Wednesday, October 01, 2003

One down, a lot to go

The presentation went off OK and got good feedback. I realised that my fears were for nothing. Was able to complete the ppt slides in time yesterday night and was able to watch 'Malcom in the middle' on NTV7 at the same time. Funny how the lives of some crazy kids can be really entertaining. Watched part of a ridiculous Chinese movie on TV2 after that. But had a nice laugh in the beginning. The story goes like this:
This guy rings the bell and a sexy lady opens the door. He looks like a salesman and makes her a offer that she can't refuse. He tells her that if she buys the remote control at dirt cheap price, she get a TV free. "Wah!" says the girl. Gets the TV. Buy the car wiper and get a car free. Gets the car. Finally he tells her that she can win a bumber prize - a lot of money, if she gets a slogan or number right (I can't recall). Of course, by now greed strikes. She seduces him to get the slogan out and the hero/villain goes along with her and finally emerges from the bedroom covered with lip marks on his face. He gives her the winning slogan/ number and of course the money. The lady thinks that she has won the jackpot and is so happy until her hubby comes along. He then says: "I sent a guy with our new TV, Keys to our new car and some money. Did you get them."
Moral of the story : Greed can get u ------ by a salesman.

Talking about presentations, whether it is a simple speech or a technical presentation, how the audience receives it, depends a lot on the presenter.
I have been to a few conferences and seminars recently and noted that even learned professors and top managers lack presentation skills. I point out a few:
1. Standing in front of the Projector or screen. Its quite funny sometimes and needs skill to read whats projected on the chest and belly.
2. Spending a lot of time on the introduction and less on the body - the actual research or findings (may be a strategy to avoid questions).
3. Putting up slides with loads and loads of words on it. (Some people are afraid that they will forget something and want to put everything on the slide)
4. Small fonts that we need binoculars to read them, even in the front row (Related to no. 3).
5. Using bright designs as background, and the text - invisible .
6. Looking and reading from the slides/screen (Sometimes related to 3).
7. Time hogs - these people go on and on.
This happens often and one time, this guy really spoiled our mood by taking up about 25 minutes during his presentation- ten minutes more than the specified time. The poor chairperson kept ringing the bell but to no avail. Big mouth thought that he's the only presenter.
In the end, one poor presenter (the last) had to leave without presenting and the QnA session was limited to 2 questions - for 5 presenters.
I am sure there's more but thats all I can recall for now.

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