Saturday, January 26, 2013

A presentation skills experiment

So, the course, I mentioned did happen. And I tried a different approach this time. The last time I had a 50 slide presentation for 4 hours. But when I saw the same slide deck now, I found myself cringing. So, this time, I tried to bring out the learning from the attendees. So, I used a series of videos to bring out the learning.

And now, that they had observed the right way to present, the solution to how they could present came from themselves. And I found the audience feeling very comfortable as it went on. 4 hours went away so fast, I could not imagine. There was a lot of peer to peer learning and discussion - I barely had to talk.

So, was the experiment successful - yes, I think so. But there is still some refinement that can happen as I figured out in this session.

But the big message that I wanted to give the audience was 'Be yourself'. And this is something we dont often do. The few train the trainers I have attended often want you to make so many changes to yourself that it is feels very difficult. But, if you are getting the basics right, a lot of other things, like accent, stance fall in place - and at that point, it is far better to be yourself and authentic than be somebody else in front of your audience!

Think of all the cricket commentators. Think of the best. They are all there - being themselves. Michael Holding uses his accent to his advantage. Harsha Bhogle, uses his knowledge of cricket and diction to great effect - he uses the fact that he is not a 'cricket great' by making the others talk - and the people love it. Henry Blofeld, Boycott, even Sidhu - the best are mostly being themselves (hmmm..theme for a future post).

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