Presentation Pointers

Kathryn Finney, Keynote Speaker at Innovate 2017: Impact

Preparing a Forward-Thinking Session

These presentation tips from the Innovate team are provided to support you as you craft a meaningful and engaging session for Innovate 2018: Forward. We also encourage you to use our Innovate slide template as you prepare your presentation.

Once your presentation is final, you will be asked to upload your slides so we can share them with conference attendees. A folder and deadline will be shared with presenters when necessary.

Share your story.

This year's conference is all about how we can proactively drive forward a vision that advances access, integrates new technology and re-imagines the environments where students learn.

Think about your story...

  • Connect to the theme - How does your work connect to the theme forward and the thread—technology, learning environments, or access—that you selected?
  • Be yourself - Share your authentic voice and the personal story behind your work.
  • Be purposeful - Make the purpose of your session clear from the get-go. What exactly is it that you want your presentation to convey?
  • Support your ideas - Do you have noteworthy data, student feedback or other evidence from your work to share?

Consider your audience.

Crafting a good session is about more than simply telling your story—it's also about connecting to conference attendees.

Think about your audience...

  • Be relevant - Frame your content so that it is relatable and has broad appeal. Who do you imagine will come to your session, and what will interest them about your story?
  • Spark interest - Hook them from the start with an attention-grabbing lead. For example, try posing an intriguing question, sharing a personal anecdote or painting a vivid scene.
  • Provide concrete takeaways - What knowledge, recommendations or solutions can you impart? Identify your goals for participants... What are the top three things you'd like them to walk away knowing or being able to do? Share these goals at the beginning of your session.
  • Be engaging - Don't be afraid to break the traditional lecture mold! How might you use active learning strategies, collaborative or hands-on activites, discussion or a response tool like Top Hat to engage participants?

Remember your session type.

Consider these tips for your specific session type as you plan your presentation.

Inform and Engage

These 45-minute information sessions present forward-thinking work related to conference topics. Presenters should convey actionable steps for participants to create similar change in their institutions, departments, communities or work.

  • Stay organized: Ensure your presentation has a clear and easy-to-follow structure.
  • Build in variety: Though this session type is our more "classic" presentation style, you're still encouraged to break up your presentation with time away from lecture for activities, sharing or group discussion.
  • Take questions: Consider setting aside time for Q&A at the end of your session.

Lightning Ideas

Three fast-paced and exciting 15-minute mini-talks will be grouped together into a single session around a central topic. Presenters will deliver their content in a lightning-round style and then give the stage over for the next presentation.

  • Align with your topic: Check the Innovate 2018 schedule for your session's specific topic. Connect with an Innovate chair for guidance on how to frame your content with the topic in mind.
  • Hit the highlights: Remember, you only have 15 minutes. What are the key or most interesting ideas you want to impart? Consider creating a handout or online resource to share additional information.
  • Be energetic: Hit the ground running and pace yourself... these mini-talks should start with an exciting hook and keep the energy high.

Think Tank

These 45-minute collaborative converstations center on an idea, issue or challenge around which lively discussion can be facilitated. Facilitators should propose a few key questions (or challenges) and then encourage sharing, exploration and problem-solving from the group.

  • Ask open question: Choose questions around which discussion can grow organically and a variety of perspectives can be shared.
  • Foster collaboration: Position yourself as a facilitator among a community of thinkers and learners. Encourage attendees to share their own perspectives with the group.
  • Promote problem-solving: Don't simply admire the problem at hand... Instead, guide participants to come up with potential solutions to the challenges discussed.

More tips for a forward-thinking presentation...

When you're ready to put it all together, don't forget the following helpful guidelines.

  • Design solid slides - Use the branded slide template provided to organize your ideas and pace yourself. Don't crowd slides with too much text... Check out these tips from the TED blog on putting together slide content.
  • Consider diverse learners - Deliver content in ways that are appealing and accessible to a broad audience. The Innovate slide template is already designed to be accessible, but you may review these additional accessibility tips.
  • Encourage tweeting - Remind your audience to live tweet using #innovateOSU.
  • Prepare for networking - Bring a business card, contact info or any other resources you want to share with attendees.
  • Practice, practice, practice - People can tell when you're presenting for the first time. Schedule a run-through with your co-presenters to work out the kinks.

Making Your PowerPoint Presentation Accessible

  • Use the built-in slide layouts - don't build from scratch.
  • Include a title on every slide.
  • Maintain a clean design with high contrast.
  • Use captions for video and "alt text" for any images that provide content/meaning.
  • Make links readable (add the URL).
  • Don't use color to convey meaning.
  • Avoid automatic transitions or animations - these can be distracting.
  • Don't overcrowd your slides with too much text or too many icons.
  • Run a check: File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility.