Great Presenters


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Monday, September 14, 2009

TEDx Presentation Event in Beijing, November 2009

TEDx is coming to China for the first time! Click here to register to attend TEDx or here to suggest a speaker who has 'an idea worth spreading'. This event will showcase some of the leading thinkers and innovators living in China. TEDx is a self-organized event following the same TED guidelines as the world's premiere presentation conference.

You may also follow leading presentations on the TED Blog.

Top Ten List for Pecha Kucha Success

Top Ten List for Pecha Kucha success:

1. Direct the story toward the audience not yourself
2. Interact - ask a question, give a prize, show a demo
3. Lose the laser pointer. Lasers belong in Star Wars films
4. Never read notes - shows lack of preparation/respect
5. Don't deliver the presentation in two languages - there is no time
6. Speak loud enough into the microphone
7. Clip Art is dead. It is childish. Leave it in the 1990s.
8. Avoid stock photography - it is artificial. Develop your own slide.
9. One presenter is better than two. Unless an actual performance.
10. Your presentation should help 'solve an existing problem'

On Sept. 12, eleven speakers were given 6.40 seconds to share ideas about architecture, environmental activism and local music. A successful speaker needs to deliver each key point on the slide as briefly as possible. No extra explanations can be added - there isn't enough time. Beginning a sentence with the wrong point, is like a sprinter taking off from the starting line on the wrong foot - the momentum will be lost and the sprinter will finish last. Pecha Kucha is a mental endurance test. As a sprinter requires active practice and training, a Pecha Kucha speaker should dedicate hours to rehearsing their presentation. The audience deserves nothing less.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Speak to Both Sides of the Brain

An effective presenter must appeal to both the right and left sides of the brain to be successful. A presentation should include a balance of scientific facts, rational data, and credible sources, as well as a coherent storyline, vibrant visuals and emotional language to reach the whole human mind.  Scientists do not know the extent of how the left sides of the brain control literal analytical thought while the right side of the brain contributes to emotional collective understanding.     But all scientists agree that both sides of the brain's processing functions are inter-connected.  

Knowing that the brain requires both logic and emotion, analsysis and intuition, text and illustration, means that presenters must include a balance of all these factors to be effective.  An engineer may fail to connect with an audience if only data and figures are used without a visual story.  Likewise an artist's presentation will not be as powerful without credible analysis. Deliver a presentation that is relevant to both sides of your audiences' mind and promote understanding of new ideas.  

Brain Image Credit:

Redux Picture Blog, Visual Storytellers

A presenter must understand  how to visually tell stories.   Photos are commonly used on presentation slides, so it is important to study the masters of photography.  An excellent resource is the Redux Pictures Blog.   This blog includes pictures from many of the world's best photographers.   

My favorite photographer on the site is Ben Baker.   Ben's photos are frequently on the covers of news, entertainment and sports magazines.  Above you can see Ben's photo of President Obama used across the world for Fortune Magazine in the U.S. and Fortune China.   

Add the Redux Picture Blog to your Google Reader and learn how to visually tell stories in your presentations.  The Redux photographers know that each photo they share cannot bore their audience.  And the articles in the blog will help teach you current topics that are shaping our collective culture.  All of which will make your presentations stronger.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Remote Improves Presentations

The compact Communicator presentation remote fits in your hand like a smooth pebble. and includes Forward, Backward, Black Screen and Escape functions. That is all the remote functionality you need for a presentation. If you want a complex remote, than buy a Wii videogame console. And if you insist on using a laser pointer, I suggest buying a light saber and trying out for Star Wars The minimalist 'VersaPoint Communicator' by Interlink Electronics is one of the least expensive remotes on Interlink's website, costing $59 USD. The Communicator allows you to walk up to 30 feet (9 meters) away from your computer.
A presentation remote gives you the freedom to leave your laptop, reduce distraction and keep the audience focus on your message.

Other excellent presentation remotes?

