June 11th, 2005


Presentation pointers

Some good advice from recent discussions and good speakers:

Start with a joke. No matter what the speech is about and who the audience is, a good speaker's task is to entertain the audience. While entertaining, the speaker can also educate, convince, or inspire.

Use methaphors to prove major points or communicate complex ideas. Great example from a recent speech of our CIO: imagine a client asking us to help him climb up Mt Washington. Different groups would come up with different solutions:

  1. Start implementation immediately: no planning, let's just go up the route this seems shortest from here (will run into a problem because there are Alpine Meadows on the way, which you'd have to go around);

  2. Use latest technology: figure out what the actual shortest route is and climb there (this requires doing a very difficult Tuckerman's Ravine climb);

  3. Staff augmentation: drive up in a car (it costs more, but there are no unexpected difficulties along the way);

  4. Outsourcing: take the train up (costs even more and you are dependent on the train schedule);

  5. Client-focused planning: ask the client what is critical to them (speed, ease of getting there, safety, ability to enjoy the sceneary on the way) and what are their constraints and come up with a blended solution, for example one climbing up but in a relatively easy hike.

Tactical: during Q&A always repeat the question first. If standing behind the podium, rock back and forth for emphasis. Hand gestures should be used sparingly, but can be very effective for emphasis.

Any other thoughts/advice?

(no subject)

Mark Twain's quote: "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."