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At DrupalCon Washington DC you will be exposed to hundreds of interactions and ideas. There is absolutely no way for you to remember every thing that will happen. Some experiences will stick in your mind despite of the cacophony of the conference. Hopefully some of these memories will be of the amazing presentations that will be delivered at DrupalCon.

What is it that makes a presentation memorable? And how can you, as a presenter, become the experience that is remembered? After 20 years of teaching and delivering presentations I continue to learn about what makes a good presentation. Based on the mistakes I've made and the successes I've had, here are my recommendations for your next presentation:

• If you are excited about your topic, I will be excited about your topic. If I am excited about your topic, I will remember your topic.
• The more times you deliver your presentation, the better it will be. (You should practise your delivery at least twenty five times according to some.
• Prepare everything you want the audience to know. Once you've prepared the whole story, cut your content in half. And then cut it in half again.
• The meat of your content should be available for people to read after your presentation. I don't mean your slides. I mean your content. Write a supporting HOWTO article or blog post to go along with your presentation.
• Humour isn't required, but it definitely helps. As do train analogies and free schwag.
• Engage your audience, ask for questions, and end early.

There is no "best" delivery method for presentations. Some talks have hundreds of slides such as Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture talk and Dick's presentation on Identity others, such as, Guy Kawasaki's presentations use only a few slides. Bill Strickland's TED Talk uses repeated phrases common in call and response sermons, whereas Jill Bolte Taylor uses body language (and a human brain) to explain her experience of having a stroke. Some presentations contain very little data whereas others, such as the one delivered by Hans Roslingmake statistics dance. It doesn't matter which delivery method you use so long as you are able to convey your passion for the topic you are presenting.

If you are not sure which method to use, use no method at all. Present naked instead. Tell the audience the story of how you gained your experience with this topic and the lessons they need to know. Keep your story simple without dumbing it down. And keep it short.

Theorists on experiential learning recognize there are many stages to learning. Regardless of which theory you think is right, you will likely agree that not all people learn the same way and at the same pace. A successful presentation is one that allows for multiple ways of engaging with the material - a mixture of chalk, talk, and time for reflection. Conference attendees are going to be slammed with content. The more you can break the monotony of session-break-session-break-session-brainexplode-session the more successful your talk will be. For each point you need to deliver consider the best way of delivering that content. Enhance your presentation with graphics where it is appropriate. Assume your internet connection will fail. Opt for screen casts instead of live demonstrations.

The stage is not a classroom, a book, an article, or a television mini-series. It is merely an efficient platform for you to tell a story you've probably told many times before. The audience has gathered to hear your story and to participate in the shared experience of the telling of your story. If you overwhelm people with slides stuffed full of words, people may leave with nothing more than an exploded brain. Be genuine in the telling of your story and people will leave looking for the next chapter.

If you want more presenting tips, I'll be giving a workshop the day before DrupalCon DC, Tuesday, March 3 from 4:00 - 6:30 pm, that's open to all DrupalCon attendees and will take place at the DC Convention Center.