In our class, we talk about presenting a lot (as you can probably tell from the past blog posts). Most of the time we discuss various “secret rules” to giving a great presentation. Recently, we read a small section of a book about keeping your ideas “sticky” AKA interesting and memorable. While reading about how telling stories about your topic are one of the most important components of a presentation, I remembered I’m awful at telling stories. I can write stories, but when I have to actually say them, they become filled with “he like was like” and “so, ya”. This made me realize something important about all these articles we’ve read. There is no perfect rule to presenting. There is no magic criteria where, if you do this, your presentation will be good. It all depends on experience.
As we give more and more presentations, we realize what works well for us. Its fairly obvious when someone is attempting to follow a very concrete rules when presenting, as they come across as awkward or almost robotic. I know personally, when I go into a presentation, I try to get my information across like I’m having a conversation. I know this works for me because I’ve tried lots of other ways to present and they never really clicked. I feel that following straight forward rules individually will never produce an amazing presentation, but combining parts of certain ideas will produce a presentation individual to the presenter which makes it interesting in its own way.
In general, I feel there is no one rule to presenting but there are little tricks and small changes to make you more confortable, because in the end, its not the presentation that needs to be good, it’s you. A person can have the perfect Powerpoint, but if they are a really awkward presenter, then it won’t do any good. The ideas I tend to follow are not having a notecard (because I tend to just read off it) and if I do make a mistake or completely loose my train of thought I try to just brush it off with a joke or something (this happened very recently), but these ideas might not work for you. Overall, I feel that the rules we’ve learned about presenting are not to be directly followed, but modified for each of us to get the most out of our presentations.