The Friday News Minute!

A weekly gem of information you will be using on Monday!

Published by Andrew Sanderbeck

Managing Partner of The People~Connect Institute

I was thinking about writing about my 50th Birthday and sharing how I have used it as a time of introspection. That will have to wait.

I went to a 2 hour presentation at a local school earlier this week. It was a wonderful reminder to me on how not to give a presentation to an audience. I was so moved by the presentation that I decided that this week's Friday News Minute needed to cover some rules on presentations to prevent you and your colleagues from having to suffer while learning and acquiring information.

So let's get to it. And hopefully we can begin to put an end to meetings and presentations that simply fail to achieve their purpose! -- Andrew

1. Slangy/cutsie things that you think are clever to say and acronyms galore

When I attend a meeting or presentation, I expect you to be and act professional. Our presenters thought it was funny to use slangy/cutise words about the topic and its content. They also used lots of acronyms that weren't fully explained to the audience. Not only does this confuse the audience, it is downright impossible for them follow what is being presented.

Rule on Slangy/Cutsie Verbiage: Don't do it. You aren't cute or funny. You are a poor presenter.      Rule on Acronyms: Don't assume we know what they mean...or that we will ask.

2. "Does that Make Sense?" A very bad question to confirm audience comprehension

It makes a lot of sense to me to go to the websites that you provided. It makes a lot of sense to me that you were able to navigate the websites like you've done it a thousand times. But, even though it makes sense to me, it doesn't mean that I can do it when I try or even remember how you did it. "Does that make sense" confirms my understanding of the material as much as "Got it?"

Rule on Asking the Audience Questions: Stick with "What questions do you have about __________."

3. Checking Your Resources...Ahead of Time

Nothing says I'm a poor presenter more than pulling up links from a website that don't work, and then proclaim it's someone else's fault. Excuses don't cut it. The time for mistakes was when you practiced your presentation.

Rule on Checking Your Resources...Ahead of Time: If you don't, you are bound to make an impression on others that screams things like: "I'm not professional, not promotable, don't value my work or my co-workers".  Practice and preparation are not optional...they are mandatory.

4. Complaining to the Audience

After speeding through your Power Point slides and not explaining them fully, you have found yourself with 15 minutes to spare and an audience so overwhelmed by information that they can't even formulate a question to ask you. So what do you do? Why review...when instead you can give us the negative run down of your current job. You complain about the possibility that you will lose your job. And you also tell us that you work on Saturday's and don't get paid. Yes, that did it. You've now lost everyone in the audience. We are entreprenuers in the audience. We all work on Saturday and sometimes Sunday!

Rule on Complaining to the Audience: Don't do it! Wait until everyone in the audience leaves and then call someone. We not really interested in your problems (we have a few of our own)...and if we did, this wouldn't be the place to bring it up.

Please forward this newsletter to anyone that needs to read it or can empathize with the experience. If nothing else, they may find it to be good for a laugh or two.

Andrew Sanderbeck