January 18, 2008

Good Ballroom style presentations – Presentation Zen

A couple of days ago I mentioned the important distinction between Conference Room and Ballroom style presentations. This blog is mostly about Conference Room style presentations – presentations of complex information to smaller audiences, with the purpose of getting the audience to act on your information. For Ballroom style presentations (for sharing information with larger audiences), in my workshops I have been recommending Garr Reynolds’ blog Presentation Zen, and now his excellent new book.


2 Responses to Good Ballroom style presentations – Presentation Zen

  1. scribbleed says:

    Good blog – well presented 🙂
    I feel there’s an additional idiom, somewhere between the two but also out of them – the Teaching Style – which has subsets of Classroom, Training and Lecture styles. The main objective is to get the audience to UNDERSTAND. To expand their knowledge, to remember, “change their behavior”, are secondary objectives although important nonetheless.
    What differentiate this style from the other two, and what teachers/trainers/professors don’t sometime have, are (i) interaction (not just feedback, but Q&A from both teacher and student) and (ii) ‘physical’ illustration, usually on a board or flip chart. For example, you can animate a maths solution, but it just doesn’t compare to writing it out. On the other hand, you can totally do without a slide show, but why write bullet points when the computer can display them. And in this style, it should never be a continuous presentation from start to end – it should always be interrupted.
    On what the best design elements are for this style, well, to me, I’m still learning and searching ….

  2. Andrew says:

    Thank you Scribbleed. I think there may actually be several presentation idioms, beyond Ballroom and Conference Room. Teaching style sounds like a prime candidate, with the purpose being understanding, and the core element being interaction.
    I do find that Conference room style design helps generate discussion, and so some elements of that may work well with Teaching style.

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