‘Presentation’ is not a good name for standing up in front of people telling them about a concept or idea.
The word is too impersonal. A ‘presentation’ sounds like something which is not central to us. A presentation is something we are a part of, a bystander to. ‘I’m doing a presentation’ is different to ‘I am making an appearance’ or ‘I have a performance’.
Which is why an artist making an appearance or a performance would never tolerate the inane crap that is somehow acceptable for presentations.
“I’m sorry I have quite a few slides so I will go through them quickly.”
“The text on this slide is quite small, let me read it for you.”
“Let me see, what was I trying to say on this slide”
Calling it a presentation creates an artificial separation between presenter and what they are presenting.
Shouldn’t a presentation really be about presenting ourselves, together with the idea or concept we are trying to put across? All as one?
If we called it an appearance we would definitely take more care not to stand up and show slide of after slide of written notes.
If we were doing a performance we would need to take pride in every aspect of what we shared, because it is our performance. There are no slides to blame.
Often people will string together presentations devoid of any humanity by taking endless facts and putting them onto Powerpoint slides. It is almost as if they are ok with being boring because it is not really them, it is just a presentation.
The next time we have a presentation, let’s think about it differently.
I’m making a performance. I’m making an appearance. I’m putting on a show. My show.
Now, what am I putting into my show? How am I putting my message across and how would I like it received?
After all, it is you that can make the connection with your audience, not your slides.
Image source: http://bit.ly/YKz9DQ
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