Sunday, November 25, 2012

Effective presentations

I've been working hard on developing a strong presentation for my Vision Project for a school library. My first step was thinking deeply about how I shape and share my vision. But the next step is about how I present those ideas. I want to make my presentation dynamic and impactful. I know I want to avoid a lengthy Power Point presentation, but what are some key points for an effective presentation?

Gwyneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, has a great presentation called "How to be a Presentation Ninja".  I'd like to share the slides here, so I can continue to come back to them.

How to be a Presentation Ninja from gwyneth jones

I also have taken a lot of inspiration from Joyce Valenza, both in terms of the content she shares and the way she puts together effective, clear slides. Here is a recent presentation she shared on SlideShare called "Five Forward."

Fiveforward from joycevalenza

Here's another presentation I love from Joyce Valenza, called New Rules.

Newrules from joycevalenza

Some of my takeaways from these presentations:

  • Use strong visuals. Capture people's attention with pictures.
  • Use Creative Commons images from Flickr and cite your sources.
  • Consider purchasing a dynamic image from iStock Photo.
  • Use words sparingly to focus attention.
  • Use dynamic, bold fonts.
  • Add clear, streamlined text to images.
  • Share your presentations. Spread the word beyond the initial audience.


  1. Mary Ann,
    Thank you for sharing this with the world! I encourage you to post it to the course website, too. I think it would be useful for people in the class to access this information. It makes me think a lot about two different learning experiences we've shared. The first is the presentation we did in Collection Development with Disher this summer. Even though I found it challenging, I liked that he graded us on the presentation. It really pushed me to prepare. (even though it seemed like we were all super nervous, we ended up doing such a great job!)

    Second, I keep thinking back to one of de Groot's lectures. I honestly don't remember what it was about, but it was just photos, and I remember one of them was colored pencils or crayons. I think it might have been a lecture about the research process, with a picture of a research map. The slides struck me because she would change a slide and a photo would come up, but I didn't know what the photo represented until she started to talk about that section of the lecture. I think that is a subtle and powerful strategy, and I have been thinking about basically just using photos and narrating with information and anecdotes.

    Share this with the class!

    1. Thanks so much, Allyson. I was wondering about sharing it with the class, but wasn't sure. I appreciate your encouragement. I wanted to write it down here so I could come back to these presentations. Do you remember the website that Disher shared with us about effective presentations? I've lost track of it. I agree - that was such a challenging presentation, but so helpful that he really pushed us to think about HOW we were presenting.

      In fact, I'm not sure I know how to get to that presentation. Not remembering how we put the final thing together. I'm thinking it was a powerpoint file that someone had... We all will need the recording of the session we had with Disher for our eportfolio...

      Did you like DeGroot's method of using pictures without subtitles? I found it a bit hard to keep my focus. I've decided that I like having just a few words to anchor me visually.

      thanks so much,

      Mary Ann