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Powerful Presentation Book

Slide:ology is the definitive book on how to create and deliver audience centric presentations. Nancy Duarte and her large professional team of presentation designers at Duarte Design know the 'art' and 'science' of visual storytelling. Duarte Design accumulated experience by serving the presentation needs of Silicon Valley's top firms for decades. Recently Duarte Design supported the top presentation event in the world, TED the Technology Entertainment Design Conference. Duarte Design was the consultant that perfected the presentations used in for Al Gore's oscar winning Inconvenient Truth, a documentary on global warming. As an instructor of executive presentation design and visual communication, I can say with confidence that Slideology 'gets it'. For the price of two movie tickets, Duarte Design enables you to learn the vital skill of delivering impactful public presentations. This is essential reading for any presenter in the workplace.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pecha Kucha 20 slides x 20 seconds ea. = 6.40 sec Presentation

Pecha Kucha is a system of delivering a six minute and forty second presentation in 20 slides @ 20 seconds per slide. Two expatriate architects based in Japan named Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham developed the Pecha Kucha method in 2003 as a means to get to the core of the message from design presenters.

Today Pecha Kucha events welcome creative speakers from all backgrounds and has spread across the world from Tokyo to San Francisco. In Dec. 2008 Pecha Kucha was hosted at the trendy
Song Bar in Beijing, which attracted hundreds of spectators including members from my presentation course at Peking University MBA school. A pupil of mine named Stone Shao saved the day by providing a ThinkPad electrical supply cord to power the event's PC! This weekend in Beijing, Pecha Kucha ペチャクチャ, which means 'chit-chat' in Japanese, will showcase the essence of what presentation innovation is all about - creating new methods to clearly communicate.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Compress a Large PowerPoint File

Save email space and simplify the experience for your audience. How many times have you prepared to send your PowerPoint file and found that it is 5, 10, 20 MB or more? Often a corporate inbox will not be able to receive large files. The solution is to compress your photos in the PPT file. Here's how:
  1. Save a newly named copy of your PPT file
  2. Open the PPT file and right click on any photo image.
  3. Click Format Picture
  4. There will be a menu with five tabs. The tab Picture should be open, on the lower left hand corner click Compress
  5. 'Apply to' All pictures in document
  6. 'Change Resolution' Web/Screen. Click OK and you're done.

This will change every image in the PPT deck to 96 dpi from 200 dpi, effectively reducing your file size by 50%.

To further reduce your file size, open a New Folder on your Desktop. Next right click and save each photo image as a .JPEG file, into the New Folder. JPEG image sizes take up the least amount of space compared to .bmp, .png or the enormous file size .tif.

Then delete all the original photos in your slide deck. Next click insert photo, and Select All images in the folder. This will batch insert all the photos onto a slide in your deck. Then manually cut and paste each image into its original place in the deck. Finish and Save your file. Click on properties and see how much space you saved. I recently reduced an 80 MB file full of .tif images into a 2 MB file.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Visualization for the 21st Century

Cooliris is a revolutionary browser based visualization tool that changes how people communicate by moving the PC from a text based interface to a rich interactive visual experience. Expect to see Cooliris visualizations across websites like, news sites and in classrooms. By assembling the web into a visual pictoral menu that can easily be searched and then drilled down, the Palo Alto, California based Cooliris succeeds by speaking to the Left and Right sides of users brains , which control logic and creativity.

As Internet interfaces transition from lines of text, your presentations must also use more visual communication to remain relevant.
Presentation Tip: Cooliris will save you hours of search time by quickly laying out photos that visualize ideas, concepts and emotions in a continuous cinematic stream. Use a mind map to arrange your presentation ideas on paper. Next, structure by key message, supportive points, and credible examples. Launch Cooliris and type in keywords that describes your key points to find photos and websites that can be used in your presentation. Communicate better with visual photos and impactful ideas, which will engage both sides of people's brains!

