I am traveling home after a grueling week of UK pinball, meaning I have spent three days this week in London and therefore made 6 trips up and down the country. Today’s trip to the big smoke was to rehearse a bid team for an m62 STAT. Their presentation is on Monday and today was the final dress rehearsal stage of the process. As sometimes happens the team had decided to remove the clicks in the presentation, feeling that it would be too distracting for the audience for them to constantly be clicking during the presentation. This happens a lot. Making the shift from old style bullet point presentations (Presentations With Visuals) to modern visual communications (Visual Presentations) is difficult; but on the whole, worth the effort. Continue reading →
I was chatting with a prospect the other day who was telling me how now we were coming out of the recession he thought he needed to change sales tactics..
So I pointed him to an old blog of mine from October 2008.. yup 6 years ago right at the start of the credit crunch..
Guess what.. still relevant!
See the post here
PS.. Oceanaire is still as good as ever…
If what you have to say isn’t more beautiful than silence… Shut up. Confuses for Presentations and tweets methinks.
Tweeted 25 Apr 2012
I’ve been looking through my twitter account, which is largely a soliloquy (for an audience of 1.. me) and thought I might occasionally share a collection of related tweets here.. so here is the first collection of 17
Those who think they are good find the need to state it. Those who know don’t.
Advice is cheap But good advice is invaluable (as it is rare.)
What they hear and what you say are not always the same
Win with dignity, Lose with grace
Never underestimate # of people capable of spending 8hr transatlantic reordering bullets\slides & believe they spent the flight working!
Presentations are what happened to the audience, not what was intended by the presenter.
Presentations without structure are not presentations they are ramblings; occasionally interesting often inane always inadvisable!
Simplifying Complexity is genius (& hard); Complicating Simplicity is foolish (& easy); which presenter are you, Wise man or Fool?
Knowing your philosophy is right isn’t important. Knowing it’s wrong is more productive.
Re-ordering slides isn’t presentation preparation, it’s a diversion tactic
If the best thing about your presentation is the design… You’re screwed!
What people feel influences what they do.. Not what they say..
Audiences don’t often care about what you want.
It’s difficult to over prepare for a presentation. But not impossible.
Strive for effective communication not just impressive presentation
Here I tweet, only started, wrote two lines, now departed
Anybody who has attended either one of my seminars or a training course will no doubt be used to me talking about Plato and Socrates.. Socrates believed that the only way of improving our intellect was verbal rational debate; his love of philosophy (the love of wisdom) was driven from a verbal discourse base.
In the UK our political system is based on the same idea, stand up and debate your case. Prime Minister Question time for those who watch TV late at night! Written arguments, white papers, even blogs are not as persuasive nor as revealing as the cut and thrust of a debate. Having to make your case, justify your arguments and think on your feet is central to our political system; our education system and, I would argue, human relationships. I am in agreement with Socrates.
Well I am in agreement with what we think he believed, clearly we don’t really know ‘cos he’s dead! In fact the only reason we know anything about him is that one of his pupils Plato disagreed with him and felt that art of writing your arguments down helps you orgainse them and think about articulating them well. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have written about what Socrates said and we wouldn’t know about it 2362 years later.
So Plato’s quote above about practice applies to debating skills and the art of writing. I struggle to write (probably dear reader.. evidently! lol) and so blogging has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I am mildly dyslexic and don’t (unlike my kids) touch type.
I don’t believe that scripts work for presentations; I do believe that writing a script is a valuable exercise but learning it and repeating it verbatim is counter productive. I coach people to write the script to organize their thoughts (Plato) and then throw it away and get to their feet and practice (Socrates)
And what is funny is that the more we practice this.. the better we get at it. Most people put time and effort into avoiding practising (we call this practice avoidance.. clients often call it playing with PowerPoint!) but at some point the writing has to end and the practice has to begin.
I’ve been thinking about the benefits to teachers or trainers of making their presentations more effective. Clearly for sales people it’s about winning more business, more profitably with less effort, but what about if you are not selling? I know, it’s a strange concept for someone like me who finds it difficult to open his mouth without pitching something, a project, an idea, or a joke but its true some people have to teach.
So why would you want your presentations to be more effective if you are teaching? Better attention from your students, higher levels of engagement, better levels of comprehension, shorter lecture times. Or how about a more erudite approach:
“Less extraneous cognitive load increases the students available free cognitive load for information synthesis thus allowing better and faster building of schema necessarily increasing information retention and recall”
But the thought train led me to recall the best lecture I have ever had. Professor Smith at Nottingham University in September 1987 gave a lecture on standard distribution.. I know I didn’t want to go either but.. he started by having an orderly bring an armchair in the lecture theatre and said it was for later (Visual Cognitive Dissonance ™ at work dear reader, we all listened ) and then said he had two proofs to show us and proceeded to show us a premise and through a process of Induction (one type of mathematical proof the other principal one being Direct) and 6 chalkboards of equations that ended in the proof with a large QED written next to it.. “et voila” he said.. 45 mins into a 50 min lecture.
“Everybody got that?” He said and then rubbed out all but the first and last lines and said “and now for proof number two, For this you will need an armchair”, he pointed, “and a large brandy” which he revealed from under the counter, he sat in the chair took a sip of brandy and said.. “After an hour or so of contemplation like thus.. you will in actual fact discover that the conclusion is entirely obvious.. class dismissed..”
OMG.. Best lecturer I have ever seen and the best lecture I have ever seen and makes me think that actually the question ‘So why would you want your presentations to be more effective if you are teaching?’
Is the wrong one, it should be:
So why wouldn’t you want your presentations to be more effective if you are teaching?
And the answer is:
“After an hour or so of contemplation like thus.. you will in actual fact discover that the conclusion is entirely obvious.. class dismissed..”
Ineffective teaching is an oxymoron.. or perhaps the practice of morons!