I really like Olivia Mitchell’s site Speaking about Presenting which has this introduction: The aim of this blog is to help you with your next presentation. You find:
– Helpful articles to help you with every aspect of your next presentation
– Reviews of books and blogs on presentations and public speaking
– Analysis of great speeches and presentations.
I am scheduled to speak at Øredev 2009, an IT Conference for Sharing Knowledge.
Øredev is the premier conference in Europe focused on the software development process. Nearly 1000 programmers, developers, engineers, educators, testers and managers gather to share their knowledge and experience.
My presentation is scheduled on November 5 in the track Aspects of Leadership and is titled Project success by helping project members realize their full potential. I intend to talk about how coaching can be used to improve collaboration in projects. A rough outline is in the program:
• Laying the foundation and ensuring common definitions.
• Coaching the PM to develop him professionally and as an individual.
• Coaching a project team as a group, as well as the individuals within the group.
• How the PM can develop coaching skills and use them in his work.
This is my first major public speech which is somewhat horrifying. My own learning process will result in blog posts about presentation in this blog.
Update November 8, 2009.
The presentation went well and I realized that I really like the role of speaker, talking about a subject that matters to me. I had the benefit of working with a speaker’s coach and mentor which helped a lot.
There’s too much emphasis these days on productivity, on hyperefficiency, on squeezing the most production out of every last minute. People have forgotten how to relax. How to be lazy. How to enjoy life.
It’s possible we’re trying to get more done because we love doing it — and if that’s the case, that’s wonderful. But even then, working long hours and neglecting the rest of life isn’t always the best idea. Sometimes it’s good to Get Less Done, to relax, to breathe.
We do need to relax and breathe. No one runs their car engine on full throttle all the time, why do it with yourself?
Leo lists some useful tips on how to relax and ends the post like this:
Step by step, learn to relax. Learn that productivity isn’t everything. Creating is great, but you don’t need to fill every second with work. When you do work, get excited, pour yourself into it, work on important, high-impact tasks … and then relax.
Now I’ll do what I do on a regular basis, it’s also in Leo’s list of tips, I’ll go for a walk.
The stickiest idea in presenting and public speaking is that the meaning of your message is communicated by:
* Your words 7%
* Your tone of voice 38%
* Your body language 55%.
These figures are based on a formula first proposed by Albert Mehrabian in 1967.
I think we have all heard these numbers in connections with presentations, that How (tone, body) is more important than What (words, content). But Albert Mehrabian makes a reservation:
Please note that this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e., like-dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable
Max Atkinson’s Blog: Body language and non-verbal communication has a great cartoon strip and raises these questions:
1. How come it’s much easier to have a conversation with a blind person than with someone who’s completely deaf?
2. How come we can have perfectly good conversations in the dark?
3. How come telephones and radio have been such spectacular successes?
4. How come we have to work so hard to learn foreign languages?
I had taken the formula more or less for granted (heard it often) and I am pleased to see that I was wrong. Words do matter!