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What I am passionate about [today]

Posted by Meg Bear on August 26, 2008


Well of course you already know what I’m most passionate about.  Setting and achieving goals.   There is something in me that really likes a BHAG and then making progress toward it.  I also like smaller, more achievable goals.

The most obvious BHAG going on in my life, is the Fusion project, bet you want to know about it too!  But, of course, you aren’t going to hear about it from me, at least not now.  I do believe a day will come when I will get a chance to talk about it though, and that is what has created for me, a new passion. 

I have decided to get passionate about presentations.  Creating them, sharing them and learning how to better communicate.  Part of that thought process has me joining the TalentedApps Blog team and participating on Twitter.  I am also doing a lot of reading and observing.  I’m pretty good at following patterns, so I’ve been searching out people who I think are doing a great job and seeing what I can learn from them.  I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far and get some tips of great things I’m missing.

Some presentations I’ve found compelling

Some Blogs I’ve found helpful

The Executive summary seems to be

  1. Be passionate about your topic
  2. Tell stories don’t read to people
  3. Show images NOT bullet points
  4. Use a remote to advance your slides
  5. Invest in yourself and your material
  6. Practice

This is what I’ve learned so far.  I have been doing some experimenting internally, testing out what I’ve learned and the support I’ve gotten has been very encouraging. 

OK readers, what have I missed?  Sound off in comments with your favorite links and tips.

My next focus will be delivery so if you have any links to excellent delivery style I’d love to hear about that as well (preferably short ones as I am doing this in my “spare” time).

11 Responses to “What I am passionate about [today]”

  1. Amy Wilson said

    Oh – I love this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Louise Barnfield said

    Me too, great topic Meg! I just checked out Stop Death by Powerpoint. I’ve seen a number of similar excellent presentations and recommendations over the years, and this one definitely does the job. Slide #12 says it all: Significance, Structure, Simplicity, Rehearsal.

    Oh, and on the subject of rehearsal and feedback, he should also have specifically recommended an editorial buddy (which could have avoided the typo on his slide #55)! :-) Seriously, I believe having someone proofread the content is as important as rehearsing the delivery. It’s so easy to lose street cred with one itty-bitty tyop! ;-) Even if you have a keen eye, it’s common to overlook one’s own errors, because you read what you expect to be there. Avoidable mistakes distract the audience, so they’re no longer listening to your message, and, even if they are, they’ll probably have less confidence in what you’re saying.

    I could chat with you for hours about this topic, but I’ll resist the temptation in this blog! :-)

    Since you’re turning your attention next to delivery, check out the 10 tips at http://www.expressionsofexcellence.com/ARTICLES/laughlovers_article.htm. I think pretty much any presentation can be improved by the injection of humor, as long as you have an awareness for what’s an appropriate level or type of humor for a given occasion.

    John Cleese (he of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, and subsequently some extremely funny sales training presentations) once said: “”If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at the particular point I make, by laughing at it, you acknowledge its truth.”

  3. Sacha Chua said

    I’m glad you liked the slide deck I put together! =)

    You might also want to check out these books: Presentation Zen, Back of the Napkin, and the just-released slide:ology.

  4. Mark Bennett said

    Sacha,

    Yes, we are big fans here of PZ and we have slide:ology on order. Back of the Napkin looks good as well. Thanks for the recommendations!

    I liked these posts from Tracy (which include very funny Dilberts) about the dangers of taking visualization too far:

    http://www.evidencesoup.com/canopener/2008/06/are-we-taking-v.html

    http://www.evidencesoup.com/canopener/2008/08/sigh-looks-like.html

    Mark

  5. Meg Bear said

    in fact I’m on the 2nd chapter of Slide:ology right now but it is competing with my reading of general trash novels so it’s taking awhile. Was a little thrown off by the idea of sketching since that isn’t something I’m comfortable doing ;-)

  6. Mark Bennett said

    The PresentationZen blog just posted a great item about Kermit the Frog learning Visual Thinking:

    http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2008/08/kermit-learns-visual-thinking.html

    in 1966.

    Mark

  7. Meg Bear said

    @Louise, humaor yes indeed good point. That part *does* come naturally to me as I can rarely be serious. Now humor that appeals to broader audience is probably worth some thought since I tend to prefer dry-geek humor myself which does have a limited audience. Good stuff, fun to get pointers from others, I should have asked sooner!

  8. vivianwwong said

    Lots of cool tips here – thanks for sharing Meg!
    BTW, your recent ppt on OraTweet was great – love your new presentation style!

    Cheers
    Vivian

  9. Mike Teer said

    I especially liked the tip about using images rather than bullet points – I must remember that – and telling stories rather than reading to people. I’ve been trying to do these kinds of things in my presentations (wish I had more opportunities to do them) and noticing when others don’t, and the audience reaction to both approaches.

  10. [...] (Presentation Zen and Slideology being the first two), likely sparked by Meg’s passion about [...]

  11. [...] by Amy Wilson on December 31, 2009 It was just about a year ago that I jumped on Meg and Mark’s bandwagon – to revolutionize presentation giving, leveraging the wisdom [...]

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