Presentations, Feb 2009

I love talking to groups about user experience.  It is so much fun.   Slideshow behind me and eyeballs in front, it is energizing and fun.  I wish I could do it all day long.  I have been doing my best to get better and better and the medium, but practice definetely makes perfect.

I have a small class at Stanford that I am the guest lecturer in 2 weeks.  In April, I have been invited to speak at a conference (details to come).  I just wish there were more opportunities.  I really need to record one of these sessions on video so I can see from the audience perspective.  There was supposed to be a video from Adobe from AjaxExperience.  Unfortunately, they still haven’t posted it.  (Patience is a virtue, I keep telling myself)

The thing that I like best is when I think I have made a connection and taught people something.  When they realize that something I say is true, but they haven’t thought of it that way before; this is the golden moment.  I am definetely jealous of guys who go around the world lecturing on this subject, but they have “made their bones”.  I need to have more successful applications under my belt.  I need to prove my worthiness.

In terms of my style, I try to follow some basic rules.

  1. Slides should have few words.  They are there to illustrate the point.  Pictures are best.
  2. Each slide should have a point.  Don’t rattle off lists of things.  Have a distinct valueable take-away from each slide.  In other words, each slide is like a mini-presentation.
  3. Have a sense of humor.  Even if your jokes are lame, you should be happy to be up there.  DOn’t take yourself too seriously.  People like it if you can laugh at yourself and the world.
  4. Tell stories. People love stories.  They give context.  Otherwise you are just positing facts.
  5. Be in the moment.  It’s easy to start thinking, “they don’t like me, I am losing them”.  Stay focused on the presentation and don’t let the voice in your head take control.

I am sure there are more rules, but it’s 9:00am and I need to go to a meeting!  Rules be damned!

5 Replies to “Presentations, Feb 2009”

  1. Are you willing to fly to Buffalo? I have spoken at Columbia three times because they wanted an Alumni and I made myself available (for some reason, most people don’t like doing this). I’m Buffalo would love to have one their “graduates” back. If you could modify your presentation so it’s not about a product or technology, but about management, then I could probably get you on as a guest lecturer at Columbia. Or contact the local student/alumni associations and just ask them. Students love people and professors love not having to do anything for a day. There are also entire classes that only have guest speakers. I took one at the Business School and it was pretty good (it focused on innovative management). Sidenote: my first two presentations were good, but the last one was horrible. It was on data management and I tried so hard to make it interesting, but I think I failed pretty bad. Too bad, so sad.

  2. Hi glen,

    I am assuming from your comments that you have not be given this link …

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1842749445/bclid0/bctid1828032464

    Ajaxian never posted it on their website but I found it by looking for it on the website that hosted all the Ajax conference videos. Its been there from day 1.

    Anyway I really enjoyed your presentation at TAE and have shown this presentation to everyone at my office. Everyone was very impressed with your presentation and we are actively trying to follow the tips provided by you in the presentation.

    I might be seeing you again if the company decides to dish out the cash for Ext Conference.

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