[kwlug-disc] Tips on How to give a good presentation

Robert P. J. Day rpjday at crashcourse.ca
Mon Dec 28 05:05:13 EST 2009

On Mon, 28 Dec 2009, Richard Weait wrote:

> Just a few points on How to give a good presentation from my
> perspective.

  while i'm here, let me toss out another fatal flaw in many, many
presentations -- a lack of choreography.  in order to really work an
audience (and, yes, i know that sounds manipulative, but that's only
because it is :-), you need to start slowly, get everyone involved,
keep adding cooler and cooler content, building to a crescendo and,
finally, wrapping things up as people sit there thinking, "wow, that
was cool!"

  the fatal flaw is reaching that point of rhetorical climax, at which
point everyone is feeling pretty good about the talk, only to have the
presenter say, "now, let's head on to the next topic."  if you've
built up the excitement of the talk where people *think* that you're
getting close to wrapping up and you *appear* to be wrapping up
nicely, to suddenly move on to a new topic and start that whole
process over simply sucks all the oxygen out of the room.  you have
effectively stoked the excitement for a topic, only to dash it by
moving on and leaving it behind.  you can do that only so often before
your audience loses its capacity to get excited anymore.

  that's why i've suggested that talks should be 60-75 minutes long
*max*.  your job as a speaker is not to fully educate your audience on
a particular topic.  it's to educate them *just enough* that they
can't wait to play with that technology on their own.  in short, give
them the basics and let them carry on on their own.  always leave them
wanting more.


Robert P. J. Day                               Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA

            Linux Consulting, Training and Kernel Pedantry.

Web page:                                          http://crashcourse.ca
Twitter:                                       http://twitter.com/rpjday

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