation Lessons from Amy Cuddy” yesterday.  Ethos3 CEO Scott Schwertly gives us some great tips from Cuddy’s presentation including a strong hook, effective use of visuals and video, storytelling, and a strong conclusion.  Schwertly writes, “Combining moving personal narrative, wisely-chosen media, and a strong hook, Amy Cuddy succeeds massively in her TED Talk. It makes us want to take a power pose right now” (Source).  Let’s stand up and do the Wonder Woman all together now!

Ethos3 also published “The 5-7-5 Presentation Technique,” which I recognized as a form of poetry called the haiku but never imagined could be applied to presentations.  The article suggests we consider the haiku style when presenting because it allows us to be “mindful about using too much text with extraneous narrative and filler” (Source).  The goal is to include as little text as possible on our slides and to consider the haiku style when developing those slides.  Ethos3 gives two examples here and explains, that when “broken into separately designed slides, it’s minimal and filler-free” and “a triumph of minimalism” (Source).  I am definitely going to try this when designing my next Slideshare deck!

What great articles on public speaking and presentation did you read this week?

Chiara Ojeda’s “Ideate! Create and Develop World-Changing Ideas”

Standard

After hearing about this deck and seeing her put in hours of work during the past few months, I am excited Chiara Ojeda finally debuted her latest visual presentation on Slideshare.  “Ideate! Create and Develop World-Changing Ideas” is about developing an idea through effective brainstorming, topic selection, and preparation.  Of course, it instantly shot to “Top Presentation of the Day.”

Check it out below:

Source

What I like most about this Slideshare presentation is its focus.  I’ve found, in my experience, that content is truly king.  If a student prepares and develops strong content, he or she is significantly more likely to deliver a powerful presentation.  Delivery is more likely to be natural and authentic if the student spends time brainstorming, developing, researching, organizing, and polishing content.  The presentation is more likely to resonate if the student puts a focus on content.  But content doesn’t stand alone… Remember that effective presentations are a three-legged stool:

stool

Chiara mentions on slide 73 that the next step in the process is to design slides to go along with the idea and then to practice rehearsing the presentation… She gives some amazing resources, so be sure to check those out!

Check out more of Chiara’s Slideshare presentations here.

What did you like most about “Ideate! Create and Develop World-Changing Ideas” by Chiara Ojeda?

She’s Baaaaack: The Resurgence of Tweak Your Slides

Standard

After a hiatus, Chiara Ojeda of Tweak Your Slides is back to blogging!  In January, Chiara wrote some must-read posts:

“Beyond Rhetoric: What MLK Day Means To Me” contains a beautiful infographic I know Chiara has been working on for quite some time.  The data display makes its debut during a perfect time: the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

“4 (But Really 6) Steps To Creating A Visual Resume” gives us insight on how to develop a strong personal brand through a visual resume.  Not many people understand the point or the goal of a visual resume, so Chiara’s blog post is a must-read.

AlexChiara

“Garr Reynolds on Presentation Anxiety” is an expansion of an amazing lizard-brain piece posted on Presentation Zen earlier this month.

And last, but not least, are two posts relating to teaching public speaking and presentation in the classroom.  Chiara explains her negative experience in “When Presentations Go Wrong,” and her solution in “When Presentations Go Wrong, Think Preparation and Grit.”

Follow Chiara Ojeda’s blog Tweak Your Slides here.

What is your favorite January blog post on Tweak Your Slides?

Tweak Your Resume

Standard

Chiara Ojeda’s “Tweak Your Resume” made its debut on Slideshare after a long, thoughtful design process.  Today, it was named “Top Presentation of the Day.”

slideshare

Source

Check out Chiara’s gorgeous, inspiring deck below:

Source

This week, my students are working on their Visual Resume projects.  They will upload this project to Slideshare, so I’m excited to see their hard work go out into the world.  I can’t wait to share them with you soon.

Do you have a visual resume?

Visual Design Basics: The Building Blocks of a Great Slideshow

Standard

Fortunately, even though I get frustrated with poorly designed slides, I know a whole lot of great people who spend their lives trying to combat death-by-bulletpoint.  One of those people is Chiara Ojeda.  After reading “The Resistance Continues: Combating Bad Slides and the People Who Use Them,” Chiara wrote the perfect companion piece called “Resistance Is Futile: Bullets Kill.”  My favorite part of her article was this:

“Presenters I consult with often say, “but I like MY slides” or “what’s wrong with MY slides?” The view that slides are for the presenter is exactly what’s wrong. An audience-centered presenter cares less about the efficiency of a template and more about how design elements like color, type, and layout communicate a specific vision for the audience and help set a tone for the audience’s interaction with and reception of a message. An audience-centered presenter cares less about the number of bullets on a slide and more about how to successfully assist an audience in retaining information” (Source).

