Where are your slides?

A great presentation is the product of three parts, the presentation (p1), the presentation (p2) and the presentation (p3). Or is it? Can one deliver a great presentation without a p2? Probably.

@ffolliet or just ditch #powerpoint all together and talk to people?

— The NeuroSim (@TheNeurosim) July 2, 2016


The reality for many presenters is that their supportive media(p2) supports the story (p1) by adding detail, illustration or visual interest. Appropriately chosen images can strengthen a theme that will be more easily remembered than simply a spoken message. Complexities of data can be clarified with appropriate use of graphs and illustrations. A picture can indeed be worth a thousand words.

The reality for many presenters is that their supportive media (p2) also supports their delivery (p3) by adding script prompts, pacing and confidence. It is a significant challenge to memorise the entirety of a script and visual clues aid that recollection. The regular change of slide also gives a rhythm and pace to a presentation. The combination of these adds to the confidence of the presenter. A picture can indeed be worth a thousand words.

A presentation can be given without p2. For one reason or another technical issues have forced a presenter to deliver without their supportive media. This often encourages a spontaneity and engagement that audiences value greatly augmented by feelings of sympathy and added respect for the achievement. There are presentations though that are complete in the p1 and the p3 as a whole; the p2 would either detract or distract from the overall p cubed value of the whole. A p2 is supportive, not compulsory.

The decision to deliver a presentation without p2 should not be taken lightly. The realities of prompts, pacing and confidence must be considered and countered. The real value in practising without p2 in preparation for potential of technical failure allows insight into the practicalities of this. There is a real feeling of exposure but delivering a great presentation without p2 is entirely possible.

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