Clearly, this post on his blog belies the comment, “I’m just a n00b at all of this public speaking stuff.” He offers up some sophisticated tips which are very useful to the average business presenter.
His brainstorming and content creation process is quite ingenious:
Typically my presentations, whether client research findings or conference keynote, start on the white board. I start free forming a running list of ideas, thoughts, points, and issues that may be relevant. This includes everything from major points to minor factoids.This idea of whiteboarding, then culling the broader points to index cards is outstanding. Too often, speakers think of their presentation as text and words. This method is a more visual, right-brained, big picture method that is likely to lead to a better organized and well-thought-out structure. It's a very effective and creative way to get started.Jake goes on to add a great suggestion about time:
Once I come across a point that I see as “significant”, I write it down on an index card and lay it on the floor. (I may also thumb through an old stack of cards from an previous session) Pretty soon there’s a bunch of cards laid out on the floor. I take a first pass at culling them down a bit, putting them in some sort of order, and identifying anything that might be missing. I’m a very visual person, so seeing this all laid out in front of me really helps.
No audience likes watching the presenter hurry through the last 15 slides in 2 minutes because they ran out of time. I tend to plan content for no more than 75% of the time allotted, although typically I plan for more like 50% of the time allotted.
Throughout the planning process, I’ll develop for that 50% target (i.e. 30 minutes of content for a 1 hour time slot). This helps me to ensure that I’m focusing on the truly important issues, but it also makes it easy to deal with the “oh yeah!” content that pops in during the rest of the development.
He is SO right about ideas coming up later in the process and adding that extra 25%.
I concur completely with Jake's point about clothing: “one step above the audience.” I want to be the best-dressed person in the room but only by a little bit.
I always try to ensure I’m presenting wearing my wildly comfortable Nike AirMax 360 sneakers.
If you can get away with sneakers, more power to you. I wear either Ecco, Rockport, Cole Haan Air Nike brand dress shoes because they are as comfortable as running shoes but very stylish and acceptable in ANY environment, right up to the boardroom.He also has some great tips on visual media - images, PowerPoint / Keynote, etc.
Terrific post, Jake!