Friday, June 19, 2009

Speaking My Mind...or Should I Say, My Heart?

In about a month I will be speaking at the National Association of Church Business Administration in Long Beach CA. This will wrap up this cycle of presentations; a whole new one starts in the fall. Since January I’ve given an 8-hour leadership seminar, presented 6 sessions at national conventions, and made over a dozen presentations to individual churches.

I didn’t pursue this speaking gig, but I’m having a whale of a time writing, researching, and delivering presentations. I’m finding out that the old axiom is true: the more you know, the more you don’t know.

My presentation style has changed a lot as well. I am trying hard to avoid the “death by PowerPoint” syndrome. Seth Godin’s comments are probably appropriate here:

A presentation is a precious opportunity. It's a powerful arrangement... one speaker, an attentive audience, all in their seats, all paying attention (at least at first). Don't waste it.
The purpose of a presentation is to change minds. That's the only reason I can think of to spend the time and resources. If your goal isn't to change minds, perhaps you should consider a different approach.
  1. The best presentation is no presentation at all. If you can get by with a memo, send a memo. I can read it faster than you can present it and we'll both enjoy it more.
  2. The second best presentation is one on one. No slides, no microphone. You look me in the eye and change my mind.
  3. Third best? Live and fully interactive.
  4. PowerPoint or Keynote, but with no bullets, just emotional pictures and stories.
  5. And last best... well, if you really think you can change my mind by using tons of bullets and a droning presentation, I'm skeptical.

A presentation isn't an obligation, it's a privilege.

Share your heart and passion, and the information will follow.

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