Last month, Kris Flegg from Prezi ventured into Tank Stream Labs to introduce the community to a cloud-based presentation software Prezi. As a result, TSL has collated keynotes from Kris Flegg and advice from professional TV presenter Susie Elelman to remind you, a presentation is not purely based on visual aids, instead requires a human element that can be refined.
So what is Prezi?
Prezi is a cloud-based (SaaS) presentation software and storytelling tool for presenting ideas on a virtual Canvas. The product employs a zooming user interface, allowing users to zoom in and out of their presentation media and display information within a 3D space.
How is this different to Power Point?
Power Point uses a 2D canvas using slides to take the viewer on a linear, hierarchal journey through content. Prezi presentations however, are non linear. A story is presented to an audience with multiple paths from point A to point B. This allows you to explore ideas smoothly and naturally. Additionally, it allows you to “zoom in” for emphasis and break down content. Once you’re in a specific area you can “pan” to expand back on that idea.
The Memory Palace
Prezi was designed bearing in mind the notion of the “memory palace.” A Memory Palace has little to do with brain structure or intelligence, rather, the technique of using spatial learning. The idea is that remembering a list of objects or key notes is difficult, however, if you incorporate these into a story using location trigger points, it becomes easier.
Prezi in this way, can be used by presenters to navigate their message on a 3D image (a visual location rather than a slide). By virtue of the presenter’s storytelling, the audience is zoomed into the detail of the 3D image, which contains key notes of information to remember. The presenter then directs the presentation back to the overall image to re-iterate the story and where you have travelled within the image.
The Human Element
“A Prezi presentation can overshadow the presenter,” admits Kris Flegg. At the end of the day Prezi is a visual aid designed to get everyone’s attention. It is up to the individual to sell and navigate the story.
Kris Flegg lists 4 common fears presenters have.
1. People aren’t going to remember half of what they were listening to.
2. I have a lot to say but I don’t know how it all fits together.
3. 110 slides in and it feels like we are talking content after content after content.
4. I don’t know if anyone is actually taking this in.
Susie Elelman reminds us that above all, presentations pivot on the 3Es, Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment. By this she doesn’t mean a show of jazz hands! Rather know what gets your audience’s heart racing. It is context and setting specific. If it is an investor they may get a kick out of figures or new insights – use it to entertain them.
The simple formula to fool proof your presentation
PP + PP = PPPP
Proper Preparation + Prior Practice = Prevents Piss Poor Presentations
- Start with the problem. Always begin a presentation by explaining how your product or service addresses the audience’s pain points.
- Stay on message and make each point an island.
- Sub-edit in your head. You could talk about your company forever, but don’t. Presentations should educate and intrigue.
- Pace & Pause. Brief silences can be your biggest asset when trying to emphasise a point. Don’t be afraid to take a breath.
- Relate to the audience. Have a personal story to tell! It is the oldest and most successful method of passing on information. Use it.
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Practice potential FAQ, know your timing, develop a rhythm & feel comfortable with the content on your tongue. Have a dry-run in front of your colleagues in the office. Make them interrupt you and see if you can continue with your presentation. If you can’t, you clearly do not know your content well enough.
- Feedback. Ask your coworkers for feedback. Ask where they get lost or bored with your content. Refine and test again
- Just speak plain English.
- Don’t try and be funny if you know you’re not. Its super uncomfortable, let’s leave it at that.
- Don’t leave your personality at home. People came to listen to you not an automated company representative, so be human.
- Don’t read your slides. FYI your audience can read too. So what value add are you providing in the mix? Know your slides and entertain your audience, don’t waste their time.
- Don’t fidget. If you have prepared your presentation correctly you won’t have time to play with your face, pace or wring your fingers, you will be to busy entertaining.
- Don’t give too much info. Contain your knowledge as too much info will kill the key message.
It’s ok to be nervous, in fact Susie Elelman expects you to be. The difference however, is that if you have adequately prepared and practiced you will be able to
“…Teach those butterflies in your stomach to fly in formation.”
It’s all about control; butterflies will always exist if you are passionate about what you are doing.