Be realistic about your resources

Before you sit down and start creating an elaborate deck of slides, handouts, and multimedia to support your talk, take a moment to step back and take stock of your resources. What do you realistically have the time and resources to develop? Creating effective slides can take a great deal of time and, if you’re not a designer yourself, can require outside assistance in finding or creating the right images.  Do you even have a budget?

Similarly, developing professional-looking handouts takes time and, depending on what’s available to you, help from an outside printer.  Video is an excellent tool for grabbing the attention of your audience, but producing clips that really look good always takes more time, effort, and resources than people expect.  We’re all so used to professional video on television (and even on the web) that do-it-yourself productions look, well, amateurish.  Which is generally not the look you’re going for.

When we’re creating our own presentations we often brainstorm about all of the elements that we’d like to include and then go through a reality check to see what we can actually accomplish in the time we have.  We’d encourage you to do the same so you don’t spend a lot of your time and resources developing something that you wind up not using or, worse, using even though you haven’t had the time to get it quite right.

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