Tips for putting on a successful Travel Slide Show

Tips for putting on a successful Travel Slide Show

This is some quick and basic, but IMPORTANT tips on presenting your trip story or tech presentation at an HU Meeting.

Preparing your presentation tips
  • Slides - most people try to use too many slides. KISS principle - Keep it short and simple. You have at most 45 minutes, and then your power goes off ;). If you’re going to talk to every slide, that means about 40-50 slides! DO practice at least once, preferably several times.
  • You don’t need to talk to every slide! Sometimes they’re self-explanatory! "Pretty pictures" only need about 1 second on screen, so that’s a good way to show a lot more pictures, just keep them rolling. The normal tendency is to leave them on screen too long so people can "appreciate" them - curb it and move on! Group the pretty pictures into a batch, and run 10-20 or more of them, then stop at one and talk about it. Then repeat as needed.
  • If you have text in a slide, never read it out to the audience - they can read, and faster than you can read it to them. Bullet points are only memory joggers for you, and a short form of what you’re saying. And you DON'T even have to talk about every bullet - they may well be self-explanatory and need nothing added.
Arriving at the Meeting
  • Bring your presentation on a FLASH DRIVE - much easier and more reliable than CD’s.
  • TEST it on the flash drive on another computer than your own to be sure it really works and there is nothing missing.
  • Be sure to contact the Meeting Organisers as soon as you arrive and let them know you're there, and ASK who to talk to about getting your presentation ready. At some meetings we provide laptops and there is a designated tech person for your room, at others it's just one person, but there is always someone who is responsible for your presentation, so get to know them so you know who to call for help
In the session tips
  • It's normal to be nervous. Everyone, even the most seasoned professional is a little nervous to start, so don't worry about it. Once you get going you'll be fine.
  • The audience is on your side - they're there because they really want to hear what you have to say, they know you're not a pro, and will be very forgiving of slip-ups, so don’t panic if something goes wrong.
  • It's a good idea to have the first minute or so well memorized; it makes it easy to get going.
  • Tell them what you're going to talk about
  • Let them know it's ok, or not, to ask questions during the presentation. If someone asks a question, be sure to let them finish, then repeat it back, perhaps rephrasing it for clarity - most likely everyone did not hear it. And you want to make sure YOU heard it right!
  • Never use sarcasm or put anyone down. Answer as briefly as possible, but fully - and then ask them if that answers their question! If the question is really irrelevant, ask them to see you later about it. If you don’t know, just say sorry, I don't know! No one expects you to know everything.
  • ALWAYS face the audience throughout - if necessary, a quick look over your shoulder to see what’s on screen.
  • Make eye contact with the audience - let them know that you're interested in them Be sure to stand off to the side so you’re not blocking the screen.
  • Remember what the focus is - what are you there for? Keep the discussion on track. If someone keeps running off track, suggest that they start a breakout session on that later.
  • Try to talk experiences not opinions.
  • If appropriate, summarise key points that might be of interest to others. Sum up and clarify key issues, ideas, and things you discussed.
  • Try to end the session on a high rather than wait for it to peter out. This is more likely to leave a favourable impression in the mind.
  • Ask for questions if you have time left. Suggest that anyone who has more can see you outside "somewhere" afterwards.

I hope that helps, and you have fun!

As Brian Coles, UK, said after presenting at the HU UK 2005 meeting: "... Since attending the 2003 meeting a month before I set out to 'do the Americas,' I feel that I have now come full circle by presenting a slide show of my trip at Derby. It was an incredible feeling to have achieved my first public presentation. The thanks I received afterwards made it extra special. The HU meetings are unique in size and atmosphere. Everyone is friendly and more than willing to help, whatever the question. I felt that when I started the trip in 2003, and I felt that this weekend when I then presented it. I can recommend presenting your 'trip of a lifetime' to anyone that has been out there and done it. Thanks to you, Susan, and all the organisers, Brian"

And thank YOU!

More tips: How to give a presentation


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