Tips for putting on a successful Travel Slide Show

Thank you for offering to be a presenter at our event. These events are all about the stories told and inspirations created by people like you.

These guidelines are designed to help you decide what to put into your presentation and how to put it together, and what you should think about when you are presenting. They’ve been assembled from a variety of experienced presenters, and a lot of experience at fixing what’s gone wrong at HU events, and other random sources.

Please take the time to read these guidelines carefully. They have been developed to help you put together the best talk you can, and also to help us put on a smoothly-run and entertaining event.

If you have any questions at all about your talk, the guidelines, advice about how to meet the steps listed, or even about how to put your talk together in the first place, please contact us as soon as possible. We will do everything we can to help you.

Best wishes and thanks again,
Grant & Susan


Preparing your Presentation

Preparing a talk always takes far longer than you anticipate. Start early! Many presenters miss half the event because they are busy putting the final touches on their talk.

Presentation Outline (a few suggestions only)

The following list contains points you might like to cover in your talk, depending on what it is about – and you don’t have to use them all! Remember you only have 45 minutes! Do NOT use this as a checklist to talk through. Rather, use the points to develop the storyline for your talk, including the points that are interesting and/or relevant.

  • A short bit "About You"
  • How long you’ve been riding
  • Previous travels (keep it brief and relevant to talk; bike and non-bike travel)
  • Why you did this trip

The Bike/s

  • Bike make and model
  • Age & mileage at start/finish
  • Modifications made
  • Bike’s strongest and weakest point/s
  • Problems on the road (e.g. flats, electrics, finding tyres)
  • Would you use the same bike again?
  • If yes, what would you change for next time?
  • If no, why not? (may be covered under weakest point)

The Gear

  • Luggage type
  • Essential tools & equipment
  • Best/worst gear taken
  • What you couldn’t do without

The Trip

  • Area/s visited
  • Length of trip & time of year
  • Distance covered
  • Cost of trip (per day or whole trip; preparation costs)
  • Preparation timeline & tips (e.g. storing or selling belongings, getting advice, testing things out)
  • Accommodation used
  • Favourite place/s
  • Favourite person/people
  • Best / Worst day
  • Pleasant surprise
  • Biggest headache
  • Illness/accidents/other incidents
  • Border/paperwork issues or highlights
  • Lessons for other travellers (e.g. paperwork, getting visas, best time to travel, routes taken)
  • Wish you had taken with you
  • Wish you knew before you started out

Creating the presentation

Plan on about 1 - 2 minutes per slide you plan to TALK to. You only have 45 minutes – that’s 45 slides (or a few more if you quickly flick through pictures).

  • Be sure to MAKE IT PERSONAL. It’s your story, tell us how things made you feel. IF it’s a technical talk, try to give us a story about how you learned it, or a practical application where it was valuable to you.
  • Tell the story out loud – you’ll be surprised how fast that minute goes by, let alone the full 45 minutes.
  • DO practice at least once, preferably several times.
  • Slides - most people try to use too many slides THAT THEY TALK TO. 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!
  • 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 far too long so people can "appreciate" them - curb it and move on! Group the pretty pictures into a batch, and run 10-30 or more of them for about 1 1/2 or 2 seconds each, no longer, then stop at one and talk about it. Repeat as needed and keep moving.
  • 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. Also, you DON'T have to talk about every bullet - they may well be self-explanatory and need nothing added.
  • It is good practice to talk about only one message or idea per slide. Don’t overcrowd your slides. More than two or three bullets is too many. Make another slide and keep it moving.
  • This is a talk and not a video session (unless otherwise discussed with us). Video clips should be kept to at most a few 5 minute clips for the whole 45 minute talk. Don’t bore your audience! If you have several clips to play, spread them throughout your presentation. People are there to hear what you have to say, not watch a movie.
  • Ask yourself - what is the point of the slide, does it need one picture or five? Five is too many! Make five slides!

A picture is worth 1000 words:

  • Example: You want to show us your tool kit. You can type out the 30+ tools and read out the list...

(really boring) OR

  • Show one or two pictures of the whole kit and talk about it; what worked, what was a waste of weight/space, what did you carry that was different but saved your skin and now you can’t do without? Don’t just ramble off a point-by-point list of the kit, we can all see it and don’t need to know about the stuff everyone carries. Tell us a tale about how you actually used your kit!
  • However, don’t pack too many pictures into your talk! Otherwise you’ll probably start rushing through pictures, instead of telling us your tales. Show “pretty pictures” in batches if you have a few to run through – it’s more interesting that way.


  • Don’t use too much. A simple title to focus the viewer and some quick dot / bullet points are all you need on each slide. Let the pictures tell the story, and as your audience will read the text, just use the dot / bullet points as memory joggers to guide your story (you don’t need to read the dot / bullet points out!).
  • Use a simple font. Too fancy and it will be difficult to read at the back of the room. AT MOST use two fonts total. Use the same font type for every slide.
  • MAKE IT BIG: If people can’t read your slides from the back of the room, the type is too small. Use at least 36-point type for titles.


  • About 10% of males are red/green colour blind. Don’t use red or green as your main colour scheme, and don’t use them on the same slide.
  • Pick your colour scheme, keep it simple, and stick to it throughout the presentation. Keep changing the colours and all people will notice are the colour changes!
  • You want high contrast. For a talk with lots of pictures, use a dark background but not black (it can be too strong) and use a bright text. You can use a black background for photos that aren’t full-frame. A dark background brings out the picture colours and contrasts.

