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Created March 7, 2013 10:20
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Notes on: Instantly better presentations - Damian Conway

Instantly better presentations - Damian Conway

It probably just makes more sense to just view his version online at:

But making notes is useful anyway.

7 tips are

  • Talk about stuff you know are care about
  • Tell a story
  • Don't search for topics, select them
  • Less decoration, more focus
  • Manage their questions
  • Animate code demos
  • Harness your anxiety

Talk about stuff you know are care about

Don't be on stage talking about something that you're not intimately familiar with.

If you feel too nervous it's because you're not in control and don't understand your material.

Audiance fall asleep if you don't care and aren't passionate about it. Get back to what excited you about the basics that you will be talking about.

"If the internet has taught us anything. Seeing someone else who's excited... is exciting!"

"Any audiance you are in will predominately be of primates."

Think David Attenborough - has passion without running around like an American.

OK to talk about what you loathe - passion can be negative.

Tell a story

Story is the oldest tool for dealing with lack of memory.

  • A story has flow to assist memorisation
  • Hierarchy - to assist comprehension and recollection. Break things down.

Historical narrative of something is a ready made story Process storyline - what were the steps we took to build something Anecdotal examples. This is what happened when I went to build X

Since you were a child you have been training yourself to understand stories.

Don't search for topics, select them

Don't ask "what should I say?" -- this is, what are the important things I can recall with mental effort, won't give us the best results.

Ask - what could I say -- what would I recognise if I saw it in front of me.

Dump your entire knowledge of the subject in any order. To analyse, don't prioritise. Just write. -- pick out the 5 main points, find a story to connect those points -- if something doesn't connect, replace it -- put each bit under those points -- drop anything that doesn't fit under a point

Less decoration, more focus

Simplify your slides. Content matters, but not as much as style.

Delivery is key, conent is your payload.

Bad style is anything that stops your audience focussing on your message.

Anything on screen distracts from what you are saying as people will be annoyed with you interupting their reading!

Single simple visible message.

Show less and show it across more slides.

Manage their questions

Questions are vital for the audiance but a damn nuisance for the presenter.

Have an explicit questions policy - questions at the end, when you see a blue slide, at the break, or in a small talk whenever (possibly)

Start with "I'm keen to take questions" then state your policy.

Animate code demos

Explain code temporally, not spatially.

It's not that static part that's problem, it's the dynamic part.


Little highlighted bits about what you are describing

Animate code. Pick out the important bits are rearrange.

Harness your anxiety

Deliver your message less fearfully.

Evolution is monkeying with your emotions. You can fight back.

Rethink your nervousness. -- you can't stop the fear and its effects but you can reclassify it.

This isn't fear, it's energy and excitement. This won't work at first, but will eventually!

Rewire your anxiety with rehearsal. Never give a presentation for the first time.

Practice live at least 3 times before a real audiance.

Practice with a big image of a crowd watching you.

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dolmen commented Jul 6, 2016

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