Speech VS Documentation

posted on 10/14/2019, in core

Let's talk about a misconception: the purpose of a presentation document.

It's quite common considering the same document good enough to support a speech as well as documentation of the talk.

That's all wrong, to say the least.

Let's be clear on these points:

  • the deck you use for a speech is not going to work as self-explained documentation of the talk.
  • the deck you've crafted for documentation purposes is not going to work to support your speech.

Plain and simple, they need to be two different documents, created with two different purposes and goals in mind, using two different best practices as well.

When we talk...

... a presented document is meant to support our speech. Not the other way around.

When we talk to an audience we want to inform, entertain, educate, persuade or provoke or a mix of all of them.

With this context in mind, you are the main driver and the presented document is a tool that extends your presentation abilities.

Let's focus a bit with the golden principle for any slide, that is about reducing (or better yet, removing) text as much as possible, because:

people read first the slide, then listen to you

Having said that, if you put text on a slide, leave the time to read it first!

Speaking of slides for a speech, here some purposes a slide must convey:

  • It can help defining clear points
  • It can be punchy to launch a challenge
  • It can make the audience laugh or just smile
  • It can help the audience follow a thought
  • It can let the audience questioning
  • It can help reading nouns, jargons, acronyms, technical terms
  • It can help anticipate (not explaining) a concept
  • It can break the rhythm
  • and so on...

You get the picture, that's where PRESENTA wants to help you.

When we document...

... we have to put a lot of effort on making the context right with all the details that might help understanding the thesis. We cannot clarify in person if there's something not clear.

Two different goals, two different purposes, two different documents.