*Remember to ensure credibility by crediting any photos and websites that you use in your presentation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Useful Book for Presentations and Life

1. Reduce Simplicity by thoughtful reduction
2. Organize System of many appear few
3. Time Save time and feel simplicity
4. Learn Knowledge makes things simpler
5. Differences Simplicity & Complexity need each other
6. Context Outside simplicity is not peripheral
7. Emotion More emotions not less
8. Trust In simplicity we trust
9. Failure Some things cannot be simplified

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SlideVert: A new Marketing Tool for today's Interactive Audience

Cory M. Grenier recently thought of a new marketing advertisement model using a PowerPoint presentation for the Web 2.0 world we live in today.

Slides + Advertisement = SlideVert

Recently I visited SlideShare and viewed a beautiful 100 slide Keynote PPT Presentation called Thinking of the Future by an IBM Executive named Chirs Sparshott. The presentation was educational, interesting and a very clever use of social marketing. The last few slides subtly promoted IBM's services as the answer to the new technological changes confronting everyday people. The last page had links to IBM's website. In fact, the presentation was a SlideVert. A separate presentation by a different author titled The Brand Gap has been viewed over 400,000 times on SlideShare!

What if we upload a meaningful PPT presentation to SlideShare or on your blog that adds value for the audience with engaging visuals, hard facts and a concrete educational message. But during the conclusion or end credits you provide links to your company's offerings and related resources. Oh yeah, why not include your email address and office number too so readers can contact you with questions or suggestions.

Use your creativity, leverage your education and engineer a message that fits today's Social Media web 2.0 webscape. It is time all business people from the CEO to the marketer invest as much time targeting the ears and eyes of people, and begin to listen to their voices. A Slidevert can be the beginning of that hyperlinked conversation.

The Cluetrain Manifesto
Doc Searls

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Powerpoint Comedy


This guy sums many of the important point's we are taught in class and he does it in a really funny way.

Youtube video clip (5 min)

- Tore

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Refreshing alternative to PowerPoint

...if only it were Free! SlideRocket is a powerful new tool to edit, share and author digital presentations. The software includes smooth special effects that if used correctly can add to the storyline, not distract from the message. Since SlideRocket is an online application, the software makers claim to provide greater options to collaborate, link data and securely share presentations online. The software even differentiates its users into five clear needs:
  • Sales
  • Design
  • Education
  • Marketing
  • Events

Unless you subscribe for this 'software as a service' model for $10 a month as an individual or $20 for an unlimited account business version, then you cannot download the special presentation player required to playback the presentation. A major downside.

SlideRocket's Comparison to Slideshare
Most people will not pay money for a software, which they feel PowerPoint can do an adequate job. First I would like to remind you that nearly all of us or our employer's have paid for PowerPoint too, only the payment was a one time charge for Microsoft Office. Unlike year or more product releases of PowerPoint, SlideRocket is continuously upgraded and made available. A key feature is that SlideRocket presentations are always accessible on the Internet, so if you can touch the cloud, you can grab the presentation regardless of location. We are all tired of trying to email 10MB PPT slide decks. For those willing to invest in the latest technology that has a chance of differentiating you from your peers, competitors and the ordinary, then SlideRocket may be the answer. Right now, I am still considering my options. But this application has me excited about the future of PC presentations.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nov. Featured Book

Author: Stephen Few
Published: Jan 2006
In the book, Mr. Few highlights the common design mistakes of dashboard design and provides tools to enable the audience to easily get the relevant information quickly. Stephen draws from psychology to define best practices for organizing business information in a way that elevates accurate interpretation. He promotes the use of Bar graphs for clearly displaying information, while demonstrating that our human parallel processing of our eyes and brains do not effectively interpret quantitative scale using pie charts or radar graphs. The book insightfully shares that Dashboard Design has different forms depending on the different role of which it will be used.

Few classifies Information Dashboard into three types relative to the Role:
—Strategic Purposes: The primary use today is the Executive Dashboard that provides a quick overview that decision makers need to monitor the health and opportunities of the business.
—Analytical Purposes: Require more context behind the numbers, including meaningful comparisons, historical background and more specific performance evaluators.
—Operational Purposes: Monitors Operations that are continuously changing and may require immediate attention. Operation Dashboards require the most specific and highest level of detail, but must also be clear and simple for the audience to understand quickly what needs to be done.

