3 More Tips for Web Presentations

October 13, 2009

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Presentating makes you the king of your team for an hour. That’s just long enough so you can drive the discussion and not going mad with power. This is why I like presenting to my team and why I love it when my coworkers present to me. Group discussions are good, but every now and then its important to shake things up and have one person take your team in a new direction.

Presenting is a nerve racking experience, but lately I’ve been pushing myself to do it more. I recently gave a presentation about JQuery, the JavaScript framework that runs web pages for sites like Google, Mozilla, and The One Minute Commute.

I’ve already written 9 Tips for Successful Web Presentations. After giving this presentation I found three more.

1. Know your audience

Understanding the technology is important, but you also need to understand the context. I always change my presentation style and subject based on my audience. This audience was full of seasoned JavaScript developers and getting them to try JavaScript is harder than convincing Red Sox fans they should watch cricket. For this technical audience I focused on three areas: general introduction, JQuery philosophy, and how JavaScript can make you look smarter.

2. Watch out for dead time

This presentation about JQuery was written in JQuery. That makes it a good example, but it also lets me unclude live demos right inside the presentation. The time you spend switching between PowerPoint and a web browser is dead time. As little as 30 seconds is long enough for someone to check their email, get distracted, and never come back. Dead time in a web presentation is an audience killer.

3. Don’t make your slides tell the whole story

Garr reynolds often talks about sliduments (slides that should really be documents). If your slides tell the whole story then there is no reason for a presentation. Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte recently posted three short videos answering common presentation questions including a good discussion of how to share your slides when they don’t tell the whole story.

So make sure to check out the slides. Learn a little more about JQuery and steal from this presentation it is all available under The One Minute Commute Uncopyright.

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