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!

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?

9 Steps to Better Presentations: Part 8 – Rehearse

9_-_A_Simple_Guide_to_Better_Presentations.026NOTE: This is the eighth 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 know the one thing that may improve your talk more than anything else?

It’s the one thing most people won’t do: practice.

Rehearsing your presentation gets you comfortable with your material. The more comfortable you are before you speak, the less you’ll feel the urge to run away on the big day (stage fright).

Plus, the people who’ve come to hear you deserve your best, don’t they?

Steve Jobs rehearsed. George Carlin and Henry Fonda rehearsed. And they were pros.