Dear Presentation Diary from a Panicked Presenter



Notes from a #PanickedPresenter


June 3, 2019:  Dear Diary:  Today my manager informed me I have been chosen to give a presentation to our new CEO as well as the entire team.  I accepted the task with a contrived smile on my face then ran to the restroom to vomit!  The presentation is in two weeks.  I have been assigned the third speaking position in a 90 minute presentation.  I was also told I am allowed 15 minutes and no more than 15 slides.


June 4, 2019:  Dear Diary:  Today I told a lie.  I shared with my manager I forgot about a family vacation so I am unable to present to our new CEO.  Blatant lie.  My manager smiled and proceeded to inform me this will not be a problem because the presentation has been pushed out by one week.  Again, I accepted the presentation task and then ran to the restroom to vomit.  I did not realize the depth of my #publicspeakingphobia.


June 5, 2019:  Dear Diary:  I am consciously avoiding thinking about the upcoming presentation.  I feel so overwhelmed.  I don’t have the slightest inclination as to where to start the design process.


Panicked Presenter


June 6, 2019: Dear Diary: My manager emailed me a copy of an old presentation and recommended I make haste on starting the presentation.  He also shared with me it may require upwards of 30 hours to design a 15 minute presentation.


June 7, 2019:  Dear Diary:  The most amazing thing happened today.  As I settle in to my business class seat on Alaska Airlines #iflyalaska I notice the woman sitting next to me has a PowerPoint slide deck @powerpoint open and is creating what appears to be a presentation.  I continue to indulge in sly glances to my left every now and then in hopes of gaining insight into what she is working on.

The woman notices me noticing her so I say “I was chosen to present to my team in two weeks and I am unbelievably nervous about it.  I couldn’t help but notice you seem to be working on a slide deck.  Do you mind if I ask you a question?”  The woman cheerfully says “Ask me anything you like.  I love talking about presentations.”  I think I may have shed a tear at that moment.  It was as if someone pre-ordained my seating arrangement.  I ask the woman “Where do you start?”  Her face immediately lights up and she hands me the laminated document she has in front of her.  She says “This is where you should start.  By using the most engaging presentation structure the rest is relatively simple.”

She asks a few questions about my presentation and then says “if you start with this structure it shouldn’t take you more than 2 hours to create a basic slide deck.  This presentation design template will save you hours and hours of precious time.”  Then I ask the obvious question:  “Where did you find this template?”  She says: “I downloaded it for FREE.  This template provides the MOST engaging structure for any presentation, on-line or in-person. The template was created with Adult Learning Theory Principles  and brain based science in mind.”  I immediately connect to wi-fi and navigate to Everything Webinar and download the template to both my laptop and my mobile phone.

I handed the laminated template back to her but she suggests I keep it as she has another copy.  She explains there is a laminated version available from this company as well as the electronic version and explains she prefers the laminated version when she travels so she can glance back and forth between the laminated version and the slide deck on her laptop if she doesn’t want to connect to wi-fi.


June 12, 2019:  Dear Diary:  I decided I better start on building the upcoming presentation instead of procrastinating.  True to her story, the woman on the plane was correct in stating it would only take me approximately 2 hours to arrange my slide deck into this format.  Amazing.  As I am referring back and forth to the template I started to feel as though I may be able to pull this off and actually engage my audience.  Engaging.  I believe by using this template I found a much more effective way to design a presentation in order to deliver my message.  Effective.


Can you guess who the woman on the plane was?  It was me!  @kimberliallen.  This gentleman was kind enough to share his success story.  If you have successfully used our Presentation Design Template we would love to add your story to one of our blog posts!


Tune back in to our next blog post to hear the end of his presentation design journey……






About the author: Kimberli Allen

About the author: Kimberli Allen

Kimberli Allen, Principal and Founder of Everything Webinar, LLC, is an international communication and presentation skills expert. She has acquired 20+ years experience as a corporate trainer, coach and entrepreneur (both virtual and in-person). Kimberli has designed numerous customized training programs, worked with such clients as Nike, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, and TAB Products, and personally coached thousands of clients in more than 32 countries. When Kimberli is not leading a training program or launching new products to enhance communication and presentation skills around the globe, you can find her competing in a duathlon or triathlon with her two daughters.