This weekend, I retooled my “Introduction to Professional Communication and Presentation” first day material, as the first day of May classes will begin tomorrow, the first day of May. Take a look at a few of the tweaks I made:
We’ll begin by analyzing the presentation medium to understand how and why it’s broken… and hopefully, we can come to accept that the presentations most people give are mediocre at best.
How in the world can we repair the problem when most people don’t even understand or believe a problem exists? We’ll be studying many great people in the course: Garr Reynolds, Nancy Duarte, Seth Godin, Jay Heinrichs, Guy Kawasaki, and Andrew Dlugan among others. What makes these people great? They recognize that presentations are terrible and seek to redefine the medium as something that works. They began the presentation revolution, and they have tools we can use to fix this mess.
We have to accept Jim Endicott’s metaphor: the presentation stool. Duarte’s presentation ecosystem comes from this metaphor. The idea is that presentation is based on three key concepts: effective visual presentation; strong content; and authentic delivery. In the course, we will learn to develop as public speakers in these three areas. Using Endicott’s metaphor, we hope to move from mediocre to great so that our ideas can stand out. The idea is that if we stand above the hot mess that is presentation these days and communicate more effectively, we win.
And last but not least, I’ve incorporated my catchphrase “let’s get real” into lecture material! My February students teased me for constantly telling people “you need to get real,” so I decided to use the phrase to my advantage. Each class, we’ll have “let’s get real” moments of honesty and truth to promote stronger presentations. For example, you think you can “wing” all of your speeches? Honey, it is time to get real.
Superteachers: What exciting things do you have planned for your May classes?