Preparing to Prepare

I have started.

After looking at a number of sites for advice on Power Point I found myself no wiser after a couple of hours. I recognised the words but not the concepts. It involves buttons and menus and stuff, but I knew that when I started. If you told me it involved dancing elephants and the Dagenham Girl Pipers I wouldn’t actually have any proof that you weren’t telling the truth. I am going to have to involve somebody considerably smarter and more technical than I am. Regular readers will realise that I am, of course, referring to Julia.

I did, however, take on one gem of wisdom – that you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Or, to put it another way, if the content is poor Power Point won’t improve it, just project it on the wall so that even people at the back of the room can see how bad it really is.

With that in mind I have started to think about the content.


Bradford on Avon Tribute Medal with Great War Campaign Medals

Another thing that I read was that you should follow the 10 – 20 – 30 rule. This states that a presentation should feature ten slides or less, last twenty minutes or less and involve a typeface of at least 30 points. This means that it has to be punchy, to the point and written in big letters so you can’t fit too many words onto a slide. As a further refinement they suggest dividing the age of the oldest member of the audience audience by two and using that as the minimum font size. As we have an eighty-year-old member that means 40 point, which, as he’s troubled by cataracts, is probably not a bad idea.

You see, I’m getting better already…

They actually expect about an hour, and to be fair, it needs to be around that length to make it worth people making then effort of comiing to the meeting. The material falls neatly into two halves so I’m going to aim for an introduction, two twenty minute sections and a summing up. That should keep it snappy and fill the time.

On that note IΒ had better get off, as I now have some research to do.

The top picture is the Brighouse Tribute Medal with a pair of Great War Campaign Medals, the other is the medal from Bradford on Avon with a similar pair of medals. They are both going to feature in the presentation.


22 thoughts on “Preparing to Prepare

  1. Pingback: The Presentation | quercuscommunity

    1. quercuscommunity

      It is starting to come together – I’m putting the jokes in at the moment. There aren’t many of them and they aren’t very funny, which is already better than most of the talks we sit through. πŸ™‚

  2. arlingwoman

    Good luck. Powerpoint is useful, but utterly demonic in the wrong hands. I’ve seen 60 page slide decks with 20 point type on them. You just need pictures and good notes sections for yourself. II like your plan for dividing up the presentation though. People will have questions, though, so you could just do a shorter presentation and then be ready to answer questions.

  3. Laurie Graves

    Excellent advise about the length of the presentation. Recently, we went to a presentation at our library. It went on for an hour and a half, and I thought the guy was never going to shut up. I think 30 minutes would be fine, too, but no longer. My own presentations run from 20 to 25 minutes. Always leave them wanting more!

  4. derrickjknight

    This looks horribly like revising for an exam – which I never did because I thought it was a bit late to do so and I’d be better off with what I already had than trying to stuff more in.

  5. tootlepedal

    We were taught as teachers, that people cannot take in more than ten minutes of new information at a time. However, as I was taught that as part of a lecture which lasted for over an hour with no breaks, i might not have remembered it correctly. Your rules look quite sensible but ten slides is too few for a night out, I agree.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, I rarely take away more than two or three things from an hour of talking, and even then the three bits might not be useful. That applies regardless of length so I see your point about the ten minutes. If only all lectures were ten minutes…


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