Before this book, few people knew to differentiate Dashboard Design according to the role the information will be used for—Strategic, Analytical or Operational.
Another key takeaway is to avoid fragmenting data sets that share relationships. Stephen argues grouping interrelated together on a single screen can tell a more complete story. Mr. Few says of Information Dashboards, "simultaneity of vision that it offers: the ability to see everything that you need at once. This enables comparisons that lead to insights."
Information Dashboard Design is a must read for presenters of information at all levels of the organization. Stephen Few provides practical lessons on how to raise audience comprehension of the data and make your meetings more valuable.
Stephen Few has 20 years of expertise in the field of data visualization and is an MBA professor at Haas Business School, UC Berkeley.

Click for additional Resources:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Notes from the book The Articulate Executive In Action

Here are some notes I made from the book The Articulate Executive In Action by Granville N. Toogood. It is just a fraction of what the book talks about but it can help you when you are making a presentation.

CVA = Communications Value Added

What is it?

- That something extra you can give
- You are not afraid to show yourself
- Passionate. You are a true believer.

Example of a true believer:

“A man named David Orrick enthusiastically pitches his industrial strength cleaners on the radio and cleans up big time”

Who has CVA?

- Jezus
- Mohammed
- Gandhi

You know these people because of what they did, not because of their written words!

The Seven principles of CVA

1. Never bore
Be passionate, use anecdotes

2. Always leave people with more when they walk out than when they walked in
Give Value

3. Always be master of your presentation, not the other way
PPT should help your pitch, not be your pitch

4. Speak only about what you know
Stick to the roots

5. Always be sensitive to the needs of your audience

6. Speak in pictures
No abstract things. Give war stories or solid but simple evidence

7. Preparation
Know what you want to tell. Do your homework


An Introduction to Sliderocket - Innovative online Presentation Application

An online presentation service has recently become avaliable featuring richer graphics options and special effects that are support visual storytelling. However while the online version is free, to make SlideRocket usable offline requires a SlideRocket Satellite Player at a pay-by-month fee.

PowerPoint also costs money in the Microsoft Office suite, but most PC users are already using PowerPoint. Understandably users will be hesitant to spend money for the added features of SlideRocket. But if you have the ability to test out the 30 day trial use of the Player, or want to invest in a powerful PowerPoint alternative software that can differentiate your presentations from others, than I recommend SlideRocket.

Personally I am still on the fence whether to make that investment. To see an interesting and educational tutorial about how SlideRocket can help you share your story, please click below.

SlideRocket Product Demos

Sliderocket Reviews on

Effective Use of Story - John Doerr

Silicon Valley entrepreneur John Doerr delivers an emotional presentation about why we need to do more to save the planet from destruction. John effectively uses a personal story about his daughter to frame his message of environmental responsibility and opportunity.

Effective use of Story - James Nachtwey Presentation

Award winning war photographer James Nachtwey personalizes his message to string together his documentation of global violence and the senselessness of War. A serious talk with a powerful and emotional message that influences not only how we think of the effect of War, but also how we feel about it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Effective Communication of Data

Effective Communication Of Data Inspired by Stephen Few

From: presentationinnovation,
3 minutes ago

A Visual Summary of Stephen Few's Information Dashboard Design by Cory Grenier

SlideShare Link

Presentation Lessons Learned from 'Present Like a Pro'

Cory's Presentation Tool Box Two

Cory\ S Presentation Tools Two Power Formula And Trust Oct 24 2008

From: presentationinnovation, 1 minute ago

Pictorial of Toogood's POWER Formula for effective Presentation Delivery.

SlideShare Link

Cory's Presentation Tool Box

Cory Presentation Toolbox Guanghua Mba Course 10.10.08

From: presentationinnovation, 23 hours ago

Useful online tools to gain inspiration, function, and publish value adding presentations.

SlideShare Link

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hans Rosling on TED

A really amazing demonstration at the end by Hans Rosling to make us remember his key message.

