Obsessive compulsive annoyingly getting old disorder

I am getting ready to go to Istanbul.

I’m speaking at the eCommerce Expo there on Friday (I have the 9:30 to 10:15 slot).

In case you’re in the area, it’s at the Halic Congress Center Pera Building on Friday (31st May).

I’m starting to get nervous.

There’s a scene in The Godfather when Michael stands outside the hospital and lights the cigarette of a nervous henchman. The henchman’s hands are shaking, but Michael’s are rock solid. This is when the young Corleone realises that he can handle the pressure of being a big time gangster.

That’s what I used to be like before I’d step on stage to speak, hands steady with confidence … but now, as I get older, and as I get better, I find myself getting as nervous as hell.

Continue reading “Obsessive compulsive annoyingly getting old disorder”

Mythbusting: Albert Mahrabian and his dodgy percentages

A friend of mine was on a Communications Skills course the other day.

Part of the course covered the importance of non-verbal communication, using Mahrabian’s famous 7%/38%/55% equation showing the relative importance of verbal / paralinguistic / facial expression in communication

This was simplified into a content v style dichotomy, emphasising the importance of style (the 38% + 55%: how it was said) over content (the 7% verbal: what was actually said).

My pal was unconvinced that content was only worth a measly 7% of the message and style a whopping 93%.

This is mixing two concepts together, and not really understanding either: the style v content debate is one thing, the (over-)simplified (usually incorrect) use of Mehrabian’s equation is another.


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Rather long mixed-up list of ten golden rules for presentations

I’m pulling together the presentation for an event I’m speaking at next week, and I’m starting to struggle, and so to keep myself amused, I put together this rather long and mixed-up list of golden rules for presentations:

1. PowerPoint is not a presentation

PowerPoint is a useful tool, but it is not the presentation itself.

It might form part of the presentation: showing visuals, capturing points, keeping the agenda clear etc. – but the presentation is, in approximate order of importance:

  • Your objective(s) (what do you want the audience to do/think as a consequence of your presentation?)
  • The audience (who are these people?)
  • The content (what is the story you want to tell?)
  • The presenter (who are you, what’s your style?)
  • The environment (where will this happen, what are the pros and cons of that?)
  • What tools can I use (not just PowerPoint, but anything else that would help me achieve my objective with this audience in this location …?)
  • How can I amplify this by making noise on other channels (Social media etc.)

That puts PowerPoint – a tool – in second-to-last spot, although I just made that list up with minimal thought, so it could be in the wrong order.

Continue reading “Rather long mixed-up list of ten golden rules for presentations”