Presentations: Story + Visual

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I had another productive day of work at school in the summer today! Next week is FUSE15 the big design thinking conference that people all over MVPS have been preparing for. I’m lucky enough to get to be one of the coaches to partake in this experience, and I’ve also been given the chance to give a MoVe talk at the conference which stands for “Moment of Visible Empathy” and is like the MVPS version of a TedTalk.

I’ve had my story planed out since I gave the talk at the end of the year with all of ID, so luckily that part has been taken care of and just needs some more reps. However, the slides themselves are still being worked on a little because I want them to be visually professional too.

It was funny because in my meeting today where I was getting feedback on my slides, I realized that while in school we often teach and even occasionally get early feedback on what we are saying we don’t tend to focus on visual aspects of projects. I’ve learned more in the last 3 weeks about slide formatting tips then I have from the rest of my education so far.

It’s just that most of the work I’ve done with presentation stuff has been me kind of figuring it out myself and typically in school we would never focus on how it looked as long as the information was good (well even if the information was bad, the visual aspect wasn’t the focus of the project).

I wonder, what if we did spend more time in school talking about presentations tips? Things like how to pick color schemes or find good images (which may involve some photo shopping), and maybe talking about what words to even include on the slides and why.

I wonder if more specific feedback on the visual aspect to presenting could be helpful to students for future presentations they may do that will have higher stakes. I know at least my parents have come to me a few times before because they know I use more presentation stuff then they do at work and ask for tips on using various tech applications which makes me think of how in the 21st century, these presentation skills are becoming more useful then ever before.

There are two parts to a presentation typically, the story and the visual display. Both parts need feedback if you truly want the best quality come show time, so what if students started learning how to give and get feedback on both aspects early on? What if students were even helping give quality feedback to professionals on their presentations? Talk about game changing.

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