We've been doing some presenting as of late — twice at JAM and once a MinIT (a sub-group of GusDay) — so I've been thinking a bit more about presentations than I normally might — creating, delivering, watching, etc. I ran across this article on presentation structure and was intrigued by how the author used the idea of backwards design. I know that this is a fairly familiar concept when developing a course so was interested to see it applied in a different arena.
The author gives four reasons why giving your conclusion at the beginning of your presentation might be effective.
- It gives your audience the big picture
- It enables people to make decisions
- It allows for repetition
- It holds people's attention
Perhaps a little unknowingly, we used this technique in one of our presentations at JAM when we spoke about how we redesigned MyLutherNet. We started by showing the end result of our redesign. Then, we explained why we undertook the redesign, the process we went through with user testing, and the enthusiasm we tried to build for the launch. By showing the conclusion first, we were then able to build the case for why the end product was ultimately successful. The presentation was well received so I think we can assume that the technique worked.
So this got me wondering, are there other areas that backwards design might be useful?
Image: Flikr, Aaron Gustafson, Creative Commons 2.0