Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2011 brings you much peace and happiness throughout the year. Here's to wishing that 2011 is also the year that more and more of us — researchers, teachers, business people, students — become truly naked communicators and naked presenters. Naked communication is one of the keys to improving our professional and personal relationships, and to gettings things done. Individuals and organizations, and the people they interact with, can benefit greatly by approaches to communication that open up the kimono and let others in. Transparency is paramount. Maybe this is the year, then, in which we'll see a reduction in fear-driven risk aversion, cluttered messages, insincerity, and obfuscation. Maybe this is the year that we'll see an increase in honesty, simplicity, transparency, clarity, and meaning. At least we can do our own small part by removing the barriers to clear communication whenever and wherever we can, and by embracing the tenets of presenting naked. I will continue do whatever small bit I can here to share information and resources and point you to many different kinds of people who present naked regardless of whether they use technology or not.
The Naked Presenter (the book)
A few weeks ago my book called The Naked Presenter was quietly released. "The naked book" as people are calling it, focuses more on the delivery of presentations, regardless of whether you use multimedia and other visuals or not. Presenting naked with technology (or without) is an idea I have shared with people for many years. When I first moved to Japan a long, long time ago, I learned of the great beauty and importance of the Japanese onsen (hot spring). Soaking naked outdoors in the middle of nature, often as snow fell in the winter months, was something I found extraordinary. At this time I learned of a Japanese expression called hadaka no tsukiai (裸の付き合い) which means naked relationship or naked communication, the idea being that naked we are all the same. So in the naked metaphor, then, the idea is to strip away the superfluous and the nonessential and focus on what is important. When you present naked you remove the walls and obstacles to what really matters most, which is to make a connection with the audience, engage them with the content, and create a change. By design, the Naked book is a little bit smaller than the first two books in size so that it would be easier to take with you. The page count is 208 with healthy amounts of white space. Here are the seven chapters below:
- Naturalness and the Art of Presenting Naked
- Begin With Solid Preparation
- Connect with Punch, Presence, and Projection
- Engage with Passion, Proximity, and Play
- Sustain with Pace and Participation
- Finish with a Powerful Ending
- Continuous Improvement Through Persistence
The book also features special 2-page callouts by contributors Phil Waknell, Christopher Craft, Les Posen, and Pam Slim.
Connect, engage, sustain
Assuming that we know our material and that we have prepared well and have kept the audience's needs foremost in our mind, the real questions we have to ask ourselves then are (1) How can we connect? (2) How can we engage? (3) How do we sustain that engagement? Logic and structure are necessary, but so too is an emotional connection. In the book I talk about those aspects of delivery and also the idea of closing strong and improving your own skills through in the long-term through persistence.
Debuting The Naked Book in Europe
The first people to actually get their hands on the analog version of the naked book were here in my home of Japan in November and then in Italy, England, and France in snowy December. During my European tour I gave copies away at a special event in Milano, and later at the Apple store in London, and then after my lecture at Oxford University, and then every single participant at the Presentation Zen European Seminar held on the Microsoft campus in Paris got a surprise free copy of the Naked book as well as their own Presentation Zen Bento Box. (Thanks to Ideas on Stage and Pearson Publishing in France for those surprise gifts.)
A great crowd gathered in beautiful Milano. (More pics.)
Fantastically lively crowd of faculty and grad students at Oxford University. Right: Freezing with my host Andy Cotgreave. (More Oxford pics.)
During the PZ European Seminar held Dec 7 in Paris at Microsoft France.
Signing the Naked book at Microsoft in Paris. More Paris pics here, and here.
Presentation and the Japanese bath
I do not have a presentation up on the web yet which covers the material in the Naked Presenter, but back in August I gave a presentation and Q&A session on the Japanese bath as it relates to presentation at Duarte Design. Also, to get a better feel for the contents of the book, you may Download chapter 4 from The Naked Presenter on the Peachpit Press website.
Watch video of presentation and discussion held at Duarte Design in August, 2010.
本当にありがとうございます! (Thank you!)
Although the book has been out a just short time, I really appreciate the kind emails I have received from around the world. A million thank yous! If you should find the time to write a review or mention the book on your blog, please let me know and I can point people to your post. No word yet on the translations, but German and Japanese versions of the Naked book will be coming out quite soon for sure; I'll let you know about other languages in future. Once again, I hope you have a fantastic 2011 and thank you so much for your support and encouragement over these many years. 今年もよろしくお願いします.