www.tudor girba.

com

Presenting is storytelling
Tudor Gîrba www.tudorgirba.com

Roadmap

www.tudor girba.com

The following slides are intended to be read either by looking at the laptop screen, or with the back to the audience. One common wisdom is that there should be a roadmap at the beginning. That is many times a good thing, only we should design the roadmap to be meaningful. http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/meaningless-roadmap

• Every talk must start with a roadmap • So:
• •
Introduction Slides

• •

Template Design

• • • •

Audience Story More about slides Conclusion

© Tudor Girba

Lugano - April 23, 2010

2

Roadmap

www.tudor girba.com

• Every talk must start with a roadmap • So:
• •
Introduction Slides

• •

Template Design

• • • •

Audience Story More about slides Conclusion

© Tudor Girba

Lugano - April 23, 2010

3

This is actually true.
About this talk
www.tudor girba.com

• I used to be extremely afraid of speaking in public

In fact, I was so afraid that I could hardly speak

• But, because I ithad to speak, I spent a bit of time thinking about will share with you • Today, Ido presentations some of my reflections on how to

I am actually quite nervous to talk about it here

© Tudor Girba

Lugano - April 23, 2010

4

Roadmap

www.tudor girba.com

• Every talk must start with a roadmap • So:
• • • • • •
Introduction Slides

Template

Audience Story More slides Conclusion

© Tudor Girba

Lugano - April 23, 2010

5

Slides

www.tudor girba.com

• Every decent talk is accompanied by slides difficult to read • Text is first level bulletsso, slides should not have more than 6 • The text should be no smaller than 12 pt • A good slide has an engaging design • Donʼt just use a standard design

Show that you care

• Letʼs see what a good template is made of ...
© Tudor Girba Lugano - April 23, 2010 6

The template in 4 steps
1. Align title to the left, and add logo to the top right • The logo should not be too large, but it should be visible at all
time

www.tudor girba.com

If you take this approach, just make sure to not add the total amount of slides, because you do not want to discourage the audience :)

Adding it to the right, makes it secondary in the visual hierarchy so that it is not compete with the rest of the text

2. Choose colors and style to match the corporate look 3. Delimit the title zone and readjust the style 4. Add footer • Slide number is important to let the audience know about the
progress

• •
© Tudor Girba

Add your name, just in case they forgot it Add the date and place of the presentation to show that it is customized for the situation
Lugano - April 23, 2010 7

This is one way to deliver talks. While it can be straightforward, it is completely inneffective. The audience gets bored, and the retention is low.

STOP
Before we go forward: why are we here?

why are we here?

Lecture |ˈlek ch ər| is a noun meaning “an educational talk to an audience”. It comes from the latin word “legere”, and it used to have meaning of “the action of reading, that which is read”. There used to be a time when reading and exposing facts to an audience was the way of spreading information. Nowadays, we have plenty of other means to take care of that. We are certainly not here to read slides. We are here to communicate. Speakers have to start taking responsibility. http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/how-much-time

If your audience wanted to read, it would not need to come all the way to the presentation.

the talk is your

not slides

http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/powerpoint-poisoning

The audience wants to hear a story, a point of that is interesting. Something that would not get by just reading the manual.

story
the talk is your

presenting is storytelling
www.tudorgirba.com

The story does not have to be a fairy tale to capture my imagination. In fact, it should not be a fairy tale.

story = fairy tale

Good stories are typically not straightforward. They require design and discovery.

design

your story

The first step is to figure out what your audience is? What do they expect? What are their values?

audience?
who is your

let me tell you a story about

Paris
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pingnews/421079337/sizes/l/ When we think Paris, we think historical monuments and romance.

I went to Paris and I set my mind to see how other people see Paris.

I was surprised to see that some donʼt even look at Paris.

And when they do look, they do it in a strange way. I thought that maybe it was that they were just blocking the sun.

At night, we finally got to Louvre.

