The year's best presentations: What can we learn?

My Technology Tools to Support Learning course is continuing our overview of elearning this week.  But I also wanted to link elearning to some of the other topics we’ve been discussing over the semester.  As we move from using Powerpoint for presentations to building interactive learning modules, I thought we would consider what we should bring with us from presentations.  Slideshare.net, one of the Internet’s largest archive of slides and presentations, holds a competition each year for the World’s Best Presentation.  The topic for the slides can be on anything.  The winner this year, Dan Roam, built a presentation about healthcare in America, and it’s all written on napkins (sort of).  See for yourself; I’ve embedded it below.

But the second prize, “Sheltering Wings” by Sarah Cullem, and third place,  “Feels Bad on the Back” by Mohamad Faried, are also excellent as well.  These are the overall winners.  There are also winners for different categories. So, you may want to take a look at those, too.  In particular, you might want to take a look at the one for education.  Here’s the list from Slideshare:

The question…

So after taking a look at a bunch of these (and some of you may have seen them through Twitter, etc. as they came out), I’ve got some questions for you to consider.

  1. What can we learn from these presentations about how to design and develop presentations? In other words, what’ the take away for instructional designers?
  2. What can we learn about how to present a message to others, particularly when we’re not there to elaborate?
  3. How do these (or some of these) presentations echo principles of message design, graphic design, and instructional design?  Or how do they break them usefully?

Let me know what you think.  Jump in and leave your ideas in the comments below.