On the plane. Again. Heading home after a few days on the road. 2 days conference. 9 to 5 booth camp. Don't they realize even I cannot be overly nice to everyone for that long...?
Day 2, a bit slow, I tell my colleagues I am going to attend this one pitch. Perhaps besides just giving my back a break I may even learn a thing or two. I chose a specific presentation which seemed to potentially possess the right combination of titles - the title of the presenter as well as the presentation. Session starts at 2pm and I am thinking to myself it is a perfect timing as it is right after lunch, so no one will be hungry and right after lunch so no one will be tired just yet.
5 minutes to Show-Time and there is no, one empty seat. Some impatient buzzing among the audience and then he shows up. Vibrant, smiling, dressed well. All of the elements for a promising performance.
This is where I drift a bit in my writing and remind you dear readers about the ultimate combination of the What and the How. The content as well as the delivery.
You see, even if you are incredibly knowledgeable of history it does not make you good at teaching history. Even if you know your business extremely well it does not mean you can articulate it properly. The one who possesses both the What and the How is the one! The ultimate communicator.
"If you talk about yourself too much you will end up speaking....to yourself"
So Mr. Title clears his throat while checking to make sure the mic is on, every one of the roughly 85 people quiets down, the title slide is on with the title of the presentation and Mr. Title starts introducing himself. I observe every move, every nuance, body language, eye contact. He is pretty good. I peek at my watch and realize Mr. Title has been at it for about 6 minutes now and the title on the slide, right underneath Mr. Title's title himself, is still on the screen. Is it possible that he is the one? The ultimate communicator who will barely use the slides? The one who can combine the content with the delivery? But then I'm thinking....hang on, he's been at it for six...now seven minutes, and didn't say one word related to the title. Of the presentation that is. I look around and people start checking their phones, 3 people yawning and one even got up and left (very rude by the way). Time goes by and Mr. Title is still swirling around his background and...you guessed it...his title.
All in all....14 minutes before he started talking about the topic at hand. Let me spell it out - FOUR FREAKING TEEN!! Out of 1 hour session.
At this point I am still positive. Perhaps there is still a chance. 4 members of the audience I guess are not as optimistic, they pretend to be taking an important call and leave the room.
The title slide is flipped. Looking at the slide I see on the top - his title (but of course) and a couple of bullets. Well-designed slide.
And then, oh then it happened. Then Mr. Title surprised even me. I feel shivering down my spine. Perhaps I am imagining. Perhaps it is a typo. Maybe I simply cannot see well but it was there. Small. On the bottom left. The hara-kiri of the presenter, the ultimate showdown, the mother of all spoilers is there....
2 of 56
KILL ME NOW!! Are you kidding me?
A quick math - he will never make it. 5 more are drifting out the door...
Please, when you are preparing for a presentation, use fewer words and more pictures. And show how many slides you have on your deck ONLY if you have about 3 or 4 slides left. Just trust me on that.
2 of 56!!!!!!!!!
But hey...he had a great title.