Bill Brantley

@ Andy: I agree with Dr. Ferris. It seems to be the trend toward more entertaining presentations that are short on meaty content. Many would like to blame PowerPoint and Twitter but I believe it is that people haven’t learned the fundamentals of giving a good presentation or they have become lazy. I don’t care how entertaining the speaker is; if I don’t get any meaty content or didn’t learn something new, then I was just eating frosting instead of cake and I feel cheated.

You don’t have anything to worry about in your case. Your outline for what makes a great presentation is the basic foundation for structuring a presentation. And you have a good capacity for self-criticism which is another hallmark of a good presenter. Your instincts were right on the keynote. Keynotes set the tone for the event and they should be entertaining and prime the audience for the presentations to come.

If you haven’t already read the following, I suggest these books. I have used them to teach students how to make effective presentations (PowerPoint including) and the feedback has been great:

1) Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
2) slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
by Nancy Duarte
3) Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire
by Cliff Atkinson
4) The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever
by Cliff Atkinson
5) Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
by John Medina