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Episode Two - Drafting & Collaborating

Turning a presentation proposal for Slate Stage or Slate Summit into the actual presentation involves careful planning, organization, and effective communication. Here's a step-by-step strategy to help you create a compelling presentation:
  1. Review Your Proposal: Start by revisiting your original proposal. Remind yourself of the main points you intended to cover and the objectives of your presentation. This will help you maintain focus and ensure that your final presentation aligns with your initial intentions.
  2. Structure Your Presentation: Organize your presentation into a logical structure. A common structure includes:
    1. Introduction: Introduce yourself, the topic, and its importance.
    2. Background: Provide context for your presentation, including any relevant background information.
    3. Main Content: Break down your content into key points, each supported by evidence, examples, and data.
    4. Conclusion: Summarize the main points and reiterate your key message.
    5. Q&A: Prepare for potential questions from the audience.
  3. Consider Your Audience: The Slate community is wide and varied. Provide diverse entry points in your presentation for your audience. People in leadership positions will be looking for higher level reasons to move forward with a Slate project, while on-the-ground users will be looking for the technical details needed to implement in their instance. Within reason, try to have something for everyone.
  4. Limit Content: Avoid overwhelming your audience with too much information. Focus on key takeaways and supporting points. Less is often more. People will not remember the code you provide, but they will remember your approach to a project and the problems you solved. Give them a way to get the details later.
If you’re paired up with others outside your institution for your presentation, here’s some advice for your collaboration:
  1. Clear Communication: Establish open and frequent communication channels from the outset. Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations for both you and your colleague. Some people just split the presentation time and give individual presentations, while others give a team presentation, taking turns presenting slides and building off the ideas shared by the others. Now it the time to decide how’d you want to move forward to avoid conflict and disappointment later.
  2. Establish a Timeline: No matter how you choose to move forward, you still have a shared deadline to meet. Determine a timeline for communication and deliverables now so everyone’s on the same page.
  3. Be Flexible: Your co-presenter may get a new job a month before your presentation. The main point of your presentation may lose relevance after Technolutions releases a new feature. The Slate community still has something to learn from you, so take a breath and get creative. We’re all rooting for you and appreciate your generosity in sharing your expertise.

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