The past few months I've been doing a lot of presenting. I'm constantly trying to improve what I'm doing. I read books, take ideas, and put them into practice. I'm focusing on these areas now:
- The presentation itself - the slides, the storytelling, the content
- The delivery
- Incorporating social media
I've been reading Scott Berkun's Confessions of a Public Speaker which is packed with a lot of tips and wisdom about the delivery. It's also very funny. It covers topics that you don't usually come across in presentation books. For example, how to deal with different physical environments in a chapter called "How to Work a Tough Room."
There is a chapter called "The Little Things That Pros Do" which is about the gadgets. I used to have a phobia about remote control slide clickers because the first time I used one I didn't notice that the button was on the bottom. I wave my hands when I talk and I was advancing slides when I wasn't suppose to. Really embarrassing.
That experience made me play it safe and present from behind a podium using the up and down computer key to advance the slides. (I even put a brightly color dot on the right button so I wouldn't advance the slides in the wrong direction.) But this prevents you from walking around and you're tethered to the podium. So, I went on a search for the perfect slide clicker, fondling them in stores to make sure the clicker button was only on the top.
I found one and have been using it. But, I learned about the ultimate slide clicker from Berkun's book - it integrates a stop watch and timer! This is really useful because if you start walking around - you can't watch the timer on your Iphone that you've left on the podium. You could, I suppose, glance at your watch, but I never manage to do that elegantly. And, I don't always have someone holding up a sign with how many minutes I have left.
So, I've invested in one of these:
After reading Cliff Atkinson's new book on the back channel, what I really want someone to invent is a slide clicker that has wifi and you can read a Twitter stream. Or maybe someone has invested an app that turns your Iphone into a slide slicker.