Avoid fancy slide transitions, animations, and fly-ins/outs. They get old very quickly, and can become silly. Follow the KISS principle in every part of your talk – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Technical Guidelines so you know it works!

It is important to follow these guidelines when developing your presentation so that everything runs smoothly and to reduce problems during the event.

  • Presentations will be run on a PC computer. If you prepare your talk on an Apple, it is your responsibility to make sure that your talk will work on a PC BEFORE the meeting, not at the meeting (there won’t really be any time).  If you are bringing your own Apple device ensure that you have the necessary cables to connect to sound and projectors (VGA). We have a number of Apple adapters, but there is no guarantee we’ll have the one you need, or it may be in use at the same time.
  • Pictures should be compressed within your presentation so that it runs more quickly and smoothly. How to do this will vary with your version of PowerPoint (contact us if you need help).
  • For 2010+ Office versions, select a picture then the menu heading ‘Format’. Select ‘Compress Pictures’ at top left. In the window, unselect ‘Apply only to this picture’, and select the ‘Screen’ option. If you have cropped photos select “Delete cropped areas of pictures”.
  • If you are using sound and video clips, to minimise IT problems and make sure your talk runs properly, please save your PowerPoint presentation as follows:
    • Create a new folder and save all your video and sound clips in it.
    • Create your PowerPoint presentation and save it to the same folder as your clips. Don’t just move it to this folder later on – it MUST be created here at the start.
    • ALSO save your presentation as a PowerPoint Show resulting in 2 copies of your talk. (File/Save as).
    • Save the entire folder on your USB drive. This will make sure all files stay linked, and that we have all your clips if anything goes wrong.   When saving your presentation, please name the file with your name and the presentation name. (Not: Horizons Presentation!)
    • Test your talk off the USB drive on another computer if at all possible to make sure it works properly (especially if transferring from Apple to PC).

On Arrival at the Event

On arrival at the Travellers Meeting, please hand your USB drive in at the registration desk. There will be envelopes available for you so please ensure you clearly mark the envelope with your name and the presentation names (very important if you are doing more than one presentation). We will try to ensure that all presentations are pre-loaded onto the laptops prior to your presentation.

Please remember to pick up your flash drive after the event.

You’re next!

Be in the presentation room 15 minutes before your talk starts. This will give us time to get your talk ready and chat before you go on stage. It is your responsibility to be there on time – don’t make your audience wait!

  • You will have 45 minutes (or 100 if it’s a double slot) for your talk unless otherwise discussed with us. This may sound like a lot of time: it isn’t! So practice well, and make sure you know what you’re going to say and that your talk doesn’t run over-time.
  • After your talk, you will have 5 to 10 minutes for audience questions. NOTE: You must be out of the room by the 55 minute mark. If more time is needed please move out of the room to another location so that the next presenter can get set up.
  • This is a public and inclusive event. Racist, sexist or other inappropriate comments or content or personal attacks of any kind will not be tolerated. Your talk will be shut off without warning, and you will be asked to leave the meeting. Do not put down other travellers or their ways of travelling. Everyone is different and has their own style – there is no right or wrong way to how it’s done, so long as you are out there doing it!

Presenting Tips

  • It's normal to be nervous. Everyone, even the most seasoned professional is at least 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. Besides, they don't KNOW where that pic was taken or what his name was! Ignore it and move on!
  • It's a good idea to have the first minute or so well memorized; it makes it easy to get going.
  • The biggest thing the audience wants to know is HOW - not pictures of your lunch, or endless photos of people you met, but how did you cross the border, how did you pack, what worked for you, and what didn't.
  • Tell them what you're going to talk about.
  • Try not to write, and then read out, your talk. Just have a conversation with the audience. They’re a pretty friendly bunch and are obviously interested in what you have to say!
  • Nothing is more boring than a person reading from a script. If you do need to write out your talk in order to practice, then bring a set of notes or dot / bullet points to jog your memory during your talk. Use your slideshow to pick out the main points you want to talk about. Put reminders on the slide for you to remember and expand on. Don’t read the points!
  • Let them know it is 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.
  • Don’t talk to the computer or the screen behind you – talk to your audience, make eye contact - let them know that you're interested in them. Look down at the computer only to guide what you’re saying, but try not to turn around to the screen unless you’re pointing something out. Generally we set computers up in “Presenter View” which means you should be able to see your next slide as well as the current one on the computer in front of you, along with speaker notes. We will supply a laser pointer and remote control.
  • Think about where you’re standing - be sure to stand well 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.
  • Ask for questions if you have time left. Suggest that anyone who has more can see you outside "somewhere" afterwards.
  • Speak loudly and clearly. If the audience can’t hear you they will get bored (remember most of them have hearing damage due to loud bikes!). We will usually have a microphone but you still need to speak up.
  • PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! We have a lot of presentations to get through during the event, and we have to be strict about finishing times. Make sure you don’t run over time or get embarrassed by having your talk cut off before you finish!

Try to finish on a high note – one last funny tale just before you got home, a quick sum up of the major highlights, or just what you would and wouldn’t do again. The “wouldn’ts” can be wonderful!

MOST IMPORTANTLY: You are the expert about your trip, so relax and enjoy telling us your tales.

YOU CANNOT BE WRONG and there is no right answer for this stuff. Everyone has different needs, wants, and experiences. IF YOU DID IT, YOU DID IT RIGHT! So tell us what did and didn’t work for you. Hopefully we will see lots of different ways to do things, from no luggage to everything on the bike, from bush camping every night to 5-star hotels, and anything in between. Remember though - if you can’t be wrong, no one else can be either!

And remember to have fun with it!
Grant & Susan


Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.


Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details