The timing of this course final project about designing fell perfectly in line with my plans to present at EDTECHGZ on digital citizenship in the lower elementary classroom. So, I thought it fitting that I would use this opportunity to create a Zen Presentation that I will be using to speak at the conference on October 27.


To start off the planning process, I decided to buy and read the book Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds to learn more. It was a pretty quick read that was packed with useful information and visuals to aid me in my planning and creation. After reading the book, I was very inspired and I immediately got started.

Garr strongly suggests to begin planning on paper. Sometimes when we immediately go to the tech, our ideas become lost and limited by the tools and templates that we use. Instead, when we plan on paper, you can really let the creative juices flow. So, that is exactly what I did. I started by writing out my main idea I wanted to get across and why it matters. Then started to think of the story I wanted to tell throughout it. After the initial big ideas were mapped out I started planning the individual slides. I wrote out the ideas in order with slide numbers and quick sketches for the images I would use on them. I found this process really helpful for me to get all of my ideas out as well as plan a logical sequence for how it would go. Here are my notes:


Before I actually started making the slides, I needed to figure out what tool I would use. After some thought and trying different ones, I decided that I would design the slides in Canva and then upload them to Google Slides. I chose this because I wasn’t happy with the design features of other presentation platforms. Canva on the other hand has some great design features and options as well as it really intuitive to use. While designing, these are the Presentation Zen principals I kept in mind.

  • Images > Words because of the Picture Superiority Effect
  • Large images that bleed off the edge of the pages
  • Only a few words because people cannot read and listen at the same time
  • Empty space shows elegance and clarity
  • People’s eyes are drawn to faces. Use them to draw attention to your content.
  • Images are best that follow the Rule of Thirds
  • Slides are not meant for the audience. Create a handout to give instead. ( I created a Padlet)

Next Steps

Now that I’m done, my next steps are pretty clear. I am going to write out exactly what I will say for each slide and then add it to the speaker notes. Then I’m going to practice, practice, practice to make sure it is just the way I want it. After going through all of these steps I have decided that whenever I present again in the future, I will definitely be using these same design principals. I can’t wait to share it next weekend!