Presentation Zen

  • Presenters: Pascal Van Cauwenberghe & Vera Peeters
  • Type: workshop
  • Duration: 90
  • Audience: those who are called upon to give presentations and are afraid of speaking in front of an audience. Those who want to make their presentations more memorable. Those who want to convey their ideas more effectively.
  • We need laptops for this session, one laptop per group of 3-4 people. The organizers will bring some laptops, but participants are encouraged to bring their own, with some presentation software.

Learn new techniques for making and giving effective presentations and get your ideas across. Get the urge to become an XP Day session presenter, if you aren't yet.


For the past few years, presentations have been changing:

  • gone are the overloaded slides in unreadable 10pt font,
  • gone, the cheesy animations and effects,
  • gone, the clashing colors,
  • gone, the same old, same old clip-art,
  • gone, the droning presenter reading off his slides in front of a sleeping audience,
  • gone, the boring bullets!
Why would you want to keep on doing that?

You too can have passion, style, stories, design, beauty...

Steve Jobs style

... to really engage the audience and get your message across.

In this session, we have a brief look at some presentation styles (listed below). Then, you form groups and apply one or more of the styles to make a presentation about your experiences at the XP Days.

Each group shows their presentation and gets feedback from the other participants. We then improve our sessions and our delivery.

Some examples of different presentation styles.

The leading site on this topic is Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. His site contains lots of tips and techniques. He links to examples of great design and presentation. He also links to some truly bad presentations and designs. Have a look at the following examples of different presentation and delivery styles:

Takahashi style

Benefits of participating

Get some experience preparing and giving a presentation. Learn and pratice techniques to get your ideas across. If you want to change the world, you need to get people to listen to you and understand you.

Session Outline

  • 15 min: intro with some examples of different presentation styles
  • 25 min: groups prepare presentations
  • 30 min: tryout of each presentation, with feedback for improvement from the other participants
  • 15 min: groups update their presentations
  • 05 min: closing

Movies of the presentations by Lasse Koskela

Gino Marckx steps in at the last minute to present his team's Zen presentation, because the original presenter had to leave early.

Conan Dalton during the rehearsal of the "Beer Sphere" presentation. Switching between the "presentation" and the beer mats was a bit awkward, so...

Emmanuel Gaillot demonstrates the high tech beermats during Conan's presentation, so that Conan can concentrate on the story.