RE: Trip Reports re: presentations

Subject: RE: Trip Reports re: presentations
From: Chuck Martin <CMartin -at- SERENA -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 11:39:41 -0700

I disagree with not passing handouts out before speaking at conference

1. For me, at the front of a room speaking, I am no more distracted by a
bunch of simultaneous page turning than I am at conversations on the other
side of the cubicle walls. I am capable of not losing focus on what I'm
doing (and am often passionate about) because of something so trivial.

2. They'll more than likely be taking additional notes, which will be very

3. Better that then uninformed questions. If I'm seeing a presentation and
can only view what's up on screen, especially in the case mentioned, I'd
take it with a huge grain of salt, wondering what was being hidden, and I
might be much more hostile in that case. If the material is there, it can be
reviewed, compared, and otherwise looked over, and the resulting questions
are likely to be more intelligent.

When I've been to conferences, I am always annoyed when speaker notes aren't
in the conference materials for a particular presentation. Being passed out
at the session mollifies me only somewhat, as the conference notes are
typically bound, and extra notes floating around are annoying.

Session notes can also be reviewed beforehand to get a better idea of
whether a particular session will cover a useful topic, certainly more
informative that the typical one-paragraph summary. And the ability for
members of the audience to take notes in-place on copies os presentation
slides is probably the strongest, most invaluable argument for providing
handouts beforehand.

Besides, if audience members are burying themselves in the notes, maybe that
has something to do, instead, with the quality of the speaker.

"I don't entirely understand it but it is true: Highly skilled carpenters
don't get insulted when told they are not architects, but highly skilled
programmers do get insulted when they are told they are not UI designers."
- anonymous programmer quoted in "GUI Bloopers"
by Jeff Johnson

Chuck Martin, Sr. Technical Writer
cmartin -at- serena -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Posada [mailto:jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com]
> Sent: Friday, June 09, 2000 11:03 AM
> Subject: Re: Trip Reports re: presentations
> Do not passout handouts until after you're done speaking. If
> you do prior
> to speaking:
> 1) The rustling of the papers will be distracting.
> 2) They'll have their head burried in the handout and won't be paying
> attention to you as the speaker.
> 3) If your presenation is to present results, such as a
> fiscal financial
> report, they'll see the results (maybe not as good as they
> hoped for) and
> it will color how they listen to your presentation and it may
> make their
> questions more hostile than they'd be otherwise.

> > > I'm writing an article on "Presentation Do's and Don'ts," included
> > will be an
> > > "Exhibitor Do's and Don'ts" for a local, prestigious magazine.
> > > So I just wanted some idea of what other people thought.
> > > Its always good to hear why you liked/disliked a speaker.

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