This week, I’ve been reading some interesting articles to prepare for two new, short class lessons on audience analysis and storytelling. This articles helped me to teach my class about these concepts, so I hope they help you, too!
First, Ethos3 wrote “3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Next Presentation,” and the article gives some advice on how to be a more audience-centered presenter. If a selfish presenter focuses only on himself and his message without concentrating on his audience, he is on the fast track to delivering a boring presentation. My students examined qualities of boring presentations here. Ethos3 helps us to move away from the selfish, boring approach with these three tips. They explain that as audience-centered presenters, we must be transparent and honest so that our audience knows we are human beings. We must focus less on lecturing and droning on and on about what we know; instead, we should convey what we understand (Source). Lastly, we must help people connect with us after the presentation. If you’ve presented well and if audiences want to know more, be sure to give them a place to connect with you (email, social media, blog, etc.) Read Ethos3′s amazing article on how to be a more audience-centered presenter here.
Second, I am using Garr Reynolds’ research for his upcoming book on story to my advantage! His blog posts have all been related to story, so I’ve used these to help craft my storytelling for presentations lesson for my class. His latest post asks, “Should we be suspicious of stories?” Since I love to question everything, the idea Reynolds explores based upon Cowen’s Talk is amazing. However, as Garr Reynolds writes in his review, “Rather than offering a convincing critique on storytelling per se, Cowen seems to be offering a critique on the reliance we place on anecdotal evidence today. And this kind of ‘story’ is indeed something of which we should be very suspicious” (Source). Just as we should question everything, we should question the stories we hear. However, one thing we shouldn’t question is the importance of story to convey a message in a way that resonates with people.
This month, I’m having an expert storyteller, creative writer and photographer Ashley Inguanta, visit my class. Learn more about Ashley’s work here. I can’t wait to learn more from her!
Finally, “80% of Presentations Fail” helps us see the connection between my research focus this week: audience analysis and storytelling. Janice Tomich of Calculated Presentations explains that presentations fail when presenters don’t know their audience and when they don’t tell stories. You can see why I’m so interested in amping up my lessons to my students on this issue! Tomich also says presentations fail when we create ineffective slides and when we lack authenticity in our delivery. Read her entire amazing article here.
What great articles have you been reading this week?