innovatED Magazine - Issue 3 - Autumn 2019


A lively mix of news, articles, opinion, research, insight and regulatory updates. We take a global perspective and bring the latest developments and outstanding practice from across the world and across different sectors to enable educators to deliver the very best for their pupils. Produced by an experienced and knowledgeable teaching and school leadership team, innovatED is a termly must-read for all staff rooms.

7 Top-tips for better presentations

Presentation Skills for Leaders


By Robert Lilley, ISP Yorkshire & North East Network Leader

I write this having just sat through yet another ’death by

Powerpoint’ experience where the presenter simply read

through the numerous bullets on their overloaded slides.

We give presentations to impart information, possibly to

convert someone to our way of thinking or, as an

independent school leader, to instil parent confidence and

thus maintain our pupil recruitment. If our presentations are

boring or the viewer tunes out, we have failed.

One key hint is to move away from those bullet-laden slides

to high quality visual images. Visual communication is

proven to stick in the memory far more effectively. An

image can create an instant emotional connection and if

you can link your message to the viewer’s emotional

centres then you are already on your way to success.

Communications expert and author of ‘Presentation Zen’,

Garr Reynolds, suggests 7 other ways to improve our slides

and presentations:

1. Use multimedia wisely – don’t

overwhelm your audience with

too much information, animation

and pictures.

Cutting the superfluous is one of

the hardest things to do because

when we are close to the topic, as

most presenters are, it *all* seems

important. It may be true that it's

all important, but when you have

only ten minutes or an hour, you

have to make hard choices of

inclusion and exclusion. This is

something professional storytellers

know very well. What is included

must be included for a good


2. Use short stories – stories are easy to remember and

the best presenters often use personal stories to

illustrate their points.

Storytellers—filmmakers, novelists, etc. — know that it is

emotion which impacts people most profoundly. Yes, facts,

events, structure are important, but what people remember

—and what is more likely to push them to act—is the way

the narrative made them feel.

3. Respect your audience – Move away from the screen

and get them involved & engaged rather than just being

passive observers.

We are a storytelling animal. We are not a bullet-pointmemorizing

machine. We are wired to be attracted to a

story and to learn from them and to spread them. As

Andrew Stanton of Pixar says, "The best stories infuse

wonder.” Everything depends on the context of the

presentation, but in most cases a good presentation is a

mix of logic, data, emotion, and inspiration.

Page 26 | Issue 3 | innovatED | Autumn 2019

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