Pondering presentations

Here are some thoughts about traditional presentations from our Sydney associate, Cath Lawrence …

I was at a conference recently and I ended up pondering that we’re at a really interesting stage in terms of what we expect from presenters or speakers and what they have to offer.

Over the 3 days at this conference there were some large group sessions with over 300 people in the room and some smaller sessions with 30 – 40 people gathered together.

There were big name International and Australian speakers as well as a few relatively unknown industry specific speakers. Seeing these different presenters had me thinking that the world of presentations is definitely changing; the question for me is what next?

Over the last few years the impact of storytelling has been an area of focus for leaders and presenters. There are some people who do it superbly, with humour, emotion and a great tale to tell.

My pondering – will this become too formulaic as more people cotton on to the fact that storytelling is both powerful and topical?

Use of technology
In the last 15 or so years the technology that accompanies presenting has changed enormously. A few of you will remember the days of overhead projectors and scribbled on acetates. Can you imagine sitting through a presentation using that now. Instead there are so many options open to us – with such things as Prezi, you tube and animated media bringing presentations to life

My pondering – will the use of imaginative and gimmicky technology take over from the message?

Added extra – Swiss politician Matthias Poehm has set up The Anti-PowerPoint party. He asserts that PowerPoint presentations are actually costing the Swiss economy billions of dollars.

The presenter
More demands are being put on the style of the presenter. Once they needed to stand behind a podium, use their overhead projector and say what they need to say. With storytelling and technology this has changed and it seems that the presenter needs to be comedian, actor and expert all wrapped in to one package.

My pondering – will style take over from substance?

Without doubt the future for presentations and presenters is changing. Any ideas on what it will take to present a clear message well in the next 10 years are welcome.

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