And we set our minds to go see the famous Mona Lisa.

So, the second day, we took the metro and we headed to the Louvre.

We got to the Louvre, but we were surprised to not find Mona Lisa quite that easy.

So, we looked for an information point, and just near it ...

We found Mona Lisa. Actually it was not really Mona Lisa, but just a guide about The Da Vinci Code. We did not want the guide, and we started to search Mona Lisa by ourselves.

Along the way we stumbled across a naked lady without the arms.

And we finally got to the room of Mona Lisa.

I was slightly disappointed by the sign.

There it was! Mona Lisa. Because we were not allowed to take pictures inside the room, I took a picture from outside of it.

But, no one else took the sign seriously. My take is that they did not regard themselves taking pictures, they regarded themselves as just looking at Mona Lisa.

Even though some did not even look.

Or when they did, they did it in a strange way.

who is your audience?

Any design process should start from the audience. Who is the audience?

how do they see the world?

You have to know how they see the world.

how do they really see the world?

If you think you know your audience and how it sees the world, think again. Your audience will never be the same and it will never seize to surprise you. Btw, the picture of the lady combing her hair in the beautiful mirror, was taken just outside the Mona Lisa room.

The first step is to figure out what your audience is? What do they expect? What are their values?

audience?
who is your

message
message

message

message

message
message

message

message
message message

After you think you know your audience, choose your message. Any thing can be “sold” in several ways. Some are more obvious than others.

message message

message
message message message

message message message

message

message

message

message

message

message

message

message
message
message

message
message message

message message message message message
message message

message

message

message
message

message

message
message message

Any thing can be “sold” in several ways. Some ways are more obvious than others. You should choose the message that matches your audience.

message message

message
message message message

message message message

message

message

message

message

message

message

message

message

message
message

message message message message message
message message

message

Strive to choose one message. Not two, not one and a half. One. A 30 seconds ad has one punch line. A good movie has one single message that summarizes the main point (of course, is the movie is not Pulp Fiction).

one message

So should your talk have just one core message. Bring plenty of evidence, but focus on one message.

Modeling History
to Understand Software Evolution
Inauguraldissertation der Philosophisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Bern

To provide a generic meta-model for expressing software evolution analyses, we need to recognize evolution as an explicit phenomenon and model it as a first class entity.

You might say that ads and movies are just for entertaining. But, a PhD dissertation is also about one thesis. 3,4,5 years of work and all you get to defend is one single statement.

vorgelegt von

Tudor Gîrba
von Rumänien

Leiter der Arbeit: Prof. Dr. Stéphane Ducasse Prof. Dr. Oscar Nierstrasz Institut für Informatik und angewandte Mathematik

One message. I cannot stress this long enough :).

one message

Itʼs not enough to choose the right message, you also have to choose a matching delivery means that matches your audience.

deliver one message

Slides used to be called visual aids. The difference between the two terms is that “slides” describes the technology, while “visual aids” describes the goal.

slides

These days, it is a must for a talk to be accompanied with slides. Slides used to be called visual aids. The difference between the two terms is that “slides” describes the technology, while “visual aids” describes the goal. We focused so much on getting the technology right, that we forgot about the goal. Always have the goal in mind.

slides are visual aids

The term “visual aids” has two components. “Visual” is the first one. Slides have to be visual.

slides are

visual
Important sign

aids

Letʼs take an example. Imagine driving. What would you do if you would see this sign at a crossroad?

1. At this sign, stop, look around and proceed if no other car is coming your way. 2. Important!!!! The cars coming from the other directions will not have to stop. 3. This sign was put here by the authorities in charge. 4. This sign concerns vehicles only. Pedestrians should look at the signs dedicated to them. 5. This sign should not be touched or hindered in any way. Any violation is punishable according to the law.

