Yesterday I was reading Nancy Duates Resonate. About how to create extraordinary presentations that changed the way people felt. It is a really nice graphical book. Something that other also could inspire to do.
Nancy is using a model to describe the way presentations should go. There should be something about the present and what why that is not enough and a frustration. Then there should be alternations to what is supposed to/or could be. If you change between these to stages in the presentation people will feel like there is a reason to change. Nancy applies the model to both Steve Jobs Iphone launch and Martin Luther Kings I have a dream. They can bot be described using this way.
One part that I particularly enjoyed was a case story from Cisco, where they had a slide describing a technical solution. Instead of starting with why the technical solution they change to start with a story about a beer producer and a problem that he was facing. Then they had a cliffhanger to make sure people were listening to the technical solution. After the technical details were described they could come back and tell the story with beer producer. It seems to give a much better flow in the presentation.
One thing that I found interesting was only to have one idea per slide. And it should be as brief described as possible. People should not have to spend a lot of time reading the presentation, because then they are losing focus on you. The slide should more serve as an anchor for the message. The long slides are more of a report, but that is a different ball game.
Also only spend max 2 minutes pr slide. This is a loft different from what others are getting. I have heard that you should spend up till 5 minutes a slide. So it is a large difference. But if you are only allowed to have one idea on a slide it is easier to describe the change.
One final thing that struck me was the practices it requires to make a presentation. If it has to be good you should have focus groups. Most people do not give time for creating more than one draft or practice. We have become a culture of first drafters with blogs, a emails, and presentation.