What Our Children Can Teach Us About Presenting

We know what James Bond can teach us about presenting, but what can our children teach us? A lot.

When you have to do a new presentation from scratch, what is the first thing you do? Open PowerPoint right? 🙂

The problem with this method is that the tools we have available in PowerPoint or any other presentation software restrict our imagination. We have to choose what we want to put in the slide from the provided features only. In other words, PowerPoint dictates the final result. A presentation is a creative process, and if you want creativity to flow, PowerPoint or any other presentation tool is not a good start.

Instead, close down the computer; bring out a pen and a piece of paper. Back to childhood memory, and draw!

It may sound ridiculous, but it works. Suddenly the tools in the software do not restrict you, but you have completely free thought.

My technique is to make a square; 6x4cm slide, and then just start drawing inside that. At the end you have your slide deck draft. Usually, the first take is not the final one. You may need to revise and add. But the beauty of this strategy is that it takes no time to draw.

When you’re satisfied with your slide deck, you open up your favorite presentation tool. And now it’s time to start transforming your drawing into an attractive presentation.

Here are some of the benefits that I’ve experienced:

  1. It’s much faster to create a presentation from drawings in hand, instead of imagination in the head.
  2. The final result is completely different, because you didn’t start with in PowerPoint.
  3. It’s fun to let your hand draw following your imagination. It’s like being a child again.
  4. It’s a ‘brief’ if you want to outsource your presentation, since drawings are so much easier to understand than a detailed description.

The creativity doesn’t flow very well by browsing the toolbar of cool effects. Get back to your childhood!

Try this tip next time you do a presentation. Then judge for yourself. It might be a bit difficult to get used to drawing again, but remember, you can just toss it when it done. No one will see 😉

Good luck with your next presentation.