Last night I went with some co-workers to the Mac Store in Ginza (Tokyo) to hear Garr Reynolds give a talk entitled, ‘Think Like a Designer.’ For those of you who don’t know, Garr is the author of the book and popular blog, Presentation Zen. When giving presentations, audience members usually want content and a clear message. More often than not, we usually get confusion or boredom.
Basically, everyone is a designer if you know it or not. Everyone wants to change things and/or make them better. What do designers know that we don’t? Here are my notes:
- It’s not about tools: It’s about the ideas. You can visualize your information in any format you wish. Abandon death by PowerPoint.
- Start in analogue mode: Don’t start your presentation on the computer. Plan on paper just like a storyboard. Find some alone time to get your ideas down.
- Take a risk, lose the fear: Just like children, take a chance. Be comfortable with the idea of maybe being wrong.
- Put yourself in their shoes: Think of your consumer’s point of view.
- Look for the ‘story:’ Involve your audience by telling a story. Dan Pink also dedicates a chapter to this in his book ‘A Whole New Mind.’ Make it ‘sticky’ (Chip and Dan Heath) by using (a) simplicity (b) emotions (c) unexpectedness (d) concreteness (e) credibility and (f) story
- Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication: Why do we make simple things complicated? Being simple doesn’t mean being stupid.
- Show restraint: Use control and moderation. Think about what to both include and exclude.
- Vision trumps all other senses: Use graphics and images. We are great at remembering photos. Use these to enhance your story and ideas.
- Signal vs. Noise: You should have a high signal, with low noise. Are your slides distracting to the viewer? Why use various random colours? Why use 3D text? What are their purpose?
- Empty space: Embrace it! Don’t cram it all in. Create more slides instead. Be minimal.
- Learn to see the lessons all around you: Everyday we are bombarded with signage and graphics. Look for examples that strike you as interesting or bad and consider why.
What were some of the best and worst presentations you have seen? I have posted the clip below before, but it’s worth sharing again. Also, check under my ‘Arts, Learning & Talks’ tab to see a presentation done by Garr at Google. UPDATE: Check Garr’s Posterous site for more pics from the event.
UPDATE: (April 9) Note the graph for hits to this site. It’s the power of Garr and Twitter. Looks like a graph of popularity for saying ‘happy new year.’ Spikes once a year.
UPDATE 2: Slide:ology has a good post about improving slides and shows examples of their paper drafts.
Tags : Chip & Dan Heath, Daniel Pink, Design, Don McMillan, Garr Reynolds, Presentation Skills, Presentation Zen
Categories : Art & Design, Classroom Resources, Creative Arts, Creativity, Design, Education, Fun