Giving up what we've become
Handouts can set you free

No excuses: There are no boring topics

SpeakerA friend of mine in Singapore sent me a link to a short article on the Macworld editor's page entitled "It's all in the presentation." Interesting comments from someone who has seen a lot of presentations. Go down to the bottom of the article and click on the "Comments on This Story" link to read some more comments from the field.

I like this little quip by author, Jim Dalrymple, referring to some of the poor presentations he's seen: "... People who give presentations like this possess the unique ability to take a potentially interesting topic and put everyone in the audience to sleep."

Contrary to what some people think, I do not believe there are presentation topics which are necessarily boring. Likewise, I also do not believe that great content alone or a "sexy" or "hot" topic by itself will guarantee success. One of the worst presentations I ever saw was on how to get rich! That should have gotten every one's attention, but turned into a snooze fest. On the other hand, I saw a 20 minute life insurance pitch that I loved (never thought I'd admit that).

No excuses. There are no boring topics. If you believe that it's important enough to make a presentation on the topic, then what is the point if no one "gets it"? Sometimes it truly is better to just send a report or write a letter and save everyone's time. This is your call. On the other hand, never think that your topic is just so "cool" or "in" or "naturally compelling" that you can just slide into the talk and win over the audience. We have all seen Hollywood, for example, buy the rights to an incredible real-life event and then produce a terrible movie that fails to tell the story well.


Joshua Zimmerman

If only I could somehow get you, or a clone of you, to show my 300 Level history class how to give presentations, maybe we wouldn't all be falling asleep in class.

PS. I miss Japan, though I got a job with JET. I'll be back in July!


Good news, Josh. Great to hear you will be coming back to Japan. And, I love history, btw. No reason for the prezos to be dull. In fact, my favorite channel is The History Channel (we get it in Japan). If THC can pull together great stories, no reason college instuctors/students can't.

Best - G

jennifer rauch

Only people like myself who attended the school would notice, but there is no "University of Indiana." It's "Indiana University." A common misake!


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