p2 is not just slides

p2 is not just slides. a great presentation is the product of the story (p1), the supportive media (p2) and the delivery (p3). The p2 need not just be slides. Consider anything that will add to the message. Remember the value of a STAR moment but ensure what is remembered is more than simply the illustration. p2 is not just slides.

A great presentation usually has a great p2. That need not just be a great slide deck.There are many possibilities for adding value, making the message more memorable and retained. Visual aids can dramatically alter the engagement of an audience. In her TED talk on stroke Jill Bolte Taylor shocks the audience by bringing onto the stage a real human brain.  Vic Brazil in her talk at SMACCDub interviewed her younger self and this chap used bubbles and balloons when talking about inspiration. p2 need not just be about slides.

Similarly one should remember that The Best Slide in the World can add hugely to the impact of a presentation. Even more, consider whether any slides are required. Some messages will be diluted, minimised or made worse by inappropriate or unnecessary slides. The supportive media should add to the message. It is entirely acceptable to deliver a presentation without slides.

In deciding what to add to a presentation the following must considered. Will the visual aid be visible to the whole audience? A small item in the palm of the presenter may be useless in a huge auditorium. Conversely a whole car being dissected by a pre-hospital rescue team may seem extreme but it certainly was effective. Is the visual aid valuable or just for entertainment? It must add meaning not simply being different or a wow factor. Will the audience simply remember the presenter dressed as a spaceman or was the link clear within the message that allows for recollection more than just costume. Is the investment of time within the presentation worth the pay off for the audience?


As with any other part of a presentation, consideration must be given to technical failure. If the impact of the supportive media is essential, its delivery must excellent. The ability to juggle alone at home is one thing, quite another in the glare of multiple spotlights and a few thousand people. Spare devices or alternatives must be considered if the impact is central to the message.

Audience participation is a useful part of an engaging presentation. This can vary from wearing little candlelights on one’s head to demonstrate wisdom to drawing portraits of ones neighbour. Each takes planning, resources and importantly time. Ensure that the whole audience can take part in an activity, that the time required is measured and deducted from the total available and that instructions are clear.

STAR moments (Something The will Always Remember) can cap off a presentation. A simple as a glass slipper sparking memories of Cinderella, so too can a whole audience standing to show solidarity and honesty regarding fear. A great presentation should be memorable and as the presenter yours is the opportunity in any way you can imagine to make that happen. p2 is not just slides.

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