Friday, February 12, 2010

Presentation == Performance

Malcolm Gladwell is a great speaker. He has appeared on the Moth (twice), he has a great TED talk as well as a great Pop!Cast talk. He sound effortless, relaxed and he sucks you into his stories. So how does Gladwell do it? A reader of the blog sent us this excerpt from LifeHacker.

"Afterwards, I broke through the autograph-hunters surrounding him and asked him how he managed to time his talk so beautifully - so that it ended bang on 45 minutes, without ever looking at his watch. He answered - "I know it may not look like this. But it's all scripted. I write down every word and then I learn it off by heart. I do that with all my talks and I've got lots of them."

It sounds like a most elementary sort of advice—just memorize it!—but it contrasts sharply with the "put a few bullet points down on a piece of paper" camp that most people belong to when it comes to getting ready for a presentation."

This bit of advice really takes things full circle. We always dread the presenter to who goes to the podium or the front of the room with the presentation printout (or worse a laptop) cradled in their hands. Why? There is a good possibility that they are going to read right off that paper or screen. So one rule of thumb is to go up to the podium with some note cards (or your phone) with just bullet points. This way you do not forget your points but are forced to speak not talk - forced to tell a story.

Now Gladwell does the exact opposite. He writes down every word of his talk (no bullet points). However you will notice he goes to the podium with out any paper (or laptop or phone). He speaks his story - which he must have practiced many times.

One open question we have at the blog is how often do people practice before they go up to speak in sabha? We wonder what the percentage nationwide would be in all the mandals? Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post! One thing I would add is for each speaker to remember that this presentation, prasang varnan, MC is a platform - one unique chance to make a positive impact and do our best. When enough times go by where we deliver mediocre content and lose sight of today's unique opportunity, we miss out and lose sight of our potential. When we respect each sabha and give it our best, we can see the difference.