There is nothing quite like, for me, the quiet and stillness of a Sunday morning. Enjoying the rising sun, before the rise of others. Our neighborhood is incredible for walking, and I took the english pointer out for a walk (me)/run (her) before all of the walking groups and joggers were out and about. My area of Texas is not known for mature trees which is why I enjoy my neighborhood all the more.
I had a great opportunity think back on this week. Thanks to my company, Freeman, I had a chance to spend a couple of days focusing on my presentation skills under the tutelege of Tony Jeary, author of “Life is a Series of Presentations”. So much has been written in blogs about the inadequacy of many of the meetings we attend. This week was a survivor of that criticism. Tony, true to his knowledge and training, is a terrific presenter and it was a pleasure to participate in this small group setting.
Presentation abilities are often talked about as a “skill”. Tony described them a bit differently, as “an asset”; it’s not a skill you have or don’t have, but an asset you can acquire and develop. Seeing the progress of so many in these 48 hours, I concur.
Perhaps the quality of our meetings (and agreeably some of the formats and topics) are only part of the problem with meetings. As I enjoy the post-walk moments while the dog lies prone on her stomach, water dish between her paws, lapping between panting breaths, I’m wondering if…perhaps… the quality of our meetings is impacted most by the neglect of the presenters’ investment in their presentation skills. I’m as guilty as the next, yet often have presented at industry events, as well as within the companies who have employed me.
This was a reconnection with Tony. His book, “Life is a Series of Presentations”, is right on. We are always presenting. THIS is a presentation. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, email, voicemail, handwritten notes, typed correspondence, brochures, etc., are ALL presentations. How much thought do we give to firing off an email to a colleague, friend, spouse, or customer and really give thought to the Presentation we are making? When preparing for a meeting, do we spend a good deal of time thinking about the updates/reports we are going to give…yet little time to thinking about our presentation of them…other than the spreadsheet, slide, or word document we distribute?
Having a presention “coach” , I believe, will help me improve my formal presentations. But this experience has also caused me to consider my other presentations a little differently. Perhaps his words, shared with you as I’m doing now, will help you think a little differently about the many, many presentations you make in a day. His books are available on Amazon.com. I’m not shilling for him. It was a week invested in myself, and I’m taking the benefit given to me, and now sharing it with you. Do with it what you will. I would encourage you that when you are talking with a presenter or speaker on a topic the next chance you have, asked them where they go to develop their presentation skills.
Build your library of resources of being a good presenter. Bye and bye, perhaps we’ll all get better, and meetings and events will improve as well. Then, add the dynamic formats and engaging styles that are being shared as well, and perhaps we will enhance the adult learning takeaways we desire.
My dog really doesn’t seem to care about any of this. She has finished a large dish of water, her heart as slowed, and she is enjoying watching the morning come alive with birds, squirrels, and now the sounds of family rising. Time to go ready the batter and griddle for a pancake presentation to the breakfast table. Peace!