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cbrandtbuffalo (4462)

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Perl programmer at the University at Buffalo.
Tuesday August 02, 2005
10:00 AM

Damian's Presentation Aikido

[ #26031 ]

Many other people have already commented on Damian's presentation Aikido talk and I agree with the general consensus that he's got a great handle on what makes for a good talk. It isn't necessarily obvious that Damian would be able to give such a talk just because he is a good presenter himself. There are plenty of strong presenters who would be hard-pressed to describe their art in such a clear, point-by-point fashion.

I give a decent number of presentations and the nice thing about Damian's talk is that his suggestions are fine-grained enough that you can just focus on one or two and get better.

I think his explanation of the Zen approach to presenting for the audience and not for you is right on. That's always how I've approached it and even if things don't go exactly as planned, I think an audience can sense if you're really up there for them or for yourself. They are much more forgiving if you can connect with them.

The hardest part is pulling it all together consistently, yet effortlessly, and Damian said as much. As with anything that is difficult, the only way to get all of those points down is practice. If you want to design better slides without looking at all of his notes, put together more slide presentations. If you want to vary your pacing and not read slides to the audience, practice your presentation, out-loud, many times.

It's not easy, but the outcome is worthwhile if you need to or want to give good presentations. And through some hard work you can save yourself and your audience some pain from suffering through bad material.

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