Zara Kwan

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rich Comedy on TED

So called nerdcore comedy - very fun to watch, highly recommended.

Or search for Ze Frank on TED.


-Mo Zhou

TED in Chinese
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: chinese tedtochina)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beijing Zhongguancun Toastmasters Club

A great method to get practical experience speaking in front of groups is to join a local Toastmasters club. Founded over 80 years ago in California, today Toastmasters International serves nearly 250K public speakers globally in over 90 countries.

For students at Peking University I recommend attending the Zhongguancun Toastmasters Club located in the 4th Classroom, 20th Floor, Tower B, Tsinghua Science Tower, Tsinghua Science Park, Wu Dao Kou, Haidian District, Beijing, 100084, China or please look for other Toastmasters locations in Beijing.

Meeting Time: 7:00 p.m., Tuesday
The Club is open to all. For details you may call 13810317670 , email

Thursday, October 30, 2008

David S. Rose: 10 things to Know before you Pitch a VC for Money

David S. Rose provides a practical 15 minute tutorial on how to pitch to venture capitalists (VCs) using Powerpoint. As China's economic growth continues to outpace other nations, many entrepreneurs from the MBA ranks may soon be in front of an audience of VCs. If you're thinking of starting up your own firm and need to learn how to present to win capital then this is a useful presentation.

Ted Bio - David S. Rose "The Pitch Coach" is an expert on the business pitch. As an entrepreneur, he has raised millions for his own companies. As an investor, he has funded millions more.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oct - Featured Book

Full Title: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
By: Garr Reynolds
Published: Jan 2008

Garr Reynolds is a former Manager of WW User Group Relations at Apple Computer, and is a currently a Marketing and Multimedia Presentation Design at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan.

In this "How-to" book, Presentation Zen, Garr offers a fresh teaching approach to presentation design. Garr organizes his book into three sections Preparation, Design and Delivery. Within these sections Garr stresses Clarity, Simplicity and Naturalness.

He cautions not to begin writing your presentation in PowerPoint, and instead to get out a notepad or scratch paper and jump into the creative process feet first. Imagine Shakespeare writing Romeo & Juliet in PowerPoint slides, it would have proved creatively impossible. Before digitizing your presentation, write it down on paper, yellow post-its, or a whiteboard. Generate a lot of ideas and then cut away the unnecessary information, then prioritize and organize your main points.

Garr also stresses not to "Data Dump" or simply paste entire excel sheets full of figures into a PowerPoint slide. Instead Garr asks readers to crunch the numbers first, consider the implications and wider relations and sum up the conclusion on each slide. He points out that the slide is not the place for you to walk the audience through a detailed walk through a process, that is better left to an actual printed document with deep explanation. Rather every slide should state a conclusion, a key takeway that the presenter can expand upon during the presentation.

This is a new and valuable approach to presentation design in a digital and information rich society.

External Review
"Please don't buy this book! Once people start making better presentations, mine won’t look so good. (But if you truly want to learn what works and how to do it right, Garr is the man to learn from.)"
Seth Godin, Speaker and Blogger & Author, Purple Cow

Garr Reynolds speaks @ Google March 2008 Video
Garr Reynolds Presentation Tips
PPT Review of Presentation Zen
Presentation Zen @

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dr.Randy Pausch and his Last Lecture

Dr. Randy Pausch, who passed away earlier this year due to terminal cancer, delivered one of the best speeches of all times.

Many professors have been asked the hypothetical question "if it was your last chance to impart knowledge, what would you deliver?" In the case of Professor Pausch, this question was not hypothetical. Though it was a speech designed to pass on knowledge to his children, it is very inspirational to all of us. is the link to watch the lecture on youtube. If the link does not work, go onto and search for randy pausch.

On a side note, there is also a novel about Randy, named for those interested. And if you haven't read , I would totally recommend it. It's a must read in my opinion. It discusses much of the same topics as Randy, and it is one of my all time favourites.

-Mo Zhou