STOP

What about if you see this one? There is no doubt as to what you have to do. There are three reasons for this: - it is big so that we notice it - it is red so that we pay attention, and - it is so distinct and simple that it leaves no place for confusion. it only conveys the relevant information.

The difference between the two signs is that one is detailed but only the other one is actually effective in traffic.

detailed
Important sign

effective

• • • • •

At this sign, stop, look around and proceed if no other car is coming your way. Important!!!! The cars coming from the other directions will not have to stop. This sign was put here by the authorities in charge. This sign concerns vehicles only. Pedestrians should look at the signs dedicated to them. This sign should not be touched or hindered in any way. Any violation is punishable according to the law.

STOP

Slides should be like traffic signs: - They should stay on the side, - They should come to our attention for a very brief period, and - They should become invisible. How to achieve that?

The good news is that not all details are important. In fact, only few details are important.

not all

details

are important

When it comes to the English language, the Elements of Style is a book that should not be missed.

omit needless words

for sale: baby shoes, never worn Ernest Hemingway

Twitter can be a great medium to exercise conciseness.

This message is exactly 140 characters long.

The story goes that Vijay, a young indian, wanted to open a fish store. He does it and displays the following logo. Story inspired from Presentation Zen, the book. http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/the-fish-story
we sell fresh fish here

The second, day his father stops by and says: ““we” is not really needed, and it is obviously that you are selling”.

fresh fish here

The third day, the brother stops by and notices that “here” is superfluous.

fresh fish

The neighbor then passes by and says: “You are in the fish market, and the logo already says fish.”

fresh

Getting the hang of it, Vijay himself thought: everyone can smell that the fish is fresh.

If you ask me, I still think fresh should be stated. But the essence is that you can almost not go wrong stripping away details.
fresh

http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Graphic-Design-Space-Architecture/dp/1581152507
design is not the abundance of simplicity it is the absence of complexity

emphasizing everything

IS emphasizing nothing

One particular graphic design resource that is most often forgotten is whitespace.

whitespace

Whitespace is defined by the objects inside.

Whitespace is not necessarily white.

Which is the background and which is the foreground? In this example, whitespace and content are in conflict. This design makes the audience perceive the whole thing as a blob.

Now you perceive white as being whitespace and black as being content. This design makes the audience perceive the whole thing as a blob.

One

small

difference solves the conflict. You now perceive two blobs.

But, is whitespace a wasted space? No. If you fill it completely, you lose everything.

Whitespace can guide your eyes. For example, this arrangement implies no particular reading order.

This one, however, will guide your eye line by line.

… and this one, column by column.

Letʼs take a chart
y

x

Simply not filling the whitespace reveals the data.
y

x

Less can be even more.
y

x

http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_vdqi

remove chart junk increase data ink

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http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/empty-your-slides http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXAcwriid0

fill it for a reason

slides are

not documents

One thing to remember is that slides are not documents. They do not have the same purpose and they do not have the same capabilities. As such, they should not be treated in the same way.

If you feel the need to rely on a template like this, you are probably doing something wrong.
www.tudor girba.com

© Tudor Girba

Lugano - April 23, 2010

80

Why exactly do we see so many slides that resemble documents? Take a look at what we see when we open the slideware program. The default template wants us to enter a title and some content in form of bullets.

It is difficult to not put too many things on a slide, because the default look of PowerPoint urges you to add them. Most templates just go along these lines. Bullet points are not evil. They are just not the answer to everything. And they are especially not the answer to effective slide design.

The projector is a different medium than the screen. On the one hand, the projector has a much poorer resolution, and as the distances from which it is being watched differ greatly, we can only rely on it to deliver very few details accurately.

projector = screen

On the other hand, the projector offers an opportunity: it allows us to focus on just one thing, and we can control the advance. This is an important characteristic that should be used in the process of design.

So, next time you open your slideware program ...

Start the design of slides from an empty canvas. Do not let the default document metaphor influence your choice. Take control.

