10 tips for Achieving Presentation Zen on Stage
Imperfections, mistakes, & the courage to overcome them

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Happy holidays, everyone. Below is a little video montage I put together just for family and friends a couple of years ago that captures a lot of the feeling of Christmases I had as a child. These images are from my grandma's 8mm film camera shot in 1958. This was a few years before I was born, but in the film you can see my three brothers, Mark, Matt, and Todd. Both my mom and dad are in there as are three of my grandparents. You never see my dad's mom because it was her camera and she shot all the film.

My mom's birthday is December 24, so you can see some birthday clips in there too when she was about 30-years old. (My mom passed away in 2010; my father died when I was a kid.) The tradition then was to go over to the grandparents house for Christmas presents on Christmas eve (and also have birthday cake). I never knew my grandfathers as both of them died just a couple of years after these shots were taken, so I never experienced "going to grandmother's house for Christmas". My grandmother (the woman behind the camera) committed suicide when I was just a baby so I never knew her, though I am sure she held me and kissed me as grandmothers do to little baby grandsons — but those memories are gone of course. This makes these video images just that bit more bitter sweet (for me at least).

The footage has no special effects — the poor lighting, poor camera work, over exposure, etc. are all just part of it, but they add to the nostalgic feel. (The song in the montage is Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea available on iTunes.)

Christmas is my favorite holiday and the most sentimental time of the year. I dig it now, but as you can see from the photo below, my first experience meeting Santa did not go so well.


Merry Christmas! Or as we say here in Japan, メリー クリスマス!



Rob Hooft

Meri-kurisumasu to you too!

Rondina Muncy

Merry Christmas, Garr. The video looks very much like the pictures I have of my childhood family Christmas gatherings. One of the funny parts was my dad bringing home a tree every year and flocking it in the garage. They didn't sell flocked trees and he would use the reverse suction on the vacuum to blow the flock on. (Something else I don't see around.) I think he was out there swearing every time he did it.

I'm a professional genealogist (yes, there is such a thing) and want to let you know that you are becoming a big thing in the professional community. There are several of us that push you on to our fellow colleagues to help them improve their PowerPoint and web designs. Thank you for helping improve the thousands of presentations we watch and deliver each year.

Brenda Hayes

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Year! Glad to stumble upon your blog. I am starting a new website and your input is very helpful. Keep posting!

David Folkerson

Happy new year, Garr. I'm really enjoying your blog so far. It's great. Really happy that I found it. I especially appreciated your tips on storytelling and hooking your audience early in your last post. According to John Medina in Brain Rules, we should also be hooking them again and again, every 10 minutes, as this is the amount of time the human brain can actually focus properly without needing another attention grabbing jolt. The quotes you used throughout your article were spot on as well.

Thanks for sharing.


David (formally of Tokyo)

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