Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Presentations Without Pain

I am gearing up for a cornucopia of conferences in August and while I'm mostly looking forward to them there is one thing that gives me concern: the prospect of sitting through several days of terrible terrible slide software-driven presentations. I'm with Rowan on this: is no one paying attention to the extremely good advice on the internets about how to improve your presentations?

At some of the recent conferences and trainings I've attended I've been subjected to

  • People showing slides with graphs labeled in 8 pt. comic sans serif who, when asked what the data meant, answered, "I'm not really sure." Uh. Great. Why are you showing me the data then?
  • People starting out with a stack of 213 slides (all of which were also printed out and handed out at the beginning of the class) and then proceeding to skip through 70% of them saying, "These aren't my slides, these are from another presentation, but some of the information may be good." Why are you getting paid to put on this class again? Thanks for not caring enough to even think about what you'll be wasting my time with, jerk.
  • People reading their slides...word for word...with no word left unread...and no word spoken that isn't on a slide. Um, you know, I can read too. Seriously, I'm a really fast reader. Maybe you should just print your cruddy slides out and I'll read them in the bar over a pint of Guinness rather than sitting in this rickety chair in a freezing convention center.
Please, can't we stop it? We're paying good money for training, to attend conferences, and to take the time to attend your little WebEx sessions. Please, for the love of all that is holy and sacred, make your presentations not suck.

Stop presenting like a mandrill.

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