On the one hand, a slide is a poorer graphical than a printed document. On the other hand, their dynamic nature offer an opportunity: focus. A slide should encapsulate one concept.

When each slide encapsulates a point, the story is in between these points.

et y is in b he stor t

ween

• • • • •

http://www.iwm-kmrc.de/workshops/visualization/sweller.pdf http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/powerpoint-presentations-a-disaster/ 2007/04/03/1175366240499.html

The more text there is on a slide, the more I will tend to speak it as it is written on the slide. But, you can read a text much faster than I can speak it. In such situations, my speech becomes noise as you rather prefer to just go ahead and read it by yourself. That is the reason why slides should not have text that competes with my speech, but rather be as visual as possible to complement it. I guess you are already reading this line while I am still somewhere in the middle of the text.

One assumption is that slides must also carry the message in the absence of the speaker, and hence most of the content must be on the slides. The result is lots of bullet points and lots of text. However, lots of text competes with the spoken words because we can just read faster than we speak. And we want the audience to hear what we have to say. Another option is to put the text in the notes and provide slides with notes for as printouts.

notes will set you free

• • • • •

http://www.iwm-kmrc.de/workshops/visualization/sweller.pdf

This is how the previous two slides look like when they are printed with notes.

The more text there is on a slide, the more I will tend to speak it as it is written on the slide. But, you can read a text much faster than I can speak it. In such situations, my speech becomes noise as you rather prefer to just go ahead and read it by yourself. That is the reason why slides should not have text that competes with my speech, but rather be as visual as possible to complement it. I guess you are already reading this line while I am still somewhere in the middle of the text.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/powerpoint-presentations-a-disaster/ 2007/04/03/1175366240499.html

One assumption is that slides must also carry the message in the absence of the speaker, and hence most of the content must be on the slides. The result is lots of bullet points and lots of text. However, lots of text competes with the spoken words because we can just read faster than we speak. And we want the audience to hear what we have to say. Another option is to put the text in the notes and provide slides with notes for as printouts.

notes will set you free

large fonts
ition trans

First, large fonts can be seen from far away. Second, using large fonts will prevent you from putting too many things on the same slide.

When points are encapsulated in a slide, transition is what brings cohesion to the story.

The slides overview is perhaps the most useful tool in your slideware because it is the one that has the potential to reveal the story. One rule of thumb is that if you cannot see what a slide is about in the overview, you probably have too much on it.

Ok, letʼs step back. We said that slides are visual.

slides are

visual

aids

Not all visuals are aids. For a visual to be helpful, it needs to complement the speech.

slides are visual

aids

But, at the end, slides are still just aids. They should only complement the talk, not replace it.

This is how a blank slide looks like.

And this is how it looks on a white. You should be able to deliver your message without slides.

Slides tend to be used as walls of defense. Letʼs stop that. http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/too-many-minds

“too many minds” The Last Samurai

The audience is your friend and it wants you to succeed because if you would not succeed they would lose time. And who likes losing time these days? http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/the-audience-is-your-friend

audience = friend

Show you believe. Mehrabian model of communication: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Mehrabian
7% Words 38% Voice

7% of meaning is in words 38% of meaning is paralinguistic - how you use your voice tone 55% of meaning is in body language (e.g., facial expression)

55% Body language

Donʼt hide behind the wall. Just go out.

Recommended resources.
presenta tion zen.com blog.du arte.co m

http://presentationzen.com http://thebackofthenapkin.com http://blog.duarte.com http://tudorgirba.com/blog

oft theback

henapkin

.com

tudorgirba.com/blog

d.com www.te

A great place to find examples of amazing talks is www.ted.com. http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/ted-talks http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/favorite-ted-talks-posted-until-2008 http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/favorite-ted-talks-posted-in-2009

rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse

There is no replacement for rehearsal. http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/rehearse-rehearse-rehearse

Technology must never be obvious. Anything pulls the attention of the audience away from the story is a distraction.

remote

control

Use a remote control to render the technology invisible. Slides should magically appear and disappear as needed by the story.

