Helping our students learn how to deliver good presentations, and helping ourselves practice what we preach, is always a challenging exercise (at least, it is for me). I thought it might be useful to create a “The Best…” list with the resources that I’ve found useful for doing both.
You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Teaching Students The Differences Between A Good & Bad Slide.
Here are my picks for The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations:
Really Bad PowerPoint by Seth Godin
“…slides should be processed in 3 seconds or less. It’s impossible for people to process your slides and your words simultaneously. The test gives you a quantifiable way to test a slide’s viability as a glance medium by calculating a signal-to-noise ratio for individual slides.”
This can be a very useful tool for both teachers and students to keep in mind when developing any kind of presentation slides.
The Problem With PowerPoint is an excellent article from the BBC.
13 Best Practice Tips for Effective Presentation Handouts shares some excellent ideas.
The Duarte blog has a great post about the presentation of a fifteenth century Italian architect. It’s titled Great Moments in Presentation History: The Architect and the Egg.
Its focus is what they call S.T.A.R. Moments ™. This is how they define it:
S.T.A.R. stands for “Something They’ll Always Remember” and S.T.A.R. Moments refer to the memorable moments in a presentation that stick in the minds of your audience long after the presentation is over.
They have another post titled Of S.T.A.R.s and Mosquitoes that talks about these moments at TED Talks, including when Bill Gates let some mosquitoes loose on the crowd.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind when planning a presentation — what is that one defining moment to want to happen?
Dodging Bullets In Presentations is a useful slideshow to review.
Story Power in Presentations is a very good post on the importance of using stories in presentations. In fact, it provides “biometric evidence” demonstrating its effectiveness.
I have numerous examples of bad and good PowerPoint presentations on this list. This one may “take the cake,” though. Check-out If Only Martin Luther King Had Modern Software and Jargon: the Powerpoint Version of “I Have a Dream” (PPT). Then watch his actual speech. I show this contrast to my International Baccalaureate Theory Of Knowledge class as they prepare for their Oral Presentations.
Here’s a video from the organizer of Ignite presentations (somewhat similar to TED Talks) giving advice on how to present at those conferences. It, too, provides good advice on giving public presentations. Anecdote shares some additional advice related to the video.
“What makes a great scientific talk?” is an excellent post by David Winter. His advice, though, is excellent for any kind of presentation — not just one related to science.
“Clean Up Your Mess: A Guide To Visual Design For Everyone” provides the most accessible advice I’ve see on visual design — whether it be for websites, ads, slides, etc.
Here are a few short videos on making good PowerPoint presentations:
5 things audiences hate about presentations is a useful Slideshare presentation. Thanks to Donna Baumbach for the tip.
Cartoon: PowerPoint Fever is from The New Yorker via This Week in Education.
How to Present like Steve Jobs is from Kiss Metrics.
The Secret to Dynamic Presentations is from Leadership Freak.
How to Get — and Keep — Someone’s Attention is from Annie Murphy Paul.
How To Give A Great Speech is from Forbes.
Nancy Duarte has an excellent series in the Harvard Business Review about making good presentations. Links to each one of the other short articles can be found at the bottom of the one I link to….
Secrets From a TED2013 Speaker: Preparing for the “Talk of One’s Life” has helpful advice for any presentation.
This inaugural quote is from Marta Kagan in 7 Lessons From the World’s Most Captivating Presenters. I’m adding this info to The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations:
DEATH TO POWERPOINT: HOW TO SPEAK LIKE A PRO WITHOUT THE SLIDES is from Fast Company.
Don’t Be Boring: A Surefire Approach to Engaging Your Audience — Part 1 is by Nancy Duarte.
The British Councils offers some good student presentation tips.
A TED speaker coach shares 11 tips for right before you go on stage is from TED Talks.
— CTQ (@teachingquality) June 15, 2015
10 PowerPoint Tips for Teachers is from Tekhnologic.
Why Your Students Forgot Everything On Your PowerPoint Slides is from Larry Cuban’s blog.
— Erik Palmer (@erik_palmer) January 22, 2016
— Ernie Cox (@erniec) August 31, 2016
Why Your Students Forgot Everything On Your PowerPoint Slides is from EdSurge.
There’s a movement for better posters at science conferences. is an interesting article about a new format for scientific “posters.” It seems to me it could be worth using the format in class and reinforce the idea that students are working as scientists. Here’s the format:
This is how to tell a story . . . to kids or bigs:
1. Have a beginning, middle & end.
2. Use your whole body.
3. Take the story in an expected direction.
5. Encourage audience participation.
6. Wrap it up & leave them wanting more. https://t.co/FLacihqBip
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) October 22, 2020
Tips on Persuading People From the Head of TED Talks is from Slate.
How a Simple Presentation Framework Helps Students Learn is from Edutopia.
What the Best Presenters Do Differently is from Harvard Business Review.
How to present at an international conference (IATEFL Belfast 2022) is by Sandy Millin.
Here are some planning sheets to help the students think of ways in which they can start and close their oral presentations, and how to keep their audience engaged while delivering them. https://t.co/aAS7usBEEQ pic.twitter.com/Wn0iER4Ml9
— Miguel Míguez (@onthesamepagelt) March 21, 2023
This study investigated the effect of “decorative” animations on learning. They found the students were less able to recall content presented in the presence of a decorative but relevant animation compared with a still image. https://t.co/jpvzpH57AA
— Zach Groshell (he/him) (@MrZachG) April 15, 2023
Give your Training a Visual Boost is a useful article about slide design.
3 Ways to Keep Your Audience Focused During a Presentation is from The Harvard Business Review.
The amateur presenter is from Seth’s Blog.
Suggestions and feedback, as always, are welcome.