Do you know how to Zen your presentation? It’s a concept that my colleague and friend, Bob Cole, director of our Teaching & Learning Collaborative, turned me on to. How often have you sat through a presentation with a tiny font size and so much text that you couldn’t possibly absorb the information, let alone concentrate on the speaker?
With Zenning, less is more. Find images that are thought-provoking and relevant to the topic. Flickr’s Creative Commons is a great resource. And rather than creating bulleted lists of facts and figures, select a few words or phrases that express your key concepts. Think Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The presentation should be an aide, not a distraction. Once you free yourself from the prison of bullet lists, your audience is free to focus on your message. For more details, check out Garr Reynold’s Web site. He literally wrote the book on Zenning your presentation: Presentation Zen.
As I start to design the presentation for my TESOL workshop, I think back to the first time I converted a PowerPoint show using these ideas. Afterword, participants raved to me! For a sample of what I did, check out my slideshare “The Top 10 Things Every New Language Program Administrator Should Know.”
So, if you are gearing up for a presentation of your own this year, consider adding some Zen. Your audience will thank you for it!