Regular breathing ensures a regular pace of speaking.

BreathE

Pause is the whitespace of speech. Pause puts the words in value. A pause can be used for transitioning to another idea. In fact, a major transition should be marked with a pause. When you feel like stumbling, just pause, breathe, and take another route. http://www.tudorgirba.com/blog/to-pause-or-not-to-pause

pause

what about

technical talks?

Facts alone are boring. And that is a fact. Regardless of how apparently boring a subject appears to be, there always is an exciting story hidden in there.

any fact has its own story

Take a look at this talk, for an example: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92

Designing and building the form is typically perceived as an effort that comes after the main effort of designing and building the content. That is not an optimal process, because we cannot reason about content in the absence of form.

content

form

yesterday’s weather

Let me tell you a story about the first paper I ever wrote. It was about predicting changes in a software system using a Yesterdayʼs Weather metaphor.

30%

90%

In Switzerland, using yesterdayʼs weather as a predictor for todayʼs weather is a poor prediction model. However, in Sahara, it is a great way to predict weather, given that most days look like the previous one. This prediction model is contextual to the place, or system, in which it is to be applied. So, before applying this technique on a software system, we first have to see if it proved to be reasonable in the past.

yesterdayWeatherProbabilityWithTopPreviousWENM: topPreviousWENM andTopCurrentENM: topCurrentENM | currentVersions previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM yesterdayWeatherHits last2VersionsTopHistories last2Versions last2HistoriesSortedByENM x valuesCount previousVersionsTopHistories previousVersionsTopHistoriesNames over | currentVersions := OrderedCollection new. currentVersions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: 1). yesterdayWeatherHits := 0. (2 to: self allVersionNames size) do: [: i | self smelly: 'this algorithm is too big and complex'. previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM := (self classHistories selectFromReferenceVersionCollection: currentVersions) sortBy: [:a :b | a value getWENM >= b value getWENM]. currentVersions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: i). previousVersionsTopHistories := OrderedCollection new. x := previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM first value getWENM. valuesCount := 0. previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM do: [ :each | (each value getWENM ~= x) ifTrue: [ valuesCount := valuesCount + 1. x:= each value getWENM]. (valuesCount < topPreviousWENM) ifTrue: [ previousVersionsTopHistories addLast: each] ]. last2VersionsTopHistories := OrderedCollection new. last2Versions := OrderedCollection new. last2Versions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: (i-1)). last2Versions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: i). last2HistoriesSortedByENM := (self classHistories selectFromReferenceVersionCollection: last2Versions) sortBy: [:a :b | a value getWENM >= b value getWENM]. x := last2HistoriesSortedByENM first value getENM. valuesCount := 0. last2HistoriesSortedByENM do: [ :each | (each value getENM ~= x) ifTrue: [ valuesCount := valuesCount + 1. x:= each value getENM]. (valuesCount < topCurrentENM) ifTrue: [ last2VersionsTopHistories addLast: each] ]. previousVersionsTopHistoriesNames := previousVersionsTopHistories collect: [ :each | each value name]. over := false. last2VersionsTopHistories do: [:each | ((previousVersionsTopHistoriesNames includes: (each value name))

Once I had the basic idea, I just implemented it. And indeed, it turned out that my assumption was right. On some systems it makes sense, on others it does not. The only problem was that the algorithm was so complex, that I could not manage to explain it to people.

