The Rules I Will Present By

Will I ever be lucky enough to give a talk at a major user experience conference?  No idea.  Part of me wants to barf just thinking about it.  Another part of me is just dying to try it.  Someday if I am entrusted with the awesome responsibility of engaging an audience (even if it’s only for 5 minutes) these are the rules I will present by:

I will…

Strive to include “tweetable moments”. My colleague and I agree:  Some of our all time favorite presentations were filled tweetable moments — those catchy, memorable, poignant take aways that can be shared in 140 characters or less.  Read how you can get them

Include my Twitter name on every slide. Speaking of tweetable moments, thanks for including your Twitter name on your introductory slide! I didn’t write it down.  Could you show it to me again?

Give away templates for reuse. If I’m teaching you a technique I’m going to give you whatever I can—a template, sample questions, mad lib, rubber duck, etc.—so you can go home and use the technique immediately or improve on it.

Drawing of a speaker apologizing for a bad presentation

And I won’t…

Introduce myself and offer to autograph my book. And not just because I don’t have one!  I remember Edward Tufte doing this.  It was the first time I had ever seen him.  All I knew about him was he made some kinda chart about Napoleon’s March.  If he had not started out by saying, “I’ll be signing autographs later,” I probably would have begged for one afterwards.

Give a Prezi presentation unless I know what heck I’m doing. Just because you can use Prezi, doesn’t mean you should.  Watching bad slides on Prezi is like having a really bad hangover.

Show a list of bullet points in 12 point font on a busy background. “Oh, I guess you can’t read that, can you?” the keynote speaker said to the 300+ audience members, “You can download the slides and read it later.”  True story.  Do you think I downloaded the slides?  Please read (and practice) Slide:ology.

What did I miss? What tops your list of things a presenter should and should not do?

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