How about presenting naked?

Marion Chapsal, who helped me prepare my presentation at Øredev 2009, has posted about How to Give a “Presentation ZEN”. She mentions my book review, Presentation Zen is a great book.

Marion links to an older post in her blog, The Naked Speaker, which is really interesting. It’s about what happens when technology fails and presenting without slides, “naked” in the sense that it’s all about you.

Marion links to Make your next presentation naked at the Presentation Zen blog. That post has a lot of useful information, what stuck with me is this part:

try to share, help, inspire, teach, inform, guide, persuade, motivate

The intention with my presentation about coaching at Øredev 2009 was to share, inspire and motivate. Half of the time was presenting, the other half was questions and answers. I prefer the Q&A part since it becomes a conversation, it’s more interacting with your audience.

A Speaker’s Coach and Mentor

While preparing for my assignment as Speaker at Øredev 2009 I got help from Marion Chapsal who acted as speaker’s coach and mentor.

Marion switched between being a coach (encourage, challenge and support) and being a mentor (give advice, share experience and knowledge) depending on what was needed. She guided and supported me through my preparations which helped me get it all done and to feel confident when it was time for my presentation.

If you shall make an important presentation and want to improve your presentation skills then I suggest that you get in touch with Marion Chapsal.

Øredev 2009 is over

I was at Øredev 2009 November 2-6 and it was a terrific conference with lots of interesting presentations and around 900 attending. It was well organized and I really enjoyed it all.

On Monday I attended a full day tutorial with Marc Lesser.

On Tuesday I prepared the slides for my own presentation. In the evening it was Speaker’s Dinner at Rådhuset. Great people, great food and an impressive house.

On Wednesday I attended the track PM in Practice.

On Thursday I attended the track Aspects of Leadership where my own presentation was. In the evening we got an entertaining presentation by Ze Frank (an American online performance artist, composer, humorist and public speaker).

On Friday I spent some hours at the conference and then went back home.

Note! In the Archives at the Øredev site are videos from previous years.

Note! The videos from Øredev 2009 are starting to show up.

Aspects of Leadership at Øredev 2009

Thursday November 5 was the second day of Øredev 2009. I followed the track Aspects of Leadership which had this desciption:

Leadership is a fine balance between drive and the capability to efficiently and humanely manage people. The speakers invited to speak on this track have extensive experience of leadership in many different organizations and lines of business. You will learn to adjust your leadership style to reflect the circumstances you face, how to use coaching to improve collaboration in your projects and gain insight into the causes of destructive leadership behaviors.

The first session was No More Death by Meetings with Erik Lundh. The program said:

The Planning Pump is the emergent behavior observed for 10 years in and around agile teams that gets motivated to plan two weeks of work in just 60 minutes.

The essence of the presentation – as I understood it – was that if people know in advance what’s on the agenda (and that the meeting will only last 60 minutes) then they will prepare and connect in advance.

Next session was Understanding the origins of destructive leadership – Why bother with bad? with Leo Kant. The program said:

Studies explaining the causes of destructive leadership behaviors are very few. This presentation will cover two ongoing studies of such situational and individual antecedents of destructive leadership behaviors. One of the studies is conducted in a normal working environment. The second study investigates the antecedents of destructive leadership behavior in a crisis management simulation.

Leo Kant talked about constructive (good) leadership versus destructive (bad). Passive leadership is considered destructive. What’s interesting is that:
• Good and Bad are not opposites on the same scale.
• Bad and good co-exist.
• Bad is stronger than good.
• Most leaders do both.

My own presentation was titled Project success by helping project members realize their full potential and my core message was that Coaching brings out the best in individuals and in teams.

After me was Situational Leadership on Projects: Adopting Leadership Style to Conditions with J. Davidson Frame, PhD, PMP, Academic Dean at the University of Management and Technology, Arlington, Va. The program said:

On projects, you need to adjust your leadership style to reflect the circumstances you face.This presentation offers a framework for identifying appropriate leadership style, based on such factors as project size, time horizon, risk, complexity, novelty, and level of team cohesiveness. It also points out that you don’t need to have great charisma to be a good leader. Transactional leadership is often good enough. If you are really good at what you do, this will gain you followers.

We got an engaging introduction to Situational Leadership. He mentioned that Transformational leadership (think Martin Luther King) is 5% and Transactional leadership (think Jack Welch) is the remaining 95%.

Ending the track was Leif Dagsberg from Wenell Management AB who talked about ABC in Projects.

“A” stands for the activators and relates back to what actions we can take to make a preferred behavior happen. “B” is the behavior as a result of an activator. “C” means that we need to support the individual with consequences such as motivation. Psychological research tells us that If we want to change a Behavior, 80 % of the impact is related to our way of working with the Consequences of the changed behavior in comparison with working on different Activators.

