I know I am repeating thoughts written elsewhere recently, but another great a ha from the week here in Vancouver has been participating in conference sessions that were conducted primarily in conversational mode, in engagement with an audience, as opposed to the traditional mode of presentation as lecture, inflicted onto an audience.
This is just just trying to pat the backs of myself and colleagues Brian, Scott, D’Arcy, Jason for the sessions we did at UBC and at NorthernVoice— there was a great round of discussion in Nancy White’s session on Community Building, and the approach Kris Krug did at Moosecamp for the sessions on Digital Photography. These were all ones where the audience played as much as part as the conveners. Where we were invited to be part of the show, not dulled with ti being hit over our heads.
Don’t take me as saying all presentations need to be done Kum Ba Ya style, but we certainly do better in this social-software everyone-participates citizen-journalism environment than letting one person dictate on and on and on.
And if you must take the lectern, and if you must drill us with powerpoint, please, please, please heed Levine’s Law: START WITH THE DEMO! — do not use 90% of the time for background, rationale, theory, reference, pictures of your kids, yadda yadda, get to the stinkin’ demo! Show us the demo! Excite us, entice us, but please do not be playing Killing Me Softly With Bullet Points. There has been sufficient carnage already.
The post "Presentation as Conversation" was originally pushed out of the bottom of a purple jar of Play-Doh at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2006/02/presentation-as-conversation/) on February 14, 2006.