Presentation Tips

In the process of preparing for my PDC pre-conference session with Jeff Prosise (we're doing sort of a tag-team approach throughout the day), I've been keeping a list of presentation tips from some of the folks who I know to be the best speakers in the business (either from personal experience or based on their reputation). Here's a list of links to stuff that I've found. I hope that I'm able to live up to the confidence that Microsoft has shown in having me present, and I'm sure that these tips will help.

  • First up, some useful tips from the man himself...Don Box (update: the previous link appears to be broken at the moment, so you can find these tips for the entry entitled “My Way“). Don's presenting style is very different from mine, but he has a way with an audience like no one else I've seen. Definitely someone whose advice on speaking is worth paying attention to.
  • Jon Honeyball makes a simple recommendation: “Have passion...“ Simple, but very true, and a good reminder. Even if you're an expert with great technical chops, it won't matter if you're dull and dry.
  • Matevz Gacnik recommends keeping demos simple (in response to Brad Abrams).
  • Brad's tips also merit their own bullet.
  • And Brad links to another invaluable resource: Scott Hanselman’s Tips for a Successful MSFT Presentation. This one contains a TON of good info.
  • Eric Gunnerson, who I've had the privilege to listen to on a number of occasions, offers his list of tips.
  • Scoble has some advice of his own for PDC speakers. Good tips, especially the one about demoing early. No speaker wants to get shot. :-)
  • And finally (for now), Chris Anderson demonstrates humility and the recognition that we've all got room to improve. And provides probably the most important tip of all ... “My plan - practice.“

That's it for now. If I come across any more good ones, I'll update this page with them so you (and I) can find them all in the same place. And if you have any tips of your own (or links to those of others that I missed), please pass them along in the comments section or via the Contact link. I definitely want to do everything I can to make sure that the folks who come for the Web pre-con session go away glad that they came early.

UPDATE: Here are some additional resources:

  • Julie Lerman has some good beginner's tips (many of which are applicable to speakers at any level).
  • Some tips for academic speakers, many of which are applicable in our industry as well (via Roy Osherove).

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