Incorporate Presentation Zen ideas into a Presentation

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Makeover Recipient:

This is the presentation that Tabitha Johnson (@tabletj) and I gave at Seoul International School’s Mini-EARCOS (East Asia Regional Council of Schools)  We were selected to submit this presentation to the EARCOS Teachers’ Conference for consideration and were lucky enough to be accepted. As Tabitha and I read about Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds (@presentationzen), and Presentation building suggestions from Kim Cofino (@mscofino) and Jeff Utecht (@jutecht), we decided that this presentation was going to get a makeover (or something) and tested at the Korea Council of Overseas Schools (KORCOS) International Education Conference 2014.

Thoughts: Ideas that Resonated

We decided to incorporate the following ideas into our presentation:

  • Handouts can set you free
  • Simplicity (Amplification through simplification)
  • Reducing noise
  • Empty space is OK
  • Story / Emotions / Empathy
  • Play

The last two ideas is harder to demonstrate with the presentation alone, but I think the first 3 ideas may be more obvious.


  1. Though the initial quotes will still be discussed during the presentation, images that represent the ideas would be more interesting. Finding the right pictures using the Creative Commons Search proved to be difficult. (Thank you for the heads up, @jutecht!)
  2. Looked for places where words could be eliminated or minimized – increasing empty space and reducing noise. Cutting the words was an easier task. (Slides 9 and 19)
  3. Added transitions where transitions can actually make a point rather than making the slides “gimmicky”
  4. Looked back at our talking points to make sure our stories and processes were still present
  5. Checked for overall flow and coherence
  6. Made sure the handout created worked with the presentation


The Handout:
The PreZentation:


After adding in the elements of Presentation Zen, the presentation itself became much more refined. The quotes being replaced by images will hopefully make the ideas behind the quotes stick better, and the background change to a simple black will make the slides themselves less distracting.

While working and updating this presentation, I also began to like the actual presentation that Tabitha and I were creating more. Additional thought and care went into every little detail, finding the right images changed from being a chore to anticipating excitement when the right image is found. The presentation (slideshow) itself is good to go. We’ll see how the presenters do!


One thought on “preZENtation

  1. Love it! Love that you have used a handout – it makes the presentation so much more fun and engaging for both you and the participants not to have to worry about the content, knowing that it’s already available. I’m sure your presentation will be a big hit at ETC!

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