Re: Technical Presentation Skills

Subject: Re: Technical Presentation Skills
From: Sally Marquigny <SALLYM -at- MSMAILHQ -dot- NETIMAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 09:21:00 PST

John Hedtke said:

>can overcome this built-in programming by reminding yourself, in
>moments of extreme stress, that it is relatively rare nowadays for a
>public speaker to be killed and eaten by his audience.

Oh, I don't know, John... I came very close to being cannibalized by a
particularly venomous class I taught once, through no fault of my own!
Seriously, in that situation, I had unwittingly become the scapegoat/sole
representative for a software company with which the students apparently had
some mighty big bones to pick.

Maybe that's another tip: be sure you know your audience's *frame of mind*
before you get up in front of them: Are they suffering from jet-lag? Are
they happy after having had a few cocktails before the presentation? Are
they there voluntarily? Are they there to learn or to be skeptics? Has the
fact of your presentation been explained to them and placed in context so
they know what to expect/not expect?

A lot of this can be done by you at the start of your presentation, much as
a comedian says, "How ya doin' tonight? Every get stuck in traffic?" But
the bigger picture is important to have before you ever even *plan* your

Don't get me wrong, I loved training, and the 9,988 great students more than
compensated for 12 bad apples (or 2 bad apples & 10 okay ones that got

Sally Marquigny Network Imaging Systems
sallym -at- msmailhq -dot- netimage -dot- com Herndon, VA

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