Waaay back in September, I read the book Presentation Zen, thanks to Jeff (who insisted I read it before designing my presentations for Learning 2.008). Since then I’ve created and delivered six presentations.
After each one, I received compliments about the style and lots of questions about how I found the right pictures. So, I thought I’d share my steps here (apologies to Garr Reynolds for any misinterpretation of his work – this is only meant to be a reflection of how I’ve used his ideas).
Finding Great Pictures: Kim’s Secrets
OK, here’s the deal. It’s not really a secret. I spend a long time looking for pictures.
First, I flesh out my presentation ideas on paper, following Garr’s suggestions. I start with the big picture, then break it down into 3 sections, then each section gets broken down into individual slides that tell a story.
Each image needs to represent an important aspect of this story. So I start thinking about exactly what type (or types) of images will creatively represent each idea and leave a lasting memory for the audience. Something that might resonate with a bigger concept and not just directly represent the words on the screen. Usually I have a few ideas to fall back on if I can’t find one that works within a reasonable amount of time.
Once I have my picture ideas (one for each slide, I seem to usually have around 40 slides), I head to Creative Commons Search to find pictures that have been licensed for sharing (there are tons of other options for searching CC photos, but I like this one the best). If you haven’t heard of Creative Commons, check this out!
On the search bar, I always make sure to check off “Search for works I can modify, adapt or build upon” to ensure that I’m following the licensing for the images I use.
Next, I click on the Flickr tab, and once the pictures have loaded, I click on the “most interesting” link under the number of results found. This will find me the pictures that have been favorited by flickr viewers the most.
And, that’s when the fun begins. I almost always have to look through several pages. I’m looking for images that:
- represent my idea clearly and interestingly
- are creatively shot
- fill the shot so the image can fill the slide
- are properly in or out of focus, depending on what I’m looking for
- provide enough space to write the words I’m planning to show on screen (usually this means a solid background or appropriate depth of field)
- are unique
Once I find the picture I like, I head straight over to that Flickr image page, download the photo and copy and paste the source URL for proper citation at the end of my presentation.
A Few Little Extras
Along with finding the right pictures, I have also found a few other extras that have improved my presentations:
I almost always include at least one video, usually two. Videos are great conversation starters and can give the presentation relevance in the wider world. They’re also a great way to get background information across without having to cover everything yourself. Feel free to check out my video bookmarks too!
I try to provide ample amount for participants to talk to each other. I add a little stop sign image at the bottom of the screen when I plan to ask participants to “turn and talk” so I don’t forget. I always start with one of these talking breaks at the begining of my presentation, usually inspired by an image or short video. I hope this is helping the audience engage with the content instead of just passively watching.
I always provide a wiki with the full presentation, all resources I used to create the presentation, and recommended resources for the teachers to utilize the information presented. I make sure to share this at the very begining of each presentation so that no one feels like they must take notes. I would much rather have people engaged in a dialogue than writing down what I’m saying.
Thanks to (I think) Scott McLeod Dean Shareski (thanks for the correction, Scott), I’ve started using quotes from the Flickr pool: Great Quotes About Learning and Change. What an amazing and powerful resource – talk about inspiring conversation starters!
And that’s about it! What other strategies or advice do you have for creating eye-popping presentations?