Can You Give a Presentation Without PowerPoint? And Without Speaking?

So the answer to the first question is easy: yes, you can give a presentation without PowerPoint.

You can use props (human brain, anyone?), drawings and animation (how does motivation work), or nothing at all (perhaps my favorite TED talk of all time).

But can you do a talk without speaking?

That’s going to take some creativity, yes?

That’s exactly what Chris Powers did, though, in this engaging talk on silence. Well, since he didn’t speak, I guess it’s not really a “talk;” it’s a presentation.

Remember: “presentation” doesn’t have to mean “PowerPoint.”

Different gets attention, and you need attention to get your idea across. How can you be different in your next presentation?

h/t SvN blog

Designing Your Presentation? Aaron Draplin Shows You What You’re Doing Wrong

Design on paper first

Like millions of other people around the world, you have a presentation to make.

And like millions of others, you’ll probably start by opening PowerPoint and putting some text and images on your slides.

Surely, this is the best way to make a presentation, right?


In fact, this is probably the worst way to create a presentation.

A good presentation requires time away from the computer.

Time to think.

Time to plan.

Time to get your ideas straight.

Time to get your message together.

Time to develop the visual feel of the slides.

Time to rehearse.

Sure, you’ll need to get text and images on your slides–eventually. But don’t start there. There’s a ton of value in sitting down with a pencil and paper long before you park yourself in front of the computer. Why? The ideas come much more freely when you work on paper, and you’re practically guaranteed to end up with something better.

Good graphic designers know this as well. Check out veteran designer Aaron Draplin in the video below (also linked here) as he walks you through the process of designing a logo from scratch.

Whether a logo or a poster or a joke or a presentation, the process works the same way.

Start on paper.

In fact, this is the very process we recommend in our 80-page Presentation Renovation eBook and audiobook–which you can download for free now.

Christmas Download Blowout Sale


Got an important presentation coming up?

Need some help planning your message, designing your slides, or working on your stage presence?

Have we got a deal for you!

Just in time for the holidays, the Presentation Renovate ebook, audiobook, and bundle (ebook + audiobook) are available for a limited time at no cost.

Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.


Yes, you heard that right.

Shelf space on our server is scarce and quantities are limited, so head over to the Downloads page now, fill up your cart and give yourself–and your loved ones–the gift of better presentations.

Merry Christmas!

Presentation Renovation eBook – Now FREE


Four years ago, Deanne and I started Renovate in response to a common business problem: bad presentations.

We–you and me–spend a lot of time sitting through and giving presentations, and we wanted to help you make them a bit less painful–maybe even fun. We wrote dozens of educational articles for the blog, a couple of white papers, and an 80-page eBook (and audiobook). All with the goal of helping you make better presentations.

Hundreds of people downloaded the guides, thousands visited the site, and we felt like we were accomplishing what we set out to do.

In 2012, life took us in different directions so Deanne and I decided Renovate needed to change. All of the content is still here but it’s been a back-burner project for the past two years. The cobwebs have collected on the blog.

That brings me, however, to an important announcement today:

The Presentation Renovation eBook is now available for FREE.

You can get it in the store.

We charged a meager $7 for the eBook after it was released but I want to let it out into the world now.

There’s the audiobook version as well, perfect for commuting or plane trips. You can have it for just 99 cents (it used to cost $10).

Simplify your life and get both the eBook and the audiobook for a penny more. A buck for the text and a chance to hear Deanne’s silky, sonorous voice gently encouraging you to make better presentations? Bargain.

Hop over to the store today and pick them up. Heck, get the “9” and “16” guides while you’re at it, too. Encourage your friends, boss, and co-workers to do the same. There’s no good reason to give a bad presentation now.

I hope you find them helpful.

By the way, I’m still available for consulting and training. Drop me a line if you’re interested.

9 Steps to Better Presentations: Part 9 – Get Inspired

9_-_A_Simple_Guide_to_Better_Presentations.029NOTE: This is the ninth (and last!) in a series of posts taken from our guide 9: A Simple Guide to Better Presentations. Can’t wait and want to get it all now? Download the eBook for FREE here.

Want to see some good presentations?

Michael’s Slideshare favorites

Want to read a book?

Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath
Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds
Confessions of a Public Speaker, Scott Berkun
Presentation Renovation, Michael Gowin & Deanne Mott

Still don’t have the FREE 9 guide? What are you waiting for?