How to Plan Your Presentation Slides (while sitting poolside, if you like)

by | Uncategorized

PowerPoint gets a bad rap.

The truth is, slides can be a really awesome addition to your speech. IF they are used effectively, as the assistant they are meant to be in your presentation.

The first and most fundamental rule of creating presentation slides is this: Step AWAY from the computer! 

No software gets opened until you have completed your speaking outline. Only then do you want to begin to think about what amplifying aids will best illustrate the point you are making. This is the process I use myself – and with private clients – to map out our slides and other amplifying aids. 

I love this way of planning slides because I can easily move them around, remove them and slide in another one when I get a new idea. 

It's a simple process, really. 

1. Grab these items: 
        – your completed speech outline

        – a sharpie (I love sharpies, can you tell?)

        – a stack of small sticky notes (mix of 4 colors is ideal, maybe more if you will have more types of engagement and amplifying aids)

        – and a folder 
2. Go somewhere spacious and lovely. Somewhere you feel creative and open to new ideas. (Poolside will work. So will your backyard, your favorite chair in your house or office. A favorite nature area.)

3. Choose which sticky notes will represent which type of amplifying aid or slide. Here is an example of my sticky note “legend”


4. Lay out your slide ideas. Use these as prompts to help you search for images that will create those slides. 


One of the many great things about planning your slides this way is you also get a very clear visual of the variety built into their experience. Because of your color coding, you have a powerful visual representation of the experience you are bringing to your audience – the spacing of activities, the signpost slides that help them know where you are in the presentation. Plus, you have simple prompts to help you find the best images and other media to support the ideas you present.

I find this part of planning my presentations so much fun. Something about this process always invites new ideas for engagement – images, yes, but also activities and music and other creative ideas, too!

Have fun with this!

Here's another example of a speech I did last year: