The Importance of the User Experience

Below is the slide deck from a presentation given in Atlanta, GA. The animations and movies fail to play, but the basic gist is still relevant.

Bad UX Examples

Good UX Examples

I also referenced the Android UI/UX discussion presented at Google IO. You can watch this UX presentation on Google Developer.

Unique Presentations

It’s one of the most frequently asked questions I receive when speaking at an event. “Do you reuse your presentations?”

My answer is one I’ve thought about carefully and can answer quickly. No. But I don’t usually leave my answer at that. I like to explain my reasoning why. As I said, it’s a question I have been asked often because it’s certainly the simple thing to do. I travel around the globe speaking in remote parts of the world and many times on the same or very similar topics. Isn’t it smarter to practice, practice, practice the same talk to deliver it with ease and confidence? I’ve decided something different.

Boring Talks.

I believe the problem with this concept is – rather than becoming more prepared, I would tend to become lazy, not thinking or preparing but rather relying on my past deliveries and that it’s an old slide deck I’ve done many times before. And the result would be an uninteresting, boring talk. 

Lessons Learned

This means I must spend the time to prepare for each and every talk. It also means it will take even more of my time because I must, must practice. My high school speech teacher would be proud. He instilled the principles I still use today:

  • Never Write It All Down
    Obviously, it’s important to make an outline, be sure to be clear and concise with your points and make sure you’re coherent. But you should never write your speech out word for word. This makes you attempt to memorize and lose your intensity.
  • Practice and Practice
    Don’t leave it to chance. You should always practice your entire presentation from start to finish. Outloud. You can use a mirror, you can video yourself, but you must vocalize your presentation and practice what you plan to say.
  • Be Self Aware
    You should always know what your body is doing while you speak. Don’t fidget. Keep your hands calm and relaxed. Be aware of any pacing, rocking, or unnecessary body movement.

There are of course many more lessons I’ve learned but I will leave those for another post.

Show Them What They Mean

I believe I am sending a message to the audience when I prepare a presentation just for them. Because it’s more than just a slide deck (as mentioned above), it’s the time, the thought, and more. All these things tell the audience I care about them; they are important to me; and I respect and value the time they are giving to me. It’s a responsibility and an opportunity that shouldn’t be taken lightly or done with a sense of apathy.

Be Real

Most importantly, you can easily be real, and passionate about your message if you follow these steps and prepare fresh presentations for each of your talks. Try it, you may find your next speaking opportunity to be your best ever.