Click here to read Chiara’s article in its entirety, and check out her “Top Presentation of the Day” Slideshare presentation on effective visual design here:

Source

Who do you stand beside in the fight against death-by-PowerPoint?

Chiara Ojeda’s Superteacher Infographic

Standard

As promised earlier this week, I am sharing another of Chiara Ojeda’s beautiful infographics.  This one focuses on her teaching philosophy and leadership style:

Source

I love this infographic’s clean typography, beautiful color scheme, and icons from The Noun Project.  This infographic is the basis for Chiara’s new Visual Resume, so “Follow” her on Slideshare and keep an eye out for the upcoming project!

What do you love most about Chiara’s “Superteacher” infographic?

An Infographic Lesson by Chiara Ojeda

Standard

Back in July, Chiara Ojeda posted her tips for creating successful infographics on her blog, Tweak Your Slides.  Check out her post here.

tweakyourslides

Source

Chiara has created three amazing infographics (so far!).  Check out her first try using the data visualization medium in this post from January 2012.  I’d love to share Chiara’s second infographic with you today:

Source

We use the above infographic for our Professional Communication and Presentation class to help students select a strong topic for their persuasive Ignite presentations.

Coming Soon!  Check back soon for Chiara’s third infographic on the structure of Professional Communication and Presentation.  

… Yes, I am her hype girl.

Links of the Week: 2013.12

Standard

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day holiday and long weekend!  Today was a workday for me, but I did spend a beautiful beach day with my girlfriends on Sunday.  This week’s “Links of the Week” include posts by Garr Reynolds, Nancy Duarte, and Chiara Ojeda.

Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen posted “9 ways to live better, longer, happier” a few days ago, and these suggestions can apply to both everyday life and presentations.  When a person moves naturally, has the right outlook, and connects well with others in the audience, a presentation can be very successful (Source).  Reynolds explains the importance of slowing down and having a clear purpose, and these are key in the presentation creation process.  More importantly, though, these tips do lead to a healthier and happier life.

linksoftheweek

“10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations” gives us additional advice on crafting strong presentations.  Most of the great advice relates to slide design.  Author Dustin Wax writes, “At any given moment, what should be on the screen is the thing you’re talking about. Our audience will almost instantly read every slide as soon as it’s displayed; if you have the next four points you plan to make up there, they’ll be three steps ahead of you, waiting for you to catch up rather than listening with interest to the point you’re making… Plan your presentation so just one new point is displayed at any given moment” (Source).  We may put our audience’s needs first when we’re coming up with content, but if we’re not also thinking about their needs with our PowerPoint and Keynote slides, our presentations will fall not resonate.

With online public speaking classes, Skype interviews, and GoTo Training sessions, more and more presentations are being presented remotely.  Nancy Duarte’s “5 Ways to Resonate Remotely” should be essential reading for any speaker who has an online or telephone presentation.  Duarte emphasizes the importance of a human touch; keeping the audio interesting; removing distractions; using contrast; and having fun (Source).

Last, but not least, was an important message for every presenter.  “Murder Your Darlings” by Chiara Ojeda of Tweak Your Slides gives us advice for editing and cutting content.  Ojeda says of murdering our darlings: “The purpose of this violent act is to keep the focus on the audience. Without the editing and shaving off of what may seem necessary to you but is not necessary to your audience’s understanding of that particular subject, you will lose your most important tool in creating an idea that spreads–the audience themselves” (Source).

What great things did you read over the long weekend?

The “I” in Simple by Chiara Ojeda

Standard

Chiara Ojeda’s “Simple Design” series debuted on Slideshare earlier this year, and she is breaking down each piece on her blog.  Read the introduction and first post of the simple design series here.

blog-simple-015

The “I” in simple is all about simplicity and displaying one idea per slide.  To read Chiara’s second blog post in the Simple Design series, please click here.

Have you made the decision to join the presentation revolution?  How do you work to design simple slides?