Jason J. Gullickson

Jason J. Gullickson

Choose your own presentation

A different presentation style that begins with questions from the audience.

Instead of a linear progression through a predetermined presentation.  The presentation is broken into sections which correspond with the key topics or points of interest.  When the presentation begins, the presenter asks the audience for questions (presumably they are at the session because they have questions on the topic; if not the presentation can be done in traditional linear fashion).  Questions that are provided by the audience are then answered by the presenter, with the aid accessing the pertinent components of the presentation in random-access fashion.

This allows the presenter to prepare in advance for the presentation while also accommodating the needs of individual audience members to get their questions answered.  This also allows the audience to indicate their interest level in various areas of the subject matter, allowing the presenter to improve the presentations over time by increasing information in areas where more curiosity lies and pruning areas of the presentation which represent less interest.

This is also useful in gaining an understanding of the interest levels of a group.  If used in a classroom, this method allows the instructor to gain insight into the interest and experience level of the class on the subject. This can then be used to enhance or alter focus of presentation of the material to ensure that key concepts are delivered with enough emphasis without over emphasizing things that are well-known territory for the group.

This method could be carried out with existing presentation methods, but it could be enhanced by software that makes creating a “choose your own adventure”-style presentation easier.  It would also be helpful for the presentation software to gather metrics during the performance of the presentation to capture what sections are presented and how much time is spent on eacy.  Deeper functionality could be incorporated, such as audio/video capture of the questions and topic coverage.  This would make it easier to enhance the presentation as well as collect new questions to be answered.