Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Not About You

Psychology Today has a post on presentation tips. It covers a great deal of ground we have already looked at - practice, storytelling, and preparing. There are a few things that they add that are novel. A snippet is below. They also have a section on dressing for a talk.

It’s not about you.

Although presentations vary widely, they all have two things in common.

  • First, the focus of a good presentation is on the needs of the audience.
  • Second, your role as a presenter is to shape the group experience to make sure you meet those needs.

Your success as a presenter will be judged by how good you are at meeting the needs. You’ve run a good discussion when everyone feels they’ve shared and explored their ideas and comes to a different understanding of a piece they read alone. You’ve taught a good class when everyone has a clear understanding of the topic and had their questions answered. You’ve given a good scientific talk when people know what you’ve done, why you did it, and why they should be excited by it. If you’ve done that well, people will also think you’re a good leader, intelligent, and possibly charming, witty, or attractive, but that is entirely a byproduct of how good you’ve made them feel about what the group has accomplished.

How to Approach the Task

There are five main components to pulling together a good presentation:

  1. Choose a goal;
  2. Find a storyline that will help the group reach that goal;
  3. Develop a series of activities or a method of presentation that allows you to develop your storyline. Don’t let your media determine your storyline!
  4. Remember that your role is to facilitate the group reaching its shared goal. This is your primary responsibility!
  5. Remember that it’s not about you. All that matters is the experience of the other people in the room.

No comments:

Post a Comment