Thursday, May 1, 2014

Storyboarding and the collective progress

Garr Reynolds posted today on Storyboarding, and as usual it was a great post. After reading this post I strongly recommend you check Garr's out! Watching the videos in Garr's post brought me to two important thoughts.

Not all presentations are equal(lly good). Our effort producing a presentation is based on a priori estimate of the possible benefit or risk. This mindset leads to self fulfilling prophecies. Most scientific talks are looked at as been low-stake, low Return Of (academic) Investment (ROI) , and therefore the amount of time and resources we spend are little. That explains why some people slideware their presentation the day or night before they present it. And as a result we have "Death by Powerpoint".

The value of a scientific talks and posters are seen as inferior as the value of an scientific paper, so way to invest on producing a  high quality talk?  Now if you were to present for a grant, you would obviously spend more time on pre-producing, producing and post-producing that talk. Sure, you might have the wrong approach to Presentation Production, but nonetheless you would give it more effort.

Add time to the equation. Even if we would like to produce a high quality talk, some real-world time constraints would make it very difficult, or even impossible. 
Developing a presentation must be a collective progress. Garr's post and its videos therein reminded me that presentations are best when more than one person are involved. Take the Storyboarding example. Pitching in front of people allows you to get instant feedback and a new perspective of what you are presenting. This is not Design by Committee. You listen to the feedback and new perspective, but you decide what to do with it.

This collective progress also allows for catching errors, fine tuning your content and story, anticipate questions and check of body language. All-in-all it rises the quality of your presentation. The ROI of rehearsal and pitching is huge. Besides most people are willing be helpers and give their opinion.

The value of rehearsing for one presentation extends beyond one presentation. Rehearsing becomes a habit because its results are proven. The time you spend rehearsing is better time than the time you spend in front of a computer.

 In short, to make your presentations equal(lly good)  bring people into your production. It is a worth investment.