Scrum and Presentation Design – Part 4: Summary

Here is the fourth and last part of this multi-part series on Scrum and Presentation Design.

Part 1: Introduction to Scrum
Part 2: Vision, Constraints and User Stories
Part 3: Sprint Planning, Sprint and Sprint Review

In Part 4 we will summarize what we have learned in the previous three parts and show how the elements from Scrum can come together and help in a presentation design project.

Summary

The benefit of using scrum in software development is the reduction in risk. By using short iterations and frequent customer feedback it is possible to reduce the risk of building something no one wants. Short iterations and customer feedback provides for frequent opportunities for course correction and significantly improves the chances for success.

By applying this agile thinking to presentation design and using some of the elements or ideas from scrum when developing presentations it is possible to increase the chances that our presentation is well received. That is, it is appropriate for the audience, it is effective in conveying its purpose and provides a great experience for the audience.

Below is a summary of the different steps.

Step 1: Vision and Constraint

The first thing we need to do when designing a presentation is define our vision. Why are we giving this presentation. What is going to be the main takeaway, the one-liner. Without a clear vision we will most likely not achieve anything meaningful or important with our presentation.

We should also be aware of our constraints. How much time do we have? Do we have a budget? How much money can we spend? Are there any constraints on length, number of slides etc. (scope)?

Step 2: User Stories

User stories are basically about knowing your audience. It is about putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and say what would I like to get out of this presentation. They are written in the form: As a <user> I would like to <action>, so that <value>.

We must identify or specify who our <user> is or rather what characteristics are common for our audience. Are we speaking to high school students or retired people. We must identify what motivates them, <action> and what they value  to appeal to their emotions and create a stronger connection with them.

Step 3: Sprint Planning

In the sprint planning step we take the user stories and break them down into tasks or a to-do list. We also decide how many user stores we think we can complete in our sprint. As mentioned in part 3, in a presentation design project a sprint might be 3 days instead of the typical 2-4 weeks. Tasks might be to research high school dropout rates or popular retirement destinations. It might be picking a color scheme or fonts.

Step 4: Sprint

In the sprint we basically do the work we decided to do in Step 3.

Step 5: Sprint Review

Step 5 is really the key to adding agility to the presentation design process. We present the work we have done to potential customers or audience members. For example in our sprint we may have decided on a color scheme. We can then show this color scheme to potential audience members to get their feedback. Does it work? Is it appropriate? What do they feel when they see it? Is that what we want them to feel?

Depending on the feedback, we then either keep the color scheme or we make adjustments to find something that works. We would do this for all the things we have completed at the end of each sprint.

In the Sprint Review we should also take some time to evaluate our process. What works well and what could be improved. It could be our communication with team members or clients. It could be our file organization. It could be our schedule. All things that relate to our process, the goal being a continued optimization of the process to become ever more efficient.

Once we are done with all the steps we go back to Step 3 and iterate through Steps 3-5 until we have completed our presentation.

Scrum and Presentation Design Overview

Conclusion

I hope you have found some interesting takeaways in this 4 part series on Scrum and Presentation Design. The bottom line is to create presentations that are appropriate for the audience and are designed in the best way possible to have maximum impact to create positive change in the world and people’s lives. By applying agile thinking and some of the ideas presented in this 4 part series we will be one step closer to achieving that goal.

Let me know how your adventures in agile presentation design goes and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me 🙂

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