It’s not about the slides

As Lance Armstrong famously entitled his book on “winning” the Tour de France, “It’s not about the bike.” So, with presentations, it is not about the slides. They are important. Without the slides it is just a talk. Ultimately the slides are supportive media (p2) and what carries a presentation is the story (p1) and its delivery (p3).

The evidence of this is at the current and amazing SMACCUS conference where great presenters were challenged by IT problems. Kudos to @emcrit and @cliffreid for persevering. What is important for a presenter to remember is that the show must go on and, as discussed earlier, if the slide set is your script or handout this will not be possible. 

The converse is also true. Extending the analogy of the bike, even the best road bike in the world will never get me on the Tour de France. Presenters must be careful that the slides set and video and visual aids (p2) do not become the show rather than the message itself. There can be little worse than people remembering you as “the man who blew bubbles in his TEDx talk” if the message itself failed.

It’s not about the slides. They are important in supporting your message.

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