Inicial > Não categorizado > 30 tips to do a good presentation

30 tips to do a good presentation

Hi folks, yesterday I wrote this to send to a few colleagues at Pythian and I thought it may be interesting to you as well.. Some tips to do a good presentation, well, at least in my opinion 😊:

  1. Number one and most important… Learn how to use ZoomIt
  2. Increase font size on SSMS, including resultset grid
  3. Fullscreen on SSMS
  4. Use comments on scripts so people can repro your demo
  5. Time – A tie with ZoomIt on level of importance… There is nothing more frustrating than watch a person spend 40 minutes on first slides when you know he still have two or three demos to do…
  6. Time – It is VERY disrespectful to use someone else time… So, if your session ends on 50 minutes, please leave the stage in 50 minutes… If the next speaker is waiting and “is willing” to give you some time of his presentation, DON’T accept it, he is just being nice with you while you IS NOT.
  7. Time – If event don’t have already, ask someone to give you tips on how much time you’ve left… I usually like a sign of “30 minutes left”, “20 minutes left”, “10 minutes left” and “5 minutes left”… If necessary, use a timer app in your smartphone to help you…
  8. If possible (ask the organizers if it is ok to do it), try to record your session to watch it later and look for mistakes and areas to improve.
  9. Record yourself presenting or if possible, present to a friend and ask for tips, ask about time, demos…
  10. Demo – If possible, leave a “key” demo to the end … I like to keep a demo I can do in 5 minutes or 30 minutes.
  11. Demo vs Slides – Only slides is boring, only demos is weird (sometimes is ok)… So a balance between the two is best.
  12. Session abstract has to deliver what it says…
    1. Level is also important… There is no such a thing as a “Advanced techniques to bla bla bla – Level 200”
  13. As Buck Woody would say… “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”. Don’t get out of focus, make sure you’re always on track with what your presentation should deliver…
  14. Humor is good, too much humor is not good… It is kind of an art… I’m still learning it…
  15. Try to use creative names on sessions… Instead of SQL Server on Linux, try something like “Does Microsoft really like penguins? SQL on Linux!”
  16. PowerPoint, avoid “regular” bullets… Smartarts are more interesting to read… Animations are always good, but may take lot of time to create…
  17. Demonstrations:
    1. IT HAS TO WORK! Doesn’t matter what!
    2. If you can’t do it because of an internet limitation, record a video of the demo and play it.
    3. The video recording can be used as a backup in case something goes wrong and you don’t know why the demo isn’t working.
    4. DON’T EVER do a live demo troubleshooting… Assume it is not working, apologies and tell people you’ll record a video of the demo and post on YouTube… PLEASE DON’T open Google to search for a solution of a problem…
  18. Upload the slides and demos prior to the event… then, when people ask “where can I download the material? Or when the material will be available to download”, just answer, it is already in my Blog.
  19. There is an interesting saying I heard on backstage of events… “Unless your name is Itzik Ben-Gan, do never type a code”, prepare it in advance and just “select + run it”…
  20. If for some reason you decide to change something in the demo, maybe because of a question some asked, make sure you are 100% confident on what you’re doing… and, if for some reason the code doesn’t work like you’re expecting DON’T try to fix it… Just say you’ll do it later and post on YouTube…
    1. Once I was doing a “live coding” (don’t do it) and it wasn’t working…after 5 minutes I decided to quit doing the demo… After watch the presentation record, I realized that the code wasn’t working because I forgot to put a semicolon (;)…
  21. Q &A – Always repeat questions so people in the back can understand what you are answering…
  22. Q &A – Don’t ever get into a two-people conversation with an attendee… There is almost always a person trying to have a free consulting and ask 10 questions… It is nice that you give him attention, but there will be another X people not getting your attention… The chances they get their phone to look at Facebook is very high.
    1. Tell those people you’ll be available after the session to talk about the subject.
  23. Q &A – Be careful with questions and the session time… If you’re getting too many questions, it may inhibit you to deliver all the content and this is more important than the questions. If you fell this is a problem, just say you’ll answer the questions at the end of the presentation.
  24. Q &A – Be careful with questions not related to the session… They may make you loose track of your original goal… If you have time, it maybe ok to answer them, but it may be a better idea to answer them “offline” after the session.
  25. Q & A – Be prepared for attendees trying to be smarter than you and ask very difficult questions… Yes, it is not very rare to see those. If they are indeed smarter than you, that’s fine, just humble tell them you’ll search for a good answer and reply offline. Don’t allow them to make you lose your confidence.
  26. Q & A – If you don’t know the answer, or is not certain, please don’t try to bullshit it… It is A LOT easier to just say you don’t know and you’ll reply later via e-mail…
  27. Sponsors are the reason the event is happening, make sure you give them the visibility they deserve.
  28. Don’t copy content from someone else without ASK for permission and make sure give them the credits. One hundred percent of people I know in the community will be more than glad to share their presentations/slides/demos with you, I’ve never heard of a case they denied it. So, please, just ask for it.
  29. Ask for feedback (evaluation forms) and make sure attendees understand how important this is to you. Don’t be a chicken and cry in your room because of a bad feedback… Learn from it 🙂
  30. The attendee is more important than you, they should be the reason you’re doing the presentation, not you… Self-promoting is important, but it is not the main thing. There is nothing more pleasant than hear your “teaching” helped someone to get a better job or fix a problem…
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