Note! In the Archives at the Øredev site are videos from previous years. The 2009 videos will be there too.

PM in Practice at Øredev 2009

Wednesday November 4 was the start of Øredev 2009. I decided to join the track PM in Practice which had this desciption:

Project Management is about identifying and building effective relationships with the key people and groups on which project success depends. Project Managers focus on two sets of responsibilities; managing the team and ensuring tangible project deliverables and business value. Listen to a Case Study that describes and explores the learnings of old truths, combined with an agile approach, or to the true story of how large organizations have implemented Scrum and agile methods.

The first session I attended was titled Good is the Enemy of Great – a case study of continued success. It was presented by Hans Selén, Program Manager at IKEA. The program said:

As professionals we all strive for good results and achievements. But how do you accomplish repeatable project success and day-to-day operations in IT programs involving between 25 and 80 persons? And how do you improve when you have delivered reliable service of business critical applications around the clock and 6 projects, all with the agreed scope and quality, on time and on budget? And how do you utilize the agile approach and still use the good things you have learned over the years?

The enemy of all IT-projects is size, complexity. That led them to set a maximum complexity at 8-10 people and 8-10 months. I like this comment: Anyone can start a project, the trick is to finish them.

The next session I attended was The Manager’s Guide to Agile Adoption with Mike Cottmeyer (Agile Project Coach, Process Methodologist, PMP Certified Project Manager, Certified ScrumMaster). His presentation was about:

A roadmap for agile adoption that begins with teams and demonstrates how teams work together to deliver more complex projects & portfolios. Mike will expand the team concept to include capabilities & show how capabilities can be organized to optimize value across the enterprise value stream.

Then I attended Agile Adoption at Enterprise Level with Petri Haapio who now is Director Coaching at Reaktor Innovations in Finland. He talked about his experience from Nokia Networks and the desciption said:

The true story on how large enterprises have implemented Scrum and Agile methods and the result. Are there any metrics? Are the companies more effective? Who benefits? How to deal with resistance? Which roles are pro and which roles are negative to these methods. All these questions are answered from an enterprise view and with strategy in mind.

Note! In the Archives at the Øredev site are videos from previous years. The 2009 videos will be there too.

Are you frightened or eager to speak?

Marion Chapsal sent me a link to “Are You A Hero At Public Speaking And Don’t Know It?” which is an interesting story around public speaking.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because your heart is racing and your tongue swells up inside clenched jaws that you are frightened. Try clenching your toes; if you can do that you are ready for blast off. Incidentally, it isn’t the toe clenching or touching thumb against forefinger that makes the difference.. it is the fact your mind is still in control enough to remember the test. If you can remember the test in the face of your most awful fear, and pass it, then you are a hero.

Touching thumb against forefinger helps check if your mind still is in control. Another idea is to use some Mudras – Hand Gestures. The Apana Mudra is grounding, Prana Mudra gives energy while Hakini Mudra helps thinking and concentration.

The article has an advice around the microphone that’s worth remembering:

When you go to the lectern I want you to reach out and touch that microphone for just a second so you will remember its purpose is to connect you with every person out there in the congregation. You have something important to say, you want it to be heard. That microphone is your best friend.

Visualize your presentation as a starfish

Marion Chapsal sent me a link to Be a Starfish Speaker which gives this interesting suggestion:

Visualize your presentation as a starfish. Your central message is the middle and your main points radiate our from there. If you get off track, just return back to the center.

Sarah Gershman points out that a speak needs a central message. She writes that:

Next time you prepare your content and each and every time you practice your speech, first review the central message of your presentation. You should be able to state this in no more than one sentence.

If you can create one sentence that sums up your core message it will be much easier for your audience to remember.

I like the starfish as a symbol for a speech. There is a central part, your core message, and the arms represent a handful of points you want to make.

Credit: Photo Starfish on the Beach.

Presentation Zen is a great book

I have read Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds. It’s a beautiful book in itself and terrific when it comes to its topic. The book gives lots of examples, it is inspriring and very well written. Presentation Zen is the kind of book one returns to for reference as well as for new ideas.

I have made some notes while reading the book, things that stuck this time.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci

Communication is about getting others to understand why you are excited. Communication is the transfer of emotion.

Make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them.

What’s your point? Why does it matter?
If the audience remember only one thing, what should it be?

Simplicity is the essence of clear communication.

Bring everything back to the core message.

You have to believe in your message completely or no one else will.

Garr Reynolds has a blog with the same name, Presentation Zen, that I suggest you subscribe to.

Marion Chapsal recommended this book to me. We talked about books around presentations and she wrote If I could recommend only one this would be THE ONE! I am glad I followed her advice since I really love this book.

Get Presentation Zen at The Book Depository.