You know this feeling on the receiving end… I’m betting on it.

You turn up at a presentation with a gripping title. The speaker starts up. 77 slides, 495 reasons for their case later, you’ve lost the will to live.

Angry Birds or Twitter save you, maybe…

‘We’ve too many Presentations going on in our business’ says my client ‘We have to be faster and more decisive’

We decide to replace Presentations with Participations. We reckon no one in the business need speak for more than 7 minutes before getting active involvement. After all, who stays online that long without doing something or linking somewhere?

An Obvious Quiz

Consider this:

Say you’re presenting a scheme for some investment. For you and your audience, what’s a better use of time, intelligence and the power of conversation?

a) You talk for 20 minutes without interruption


b) You describe your cause in 7 minutes, then invite the investors to discuss and come back with what they think are strengths and weaknesses of your scheme.

Of course b) has risks. They could not like your idea and feedback may be brutal. But if you handle yourself and your interaction well, it can build your reputation. They may like you if not your idea… and you can go back to the drawing board.


And if they do like your idea, they’ve started to actively participate in making it happen.

‘But’ I hear you mutter ‘I teach when I present. Not sell’.

TED talks like this are astonishing, providing us all with free access to great speakers and amazing ideas. As a learning tool – whizzing through 1 or 2 of them in between creating and delivering our own presentations – they are invaluable.

What I’d love next would be TED discourse or dissent talks, where speakers get challenged and their views discussed. And we could join in online.

After all, it is testing ideas that moves them forward.

And where handling people – rather than Powerpoint – matters most.

By szcz

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