Talks 2.0: Modifying your Creative Process

I am always surprised by the tedium of editing a PowerPoint presentation – even for someone who primarily uses images and no text or fancy animations. Just saving the darn thing takes minutes! Ten to fifteen minutes that I could be copy-pasting photos. Argh! Each time I watch that circle of saving go round and round, I wonder if it would be easier to use an old presentation.

I could have gone the easy way out and re-used my bog talk, but it would really end up being more challenging to adapt to the audience, even though they are both similar groups of people. Every group has different questions, a slightly different makeup, delivery at a different time of day or year. Let’s not forget that we learn each time we talk to an audience. Writing a new presentation allows us to adapt and grow. After a thorough self-led pep talk, I successfully avoided temptation and started from (almost) scratch. I am not creating in a vacuum though, the previous talk is very useful for photos, information, and remembering what went well or did not go so well.

The talk is still saving. Serenity now! At this point in the creative process, I am always happy that I’ve taken my own advice and outlined my talk prior to putting it together. At the very least, I am not putting together content and presentation materials at the same time.

When you are asked to give a similar/repeat talk, how do you adapt your “regular” presentation creative process? Do you modify from the old, ignore what happened in the past, or something in between?

The talk itself is on wetlands for World Wetlands Day. I’ll be speaking at the Stanley Park Ecology Society – so exciting!


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