TL;DR (CLIFF NOTES RECOMMENDATIONS)
1. Avoid using fonts smaller than 24 pt (including graphics).
2. Do include your email and/or Twitter handle at the end to ensure attendees can contact you for additional questions as needed.
3. Avoid more than 30 words on a slide (including graphics).
4. Use high-contrast colors for text and backgrounds.
5. Use at least one meme per slide! Ok, so memes are not required, but seriously have fun with it! You were selected because your topic was interesting… there’s no reason not to make it entertaining as well.
6. Practice, practice, practice.
MORE IN-DEPTH RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Have a Power Opening to your presentation; use flare to get the audience’s attention. Make sure flare illustrates the point, use a story, analogy (outside of the cyber security industry if possible), prop, mini-drama, current event example. Props or video clips are a good way for people to remember your presentation.
2. So what? Why should the audience care? Give them the big picture.
3. Let the audience know how your idea/thoughts are different, why should they get on board with your idea?
4. Provide proof: The audience wants to see and hear proof, feel good about your idea/concept. You want someone other than you saying how good your idea is!
5. Use Arial font, it is clean.
6. Keep it simple-
White space: keep layout uncluttered
Photography: place photography prominently
Readability: Write clear and concise
Headlines: Use sentence case in headers
7. Words are only 7% of your presentation power. 55% of impact is determined by body language – gestures, posture, and eye contact. 38% is tone of voice, 7% by the content of the words used
8. These words dilute your presentation. Avoid them. You are the only one speaking so you don’t need these verbal placeholders: allows, hope/hopefully, honestly, actually, sorta, kinda, try, so, um, we believe, I think, absolutely, basically, O.K., like, you know, with that said.
9. Practice is crucial to your success! Even the most seasoned presenter will run through their presentation at least 10 times. If you are not used to giving presentations, practice at least 20 times… Seriously! Don’t feel bad if some of your presentations are given to your (or your kids’) favorite stuffed animals either. It counts! If it is entirely new content you’ve never presented, it might not hurt to have someone one sit through your presentation beginning to end and let you know parts that need clarification or if you have other ‘ticks’ that might take away from your message.
10. Timing. Practice can really help out your timing. Generally speaking, you can count on each slide taking 2 minutes to get through. That’s not saying each slide needs to be 2 minutes, but rather a 50 minute presentation will have roughly 25 slides <- math FTW! Make sure you save a few minutes for Q&A. If you run out of time, no problem! Encourage people to connect with you after the conference (see #2 from TL;DR above). One of the core tenets of BSidesKC is to help people connect!
EVEN MORE HELP?
Although it’s a little on the long side, we also recommend Matthew McCullough’s presentation on 10 Quick Tips for More Effective Conference Submissions and Presentations.
Don’t forget that we are here to help you!!! We encourage all speakers to use us as a sounding board for recommendations as they are building their presentations. Our goal is the same as yours, which is to make your presentation great!