Public Speaking Anti-Patterns
Last week fellow CodeBetter blogger Kyle Baley wrote a blog topic called “Presentation Topics” (http://codebetter.com/blogs/kyle.baley/archive/2008/02/08/presentation-tips.aspx)
He did a good job of presenting a number of useful tips for speaking. Well I am going take a shot here and point out a few bad habits that some of my fellow presenters have developed over the years that do nothing but piss me off because they should know better.
1. SHUT UP AND LISTEN – I cannot tell you how many speakers I have seen that interrupt questions from the audience.
If you are going to allow questions in your sessions you need to shut up, listen, and let the person asking the question finish. Don’t interrupt!!!! Don’t ASSume you know what the rest of the question is.
2. REPEAT THE QUESTION – Whenever a question is asked: Repeat it out loud. That dude in the back probably didn’t hear the question from the front row.
You need to be courteous to your audience and let them know what is happening.
3. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT THE QUESTION IS – If you don’t know what the question means or don’t understand it here’s a tip: Say this to the questioner: “Can you say that another way?” This will help you understand what they are really asking.
4. LESS IS MORE – If you have 60 slides for a 60 minute session you are not going to get to the end.
5. DON’T WRITE A BOOK – Slides are supposed to be outlines not dissertations. See #4.
6. DON’T UPGRADE YOUR MACHINE – The week/day/hour/minute before your session is not the time to install that new alpha, beta, omega version.
Just because that beta is ready doesn’t mean your session is. If you do this you deserve to have your shit break.
7. DON’T MAKE EXCUSES – If stuff breaks in your session it’s your fault. You didn’t prepare properly. See #6 about upgrades.
8. DO THE JULIA CHILD – Ever watch cooking shows. They always have one that’s done and ready to serve. You should have a copy of your sample code that runs perfectly.
If your demo breaks you can always go to that copy.
9. ARRIVE EARLY, SIT IN BACK – When you give a session you need to arrive early and check the lighting, sound, projection, etc in the room. All rooms are not created equally.
Check your colors, fonts, etc. Set up your machine with code on it and go sit in the last row. Can you read it? If not adjust accordingly.
10. ONE FOR THE AGILE DUDES- You need to have an outline of what you are going cover. In specifically titled sessions you need to have it planned and not do ad-hoc sessions.
11. FINISH ON TIME – At the last conference I attended there were a number of sessions that ran way long. Don’t do this!!! It’s RUDE! It’s RUDE to the attendee,
RUDE to the conference coordinators and the RUDE to the next speaker.
12. AND FINALLY —– Don’t Ever Ask: “How much time do we have left” – This is my BIGGEST pet peave. You might think it’s cute. It’s not… If you ask this in a session you are a total complete idiot.
If you want the real answer to this question here it is: “Here Mr./Ms./Mrs. speaker let me look in the conference brochure and see what time the session with YOUR FREAKING NAME
on it is supposed to start and end.” Asking this question is unprofessional and silly. Get the point?
I hope this lists helps you as a speaker and attendee.
crossposted from blog.dashpoint.com