If the best part of your presentation is in the beginning when you thank the conference organizers, then ignore this post.
And if you’re one of those last-minute types (like me, I’m afraid), almost late to the room and the session, still reworking your slides until it’s time to go, well then, this idea won’t help you with that either.
For those who do manage to prepare some things ahead of time, Seth Godin’s post this morning, Saying thanks in a conference presentation, offers a good idea, relatively easy to implement, for those boring first five minutes of the presentation when you thank everybody who did everything for the conference:
Prepare for the talk by taking pictures of each person. If they’re shy, you can even do photographs in groups of two or three. Good photos, clever photos, funny photos… photos that are interesting are best.
Then, create a new presentation. Put each photo on its own slide, preferably with a well designed ID below it (it should be on a black box, with a nice sans serif font reversed out. Like you see on cable TV news.)
String one after the other. Build a dissolve transition between each one. Program it to put up a new slide every two seconds–don’t go too slow!–and to loop the presentation.
Ten minutes before you’re due to start, while everyone is finding their seats, run the presentation. It’ll cycle 5 or 10 times before you start speaking. When you get up, start your presentation and just dive into the meaty stuff.
I think that’s really cool, but now I’ll have to watch myself for the procrastination factor even more than normal. This neat trick is not one I can do at the last minute.
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