yesterdayWeatherProbabilityWithTopPreviousWENM: topPreviousWENM andTopCurrentENM: topCurrentENM | currentVersions previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM yesterdayWeatherHits last2VersionsTopHistories last2Versions last2HistoriesSortedByENM x valuesCount previousVersionsTopHistories previousVersionsTopHistoriesNames over | currentVersions := OrderedCollection new. currentVersions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: 1). yesterdayWeatherHits := 0. (2 to: self allVersionNames size) do: [: i | self smelly: 'this algorithm is too big and complex'. previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM := (self classHistories selectFromReferenceVersionCollection: currentVersions) sortBy: [:a :b | a value getWENM >= b value getWENM]. currentVersions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: i). previousVersionsTopHistories := OrderedCollection new. x := previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM first value getWENM. valuesCount := 0. previousClassHistoriesSortedByWENM do: [ :each | (each value getWENM ~= x) ifTrue: [ valuesCount := valuesCount + 1. x:= each value getWENM]. (valuesCount < topPreviousWENM) ifTrue: [ previousVersionsTopHistories addLast: each] ]. last2VersionsTopHistories := OrderedCollection new. last2Versions := OrderedCollection new. last2Versions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: (i-1)). last2Versions addLast: (self allVersionNames at: i). last2HistoriesSortedByENM := (self classHistories

And I knew it was ugly and that I should do something about it. I just did not know what.

So, I stepped back and rethought the model behind. What exactly was I doing?
past future

I eventually created a small picture and based on that I rethought the model. It turned out that the algorithm to check the assumption for each day was three lines long.

YesterdayWeatherHit(present): past:=all.topChanged(beginning, present) future:=all.topChanged(present, end) past.intersect(future).notEmpty()

prediction hit

present

And obtaining the overall value was just an average.

hit

hit

hit
YW = 3 / 8 = 37%

hit

hit

hit

hit

hit

hit

hit

YW = 7 / 8 = 87%

And, in the end, even the actual implementation became similarly simple (and even more generic).
yWFor: yesterdayCheck for: tomorrowCheck ^ ( 3 to: self versions size ) collect: [ :i | | yesterday tomorrow | yesterday := self selectByExpression: yesterdayCheck appliedFromVersionIndex: 1 toVersionIndexAndPresentInIt: i - 1. tomorrow := self selectByExpression: tomorrowCheck appliedFromVersionIndexAndPresentInIt: i - 1 toVersionIndex: self versions size. yesterday intersectWith: tomorrow ]

All in all, it was because I could not present the idea, that I had to rethink the approach altogether. Of course, I could have just accepted that the problem is just too complex and cannot be made simpler, but that is never a good enough point.

yWFor: yesterdayCheck for: tomorrowCheck | hits | hits := (self detailedYWFor: yesterdayCheck for: tomorrowCheck) sum: [ :each | each isEmpty ifTrue: [0] ifFalse: [1]]. ^ hits / (self versions size - 2)

V. S. Ramachandran is a neurologist. Among other things, he invented a simple cure for the phantom pain. The idea is that people with phantom limbs can still feel pain in the non-existent part of the member. The problem is that this pain cannot be treated directly because it is actually not real. But, it is a serious problem, with people that constantly feel deep pain for decades.

The treatment turned out to be extremely simple and cheap. A mirror is placed on a table, and typically the phantom limb is placed in a box behind the mirror, and the healthy limb is placed in front of the mirror. The patient is then asked to look into the mirror and do exercises with the healthy limb. As the patient looks in the mirror, it appears that the phantom limb is actually moving. Through these kind of exercises, the pain goes away. You can find more information in his very interesting TED presentation: http://www.ted.com/talks/vilayanur_ramachandran_on_your_mind.html

The bottom line is that form plays an important role in the way we perceive and think of the world. It is time to stop ignoring it and embrace it during the design process.

content

form

If you think design is for designers, please change your mind. Design is not a job. Not anymore. Today it is a responsibility.

are you a

designer?

Specifically related to talks, it is in everyoneʼs best interest to have interesting talks. And there is no real excuse for not trying to get your talk as exciting and informative as you can. When you take the stand, the responsibility falls on you.

presenting is storytelling
www.tudorgirba.com

Tudor Gîrba
www.tudorgirba.com

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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