Category Archives: Presentations

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Do you know what this expression means? It means that different people have their own different interpretations of Beauty.It can be personal and therefore subjective.What is beautiful to one person may seem less beautiful to another.It can relate to physical and external appearance, inner beauty and personality, relating to people, animals, nature and objects, the senses and music.

This week’s OISE project has been centred around one word -Beauty.Tomorrow (Friday), students from each project group will present their own interpretation of Beauty.The students have been coming up with their own different ideas and have considered quite an impressive range.I’m sure they will deliver some great presentations tomorrow.

What do you consider as true Beauty?

Click on the image below to listen to an insightful Ted radio show which asks the question ‘What is Beauty?’

Can you find an answer?

We really were enlightened, and they really did make it quick!

Ignite Bristol

20 slides. 

15 seconds a slide.

Timed, so there’s no stopping.

Not quite a Pecha Kucha as we know it at school, but I experienced a great evening of funny, passionate, wacky and inspiring talks at Bristol Ignite yesterday.

From the intricacies of beer and coffee making to the rise and fall of British superheroes and low-cost travel from your armchair or into space, particularly inspiring was Jake Johnson’s presentation about his Bristol52 project in which Bristol is represented by one person at a time for each week of the year on one Twitter account.

First started in Sweden and since spread to a number of other countries, the idea of ‘rotation curation’ is to give a taste of the diverse cultures, attitudes and lifestyles that make up a city/country. Ingenious!

Click on the image below to find out more about how Twitter rotation curation works.


Becoming great requires time and effort

I am always interested to read new articles about how to deliver engaging presentations. There are still too many occasions when we all have to sit through life-sapping talks given by people who have either spent too little time planning, or given too little thought to their audience.

Good presenters learn their craft, put in the time to become experts, plus continue to learn and improve. Some of the best ways to do this are to accept advice and watch other speakers.With the availability online now of TED Talks, for example, there is no excuse for not knowing what a good talk looks, sounds and feels like.

Click on the image below for some more top tips and think about which ones you use already and which ones you could start to work with.

Time and Effort


They may forget what you said…

…but they will never forget how you made them feel.

What you say is important, but don’t underestimate how you say it as well.

It doesn’t matter if you know your subject inside out and can quote every fact and figure. If the goal is to engage people, provide them with knowledge and ensure they remember it, then simply telling them is insufficient. In fact, even if you are not providing key data and only speaking to them in quite broad terms, it is still not enough to just talk.

You have to think about your audience, think about your topic and then think about your delivery. If the message is sombre or sad, then adjust your voice and mannerisms accordingly, if the message is upbeat and happy, then raise your game to match the theme with your enthusiasm and passion.

Consider what you want to provide your audience with and what you want them to take away from the presentation or speech. That doesn’t just mean raw data – how do you want them to feel?

Click on the image below to watch someone speaking with passion. Did you smile?


Fresh, exciting….

How can you make a difference when giving a talk or presentation? What can make you more engaging than the other speakers people (have to) listen to?

As far as I am concerned, you have to be prepared to make some effort beforehand in the planning phase. You need to think about your ‘story’ and prepare the right visuals.

Some of the key qualities can be remembered with the mnemonic ‘MEEVY’ which stands for MOVE (you don’t have to stand still when talking), ENTHUSIASM (sound like you are interested to be interesting), EYE CONTACT (look at the people you are talking to), VISUALS (make sure the audience can see them as they can enhance your message) and YOURSELF (be yourself, act naturally and be confident in your talk).

Click on the image below to read some even more useful tips from the extremely informative Jim Harvey website.


The Long Trek

The long trek – today’s guest post from Lara van Rooyen.

Even though it’s been 11 years since I left my home country, South Africa,  there are still some words that I choose to use. I think it’s because I feel like I would lose my identity as a South African if I didn’t use them anymore. These are some of the words that I would use everyday, typical of South African slang.

See if you can have a guess as to what they mean or what it is.  Answers are at the bottom.

1. Braai  2. Biltong 3. Boerewors 4. Mielie 5. Lekker (lack-er) 6. Kiff 7. Lightie

8. Eina (ay-nah).9. Gogga (gog-ga) Pronounce the “g” as the Scottish “ch” in loch

10. Gatvol! (gut-foll) 11. Dwall (dwahrl) 12. To Joll (jorl)

I guess I am lucky in that I have moved to the city Bristol which is wonderful and full of great people. I am also able to return to my country whenever I can.

How do you feel about your identity? Is it clear where you come from and what you call home?

Click on the picture of Cape Town and listen to me on Screenr talk about a few places of interest.

Long Trek


1. BBQ 2. Air dried and salted beef 3. Sausage made from beef and herbs

4. Corn on the cob 5. Cool 6. Great 7. Young child 8. Ouch or sore 9. Small insect

10. Had enough! 11. To not be paying attention 12. To party/To have lots of fun

Deep breaths

What makes people trust a speaker? What makes the presenter credible and engaging?

Think about speeches and presentations that you have witnessed (or given) and consider what made the good ones good and the other ones less so.

Confidence and showing that confidence is without doubt a key factor. Listening to a nervous, unsure speaker is at best uncomfortable.

Click on the image below to read some top tips from you think of any other ways people can improve their public speaking cred?


Into the Valley

As regular readers will know I am a big fan of Sir Ken Robinson and his views on education. I share his opinion that much of what happens harks back the Victorian era, the need to produce a large-scale workforce with skills specific to those times and in keeping with the resources available in that period of history.

When I found out he had spoken again recently at TED, I was keen to hear what he had to say. I was not disappointed…

Please click on the image below to listen to his presentation. There are no comprehension questions –  just listen and think about what he has to say.

Into the Valley

Go with the flow

Have you tried Lucidchart?

There are freemium and paid for options available and it offers online sharing and collaboration creating organisational charts, mind maps, flow charts and a number of other useful applications.

Why not take a look at a flowchart of the Beatles song ‘Hey Jude‘ by clicking on the image below? Do you ever work online on documents with other colleagues?

© Ryan Pike | Dreamstime Stock Photos


Is your audience too busy?

Then fear not, as help is at hand using the power of infographics.

It might be that you want to illustrate the benefits of studying abroad. Or maybe you want to show a breakdown of customer age groups or orders placed by geographical location. In just about every example you can think of, the presentation of the information will be boosted by an infographic. As a species we like images and they can say so much.

I have been looking at a site called which offers some very easy to use infographic templates that makes creating attractive visuals from data a genuine pleasure.

Click on the image below to see some facts and figures for OISE Bristol over the last 12 months. Do you use infographics in your presentations?