The two deck presentation

Doug Seven is one of the track chairs for the track that I’m speaking in at TechEd Developer. I was talking to him the other day about finding the line between the "Presentation Zen" type of presentation (where an extreme example would be a slide with nothing more than a smiley face on it) and a presentation that will be useful to attendees (or other downloaders) after the fact that has actual content on it as the presenter is no longer there to fill in the blanks.

He gave me a great suggestion – prepare two decks. take my typical "stand-alone" decks which is very dense, the make a copy of it and strip the copy down. Way down.

So many of the bullet points are things I’m talking about. Why should the attendees need to be destracted by so many details on the deck when I’m talking about them anyway?

But, and here’s what’s great about this idea – use the dense deck to share with attendees after the fact. All of the details that I talked about are now there right on the deck for their benefit.

I love this idea so much that I did it to my decks for the DevSummit. I have done one of my sessions already using the stripped down deck, then gave the stand-alone version of the deck to the track chair to put on the website.

I’m doing a silverlight talk this afternoon and cut the deck in half and on the remaining slides, removed a lot of content and replaced some of it with images instead. No smiley faces though.

I get to have my cake and eat it to and I think it’s a win-win for the attendees during and after the live session.

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3 thoughts on “The two deck presentation

  1. The cake is a lie! :)But seriously, this is probably the best way, for me the presentation is more for that I don’t forget what to say 😀

  2. Agreed. I’m worried that I’ll forget some important detail. Well, to be honest, I worry about everything, so this shouldn’t be important. Also, I suppose if I neglect to mention a particular detail than it might be out of context anyway. In the long run, if I really know the content, I pay little attention to the slides except as a reminder of "okay, this is the next thing I’m talking about" when I flip to the slide. Having gone through the process of creating the dense deck however, makes this possible.

  3. A few years ago I presented at another conference (GLGDW) where were required to submit a whitepaper with out topic in addition to our slides. This was a great idea since attendees would leave with a full length article with the content of our presentation in addition to slides. It was also a great preparation tool for the presenters since it forces us to spell it all out.

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