Post by WI Intern Melissa Braunlin.
And many people stress out when they have to give a presentation because developing interesting content can be a challenge. Most of us lean toward bullet-heavy Powerpoints that bore our audience to sleep. If we look at the presentation styles of these influential new media marketing people we see that each has developed a very effective presentation method — and one or more of these might work for us.
Some of these methods can be combined to play very nicely together, while others throw sand at the rest of the presentations in the sandbox. A brief look at their styles might help you be a little more prepared and more entertaining next time you give a stand-up presentation or Webinar.
The Kawasaki method is based off of a “top 10” format and encourages presenters to follow the “10-20-30” rule. This means 10 slides in 20 minutes with 30 point font. This “top 10” method allows the audience to track with the presenter by knowing exactly where the presenter is at in his or her presentation, as each slide is clearly numbered.
Keeping the talk to only 20 minutes ensures that the presentation is short and to the point. Studies show that an audience loses interest and focus in a topic after 25 minutes, so it’s best to end your presentation before that happens. No audience wants to be forced to read through the same words that the presenter is telling them, so by using 30 point font this allows for only a few words per slide, which means each slide must focus on visualizing only the most important point of that chunk of information.
The Godin method has a similar philosophy to the Kawasaki method in that slides are used as an accompaniment to the presentation instead of as the focus. In the Godin method, slides consist of mostly images – or rather – one large image.
Godin’s philosophy is that the presenter is there to speak the words, so the slides should be used to show what can’t be said easily, like charts or graphs, or to convey emotion to the audience.
This also allows your audience to have a visual of your presentation that won’t distract them from what you’re saying.
The Takahashi method uses slides very similar (and yet opposite) to the Godin method. Instead of containing one very large image and no text, the Takahashi method uses very large typography and no images. To use this method, pick out one word that summarizes the point that you are trying to convey to your audience at that particular moment, and use that word on your slide.
While it may be tempting to go all out and use every font available on your computer for a presentation using the Takahashi method, I strongly urge you to not do this. It’s much more cohesive and easier to read if you use a simple typeface and create emphasis with the color of the background and other elements.
The Lessig method creates a balance between the Godin method and the Takahashi method by using big image and big typography together. Lessig also promotes using a slide for every key concept, which means that you’re going to move through slides pretty quickly. This is okay, because your slides are going to be simple, and moving through them quickly keeps your audience from getting bored.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each method of presenting, and not all methods are appropriate for every presentation. Do a little more research and find which presentation works best for the material that you will be presenting and supports your style of communication.
Which one will you choose for your next presentation?