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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Everything's So Meta

I just had a look at Brett Tabke's kickass (if mindblowingly extensive) tips for conference presentations. Really great info - and many of us veterans have to remind ourselves to prepare and pay attention to the "don'ts," just as much as any rookie.

Then again (you knew that was coming, eh Brett?), sometimes a little voice inside me marvels at how everyone judges everyone else nowadays on their presentation P's and Q's.

I think I made great strides from (if not quite taking literally) Seth Godin's powerful screed Really Bad Powerpoint. After awhile though it's amazing how much second-guessing and mental holding-up of scorecards you get at these things. And you'll sometimes hear it said of someone that "so-and-so is a really great presenter" (like Reagan, or Clinton?) when that person had absolutely nothing of substance to say.

So I have a small hope that people attending the conferences will also be willing to cut someone some slack if they bring some solid info to the table, and that speakers will continue to be willing to bring that solid info, even if they risk having people shake their head in pity for their unhoned presentation style. I think we can all use more coaching on our presentation skills... but for the rookies out there, I hope you won't just "fake it til you make it"... make it good. And while you're at it, let's go for original. :)

At some of the "un-" conferences, PowerPoint is now banished, in favor of a "dialogue." Unstructured, to me, doesn't make for more democracy or more spontaneous outpourings of wisdom, though. I think I'm with Brett. I think by and large, speakers should prepare, and work on being better at delivering their material. Q&A and the bar is for dialogue.

Brett, your post was definitely both original and good. Who else would care enough to provide a real-world manual for presenting while hung over?

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