Building Better Presentations

Overview

  • Time Frame: 2.5 or 3 hours. Longer time for more participants.
  • Suggested number of participants: 6-18
  • Materials needed: Blank thank you notecards [do I include worksheets here?]
  • Room Setup: tables of 4-6
Download the Curriculum

IonE communications director Todd Reubold has been helping raise the quality of presentations at the University for years. Now you, too, can benefit from his insights and coaching. Learn presentation design and delivery best practices. Explore presenting to scientific and general audiences. Improve one of your own presentations.

  • What is the value of a community and network for leadership?
  • Who is in your network? How are you connected to them? Why do you value these relationships?
  • What skills/competencies/perspectives are you interested in developing, and who can help you do so?
  • How do you keep connected and be of help to people in your community and network?
Facilitator Outcomes Participants will be able to:
  1. Introduce the perspective that a vibrant network and community is essential for developing as a leader, having impact, and making progress in one’s career. Clarify the idea that being generous in these relationships is important for transformational work.
Describe why relationships matter for leadership, careers, and impact and express understanding that generosity in relationships is helpful in this work.
  1. Describe the process of drawing one’s network and give participants the opportunity to practice.
Visualize their own key relationships and networks and recognize important connections, missing links, and useful patterns.
  1. Provide an overview of thinking through mentoring relationships starting from the perspective of skills/capacity development and have students work through a structure process from this perspective. Facilitate conversation about this process.
Articulate skills/capacities they would like to develop and identify potential people who could be mentors for developing these skills/capacities.
  1. Facilitate conversation about strategies for following up on connections and maintaining relationships. Have students write a thank you note.
Discuss ways to keep vibrant network connections and use the tool of writing a thank you note.
  1. Build a community in the room and demonstrate the idea that everyone has something to give through sharing activity.
Recognize that they have many things to offer others in their networks and community and practice doing so.
  1. Debrief workshop and ask students to commit to an action to work on their community/network/mentoring relationships.
Propose an action step or two to improve network relationships.
 

Workshop Materials

 

    Sample Agenda

    1:30 – 2:00 Introductions & Icebreakers

    2:00 – 2:30 Connecting the Dots of Your Cultural Background

    • Values Exercise
    • Salsa, Soul & Spirit Exercise
    2:30– 2:40 Break
    2:40-3:00 Presentation
    3:00-3:50 Case Study: Why Diversity Can Lead to Better Ideas
    4:10-4:30 Reflection & Integration

    Ask students to share what actions steps they will be taking.

    Pre-Workshop Email
    We recommend sending out the pre-workshop email one-week before and a short follow-up two days before the workshop. This workshop does not require any pre-work before the workshop, but you could include a link to a TED Talk to help prime students for the workshop experience.

    Here’s an example:

    Dear Workshop Participants:

    Thank you for signing up for the Developing Intercultural Competence workshop. The workshop will take place in the [Learning and Environmental Sciences Building on the St. Paul campus] from [time-time] in [room] on [Date].
    [Insert description of workshop].

    There is no pre-work required for this workshop. You will need a pen. If you do have 18 minutes to spare, we recommend watching this TED Talk, “The danger of a single story” before the workshop.

    We look forward to meeting with you soon,

    [Your name]

    Post-workshop handout

    Post-workshop email

    We recommend sending out the post-workshop email within a day or two of the completion of the workshop, to remind participants of any actions they planned to take on going forward, and to get feedback while experience is still fresh. For this workshop, it may simply involve reminding them to utilize what they learned in their upcoming presentations.

    Here’s an example:

    Dear Workshop Participants:

    Thank you for attending up for the Building Better Presentations workshop. We hope this session was effective in helping you prepare to present your current work and gave you valuable insights for all of your future presentations. 
    We’re always looking to make these making these workshops more useful and effective, so please take moment to complete the attached survey and let us know what was helpful about the workshop and what else you would hope to gain from a future workshop.
    Thank you
    [Your name]
    Survey Example
    Click here for Google Form
    Ideally, the post-workshop email will include a link to post survey utilizing Survey Monkey, Google Forms, or a similar easy-to-use application. Here are some examples of questions:
    Did you gain the skills you hope to gain from this workshop?

    If not, what did you hope to learn that you would like to see in a future workshop?

    What were the most valuable take-aways?

    Do you feel like the presentation you brought with you was improved as a result of the workshop?

    Overall, do you feel more confident about your ability to produce and deliver effective presentations?

    Please use this space to offer any other feedback you feel would be useful for the facilitators and for future workshops.

    References

    Nouri, H., & Shahid, A. (2005). The effect of PowerPoint presentations on student learning and attitudes. Global Perspectives on Accounting Education2, 53.

    Bartsch, R. A., & Cobern, K. M. (2003). Effectiveness of PowerPoint presentations in lectures. Computers & education41(1), 77-86.

    Reynolds, Garr. (2011). Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition). Berkely, Ca: New Riders.

    Reynolds, Garr. (2011). The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides. Berkely, Ca: New Riders.

    Baron, Nancy. (2010).  Escape From The Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter. Washington, DC: Island Press.

    Garr Reynolds: Presentation Zen
    Presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net – presentationzen.com – shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote.

    How Presentation Zen Fixed My Bad Powerpoints
    A demonstration of how a professor revised one PowerPoint slide after reading Garr Reynolds’ book, Presentation Zen.

    How to Avoid Death by Powerpoint
    With a seldom seen depth of knowledge and passion for his subject, David Phillips has become the leading Swedish figurehead in the art of making presentations. He is the founder and owner of Sweden’s largest resource on the subject: Presentationsteknik.com. He is also author of the ground-breaking book “How To Avoid Death By PowerPoint” published in more than 30 countries.

    Attending Boreas workshops has allowed me to learn and implement several valuable leadership tools in an increasingly connected world and how to present myself in a professional manner on paper, online, and in person.

    Image

    Melaney Dunne

    Master's Student Conservation Biology