A good presentation doesn’t need slides, does it?

An interesting question and a good topic for debate when presentation geeks get together and have a few beers. (We do get together and have a few beers!)

@stemlyns @_NMay @gracie_leo @OliFlower @ffolliet @srrezaie @EM_Educator does anyone think good Med education doesn’t need slides at all?

— Minh Le Cong (@ketaminh) November 25, 2015

The answer, like so many debates, is yes. And no. I do think one can give a great presentation (p cubed) without supportive media (p2) but also that a great story (p1) can be delivered with excellence (p3) can be made even better with the addition of  great supportive media (p2).

The reality for many presentations though is that the support the p2 provides is often central or the crucial to the presentation. In some cases it is the script or at least prompts for the speaker that, should it fail, would leave delivery impossible. The p2 should add value to the presentation by illustration or explanation. Any good presentation should stand without p2, as sometimes happens when technology fails.

@srrezaie @ketaminh @stemlyns @_NMay @OliFlower @ffolliet @EM_Educator But what about when you’re teaching facts/knowledge/didactic? 🙂

— Grace Leo (@gracie_leo) November 25, 2015

I believe the same applies whatever the purpose of the presentation whether that is didactic teaching, keynote speech or small group work. The purpose of having a speaker there is to speak, their slideset may support that but should never supplant that or leave the speaker redundant. That is a document and is more efficiently sent by email. This in no way reduces the value of teaching, it merely changes the way it is delivered; taught, not recited.

Can one give a presentation without slides? Of course. many of us have. Should one? No, the opportunity is there to add further to the p cubed value of the presentation, why not take it? Make sure always though that the p2 never distracts from the story or its delivery


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