Just wrapped up the Voices That Matters Web Conference. My presentation today was the last one of the week. Just a fantastic conference with some really great people (New Riders did an excellent job!). Nashville is an incredible place for a conference (had a terrific early morning run on the campus of Vanderbilt University across the street from the conference site; beautiful campus. I'm going to the beautiful city of Wellington in New Zealand soon for two 6-hour seminars (June 30, July 1) hosted by the cool people at Webstock. Here is a seven-question interview I did with Webstock a few days ago. And below is one of the questions from the Webstock interview:
Webstock: Good presentation skills and presenting well are well and good, but it’s really just the sizzle added on top of the substance. If you’ve got a good idea or the right information, that’s all that matters in the end.” What’s wrong with that viewpoint?
GR: Good ideas and information are a necessary condition, not a sufficient one. It is not about dazzle, and sizzle, nor slickness — these are words I abhor. But it is about clarity, and evidence, and engagement, and story. If the content has structure and is true and honest and designed with the audience (or end user) in mind, then chances are it will be a beautiful design as well. It’s not an issue of substance over style. The issue is how do we design visuals (and other messages) that are in balance and in harmony with our narrative in a way that amplifies and augments our spoken words. The best style is the one that is a result of careful reflection on the material and the audience and the selection of a creative approach that is the simplest without being simplistic. “Too simple” can be just as confusing as information overload. The key word is always balance. In all things: balance.
Sydney Australia is on!
Thank you to all the people who expressed interest in hosting an event in Sydney. I may be speaking around the 3rd or 5th at the Apple Store in Sydney if we can swing it (Topic: the process of writing/designing a book), but for sure there will be one public presentation on the 4th of July in downtown Sydney hosted by Step Two Designs. Step Two made this short Slideshare with the details or go here to register. It's a two hour event, but I'll be in no rush if people want to hang around and talk more after the two-hour seminar and discussion.
Presentation Zen at Microsoft
The PowerPoint Team Blog wrote a nice article about my second presentation at Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus last week. That was a really good audience with lots of questions. We did an interesting podcast after the presentation talking about standup comedy and presentation with one of the Microsoft managers who does standup for fun and knows a lot about it; standup has a lot to teach us about presenting better. (Podcast available soon.)
Steve Jobs in 60 seconds (WWDC 08)
I've talked about the solid presentation skills of Steve Jobs so many times (example, example, example); let me just point you to this 60 second highlight real of Steve last presentation at the WWDC in San Francisco earlier this week. Go here at Apple to see the whole thing.