“_______, we have a problem.”

Should the name of your organization fill in the blank? On April 14th, 1970 during the Apollo 13 mission, astronaut Jack Swigert uttered the famous words “Houston, we’ve had a problem”.  In the movie Apollo 13 (1995) it was changed to “Houston we have a problem”.  Either way you word it, I think that many organizations may have a presentation problem. This was highlighted to me earlier this summer.  I had the opportunity to give a presentation skills workshop to a group of corporate communications professionals.   Before the session I sent out a pre-workshop questionnaire (see my previous post). The response rate was excellent – 21 of 35 people responded.… Read More

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Webinars: watering down the wine

I wonder how much water you would add to a glass of wine before you couldn’t taste the wine anymore.  I expect that if you have a big, bold red wine it would take more water than if you have a lighter white wine. This analogy can be applied to webinars and presentations. In my opinion, webinars are watered down versions of presentations. Many of the important nuances of human communication are missing in a webinar, like body language, facial expression, the interactions between audience members and even the discussions at the coffee break. The presenter cannot gauge the audience’s response, nor can the audience fully “hear” the enthusiasm of the… Read More

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Is your presentation a futon?

  A couple of years ago I was explaining two of our medical imaging products to a hospital administrator.  I mentioned that one was a “dedicated” system for specific procedures and the other one was a “multipurpose” system.  She immediately commented on the multipurpose system, “Oh I see, it’s like a futon!”  I asked her what she meant and she said it’s in-between, like a futon, “Not really a couch and not really a bed.” A lot of presentations visuals that I see are like futons – not really a document (not enough detail) but not really presentation visuals (too much detail); they are caught in-between. While “multipurpose” may work… Read More

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