The lecture begins
Back row students’ droopy eyes
Cozy PPT nap.
Like Haikus, presentations are hard to get right. Haikus are meant to strike a balance between two ideas within a limited amount of space. For presentations, it’s difficult to find the balance between entertaining the crowd and delivering the lesson.
Before I get to Haiku Deck, I need to say something about PowerPoint. PowerPoint, PowerPoint, PowerPoint…we’ve seen it, seen it, seen it. It is the long-time standard presentation tool. Our audiences have slept through it, crossed their arms and slumped back in their chairs when we started reading from the slides, and, in general, tolerated our presence as we relied on the tool to help us explain our reason for being in front of them. I doubt I’m only describing my own experience.
I have been desperate to shake things up, so I recently threw caution to the wind and ditched PowerPoint for Haiku Deck and I may never return to PPT again.
The Haiku Deck team is all about “simple, beautiful and fun.” This app is bursting with energy and creativity. As a library instructor, I feel energized and creative putting the presentation together. Instead of trying to decide which PPT template is the least boring or annoying for the class I’m prepping for, I’m trying to decide between 6 honestly cool themes. Haiku Deck is flashy without being gimmicky. It’s refreshing to know that this company, who began at Startup Weekend, is constantly building on their idea and trying to uncover the secret to great presentations. Unlike PPT, which seems to reinforce the idea of canned presentations.
[Check out my first Haiku Deck for an online Express Training Clinic at LHL.]
Haiku Deck is a lot like writing a haiku poem, but don’t let that stop you. There are rules, but they’re helpful. If you remember, Haiku poems are typically limited to three lines limited to 5,7, and 5 syllables and you have to make an artistic connection within a limited amount of space.
Haiku Deck works in the same way: there are only 3 slides to chose from, and only 5 points can be made per slide (with a limited amount of space for text). Unlike, say, PPT where you can fill every slide with everything you intend to say–I’m so guilty of that. I like that Haiku Deck curbs my tendency to add too much to a slide, and so I’m not tempted to explain the slide (or [gasp] read the slide) to my audience. Instead, I can engage with them with questions and discussion.
About the Images
There are 100s of images to choose from and creative options as to designing a slide, but you have to be choosy and make deliberate decisions about the points you want to make. For example: in my Assignment JumpStart Clinic, for my section on getting organized, I typed in the word “organized” into the search box and got at least 50 options with that tag. I chose the image of the tool pegboard because, to me, it represented an idea that I wanted my audience to grasp.
If I’m lucky, I’m also getting the class to make a connection between the image and the idea; hopefully I’m engaging their brains for enough seconds to get them to hear the point I want to make. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll remember something lasting about finding information in a database. Plus, it just looks cool!
Try Haiku Deck!
There is an iPad version (how it originally began) and also a Web version. There are more templates available on the iPad, six free themes, and you can purchase more for $1.99 each, or $14.99 for the set of 14. It’s so easy to get started. It really is intuitive and fun and you can even download it directly into PPT if that’s what you want to do.
There are lots of options out there: KeyNote, Prezi, SlideRocket, and too many others to list. Try something different! Shake up your presentations!!
Do it for yourself, do it for your audience.