Looking for a new way to keep your presentations simple and to the point? Maybe have a contest element? Below, are 3 different, engaging techniques to keep your audience entertained and educated at the same time. In addition, there is a checklist at the end of this blog for additional ideas.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

TTEDED is a non-profit founded in 1984, meant to bring together people from 3 different worlds (Technology, Entertainment, and Design). Since then, it has become an international phenomenon with sell-out conferences in Long Beach and Palm Springs, California and TEDGlobal in Edinburgh, UK. More than 1,000 people attend each conference over a 4-day period. 50 speakers are given an 18-minute slot each with no breakout groups. Everyone receives the same information, no matter how large the crowd.

These conferences are meant to bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers, who must give their talk in 18 minutes or less via Powerpoint presentation equipment.


PechaKucha was designed by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture in 2003. The concept is that the speaker has 20 slides they can present in 20 seconds each, thus giving the total time for the presentation at 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

PechaKucha (an alternative to PowerPoint) is often used in informal and fun settings where the speaker can tell a great story or give information about a project. It can also be used in training session.


Ignite was started by Brady Forrest from O’Reilly Media and Bre Pettis, Co-Founder at Makerbot Industries in 2006. Inspired by PechaKucha, Ignite’s format allows a speaker to present 20 slides in 5 minutes. In the nature of fun, sometimes a contest is created where a series of presentations are made, allowing the audience to vote on the best one.

Here is a checklist of what you need to do, regardless of which of the above formats you choose.

  1. Choose a Date for the Presentations.
  2. Put a team together to determine venue, emcee, contest coordinator, and on site volunteers.
  3. Determine how many presentations you will have, and whether or not there will be a contest.
  4. Find a location and determine audiovisual needs.
    • Make sure the room is just right; not too small or large.
    • Have a stage with proper sound and lighting rental, presentation services audio visual equipment rental, and microphone system.
    • As the event gets closer, check the acoustics in the room with the sound system.
  5. Recruit Speakers. Make sure they know they have 5, 6:40, or 18 minutes to speak.
  6. Promote. Use all sources that make sense for your budget. Both print and digital marketing may make sense – consider postcards and fliers for print, and your website, blog and other social media outlets for digital.
  7. Put together a schedule.
  8. Put all the Powerpoints, in order, on the presentation services audio visual equipment so the event runs very smoothly.

Event planning in California? Turn to AV Event Solutions, your association, training and corporate audio visual provider. Give them a call or click today!