Be a great presenter

“The only reason to give a speech is to change the world”

John F. Kennedy.

Change the world

I have a particular interest in presentation skills and presentation design. Okay, call it a bit of an “obsession.” I prefer “passion.” But how many presentations have you sat through, including classes, that truly had an impact on you…that changed your life in some way? I can’t think of many myself. This summer you will be giving presentations every day, sometimes multiple times a day. While they mostly will not be formal, prepared speeches, you will be challenged daily to be an effective and enthusiastic communicator in front of audiences as large as 700 people and as small as a dozen people.

My presentation guru is a guy named Garr Reynolds. He used to work for Apple computer. He lives in Japan now where he’s an instructor and expert in “presentation design.” Check out his presentation tips and bookmark his blog.

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Be a great audience

Not a great audience

You definitely want to have great audiences, so you need to make sure you are a great audience member yourself. And you are an audience whenever Milly, Jessica, or I are talking to you and especially when we have guests presenting to you, which will happen often in your first week on the job. If someone is presenting to you, give them your attention and your respect, even if they’re not particularly effective presenters. Your engagement – eye contact, nodding (NOT nodding off!), smiling, asking questions – can make a dull topic interesting and could make the presenter more effective.

You reap what you sow, so be the kind of audience member you expect to have this summer.

Read this post by Seth Godin about “How to be a great audience.”

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