Re: Technical Presentation Skills

Subject: Re: Technical Presentation Skills
From: Bonni Graham <bonnig -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 09:05:34 -0800

Lori Lathrop wrote:

>Okay ... I'll see if I can get this discussion started ....

>First, the best advice you can give to anyone who's frightened about
>giving a presentation is this: Know your subject cold. Know it
>backwards and forwards. Know it inside out. Nothing cures stage
>fright better than having complete confidence in your knowledge of the

Lori gives some excellent advice -- as a performer, I can second
everything she says (I do improvisational and stand-up comedy).

Another suggestion to offer is that if you're is going to be giving
presentations frequently, think about attending a couple of classes on
improvisatonal comedy. I've never been shy (anyone who knows me can
attest to that!), but my work with improv has increased my confidence
tremendously -- if I can handle making it up on the spot, how much
better am I gonna do when I "know it cold"? I've seen VERY shy people
come into the class and experience the same thing.

Another thing is to remember that the audience really is pulling for you
-- they've spent their money to come hear a talk on framises, and
they're ready to hear about framises. They want you to be good -- and
every person in that room is, by and large, willing to give you the
benefit of the doubt (mostly they're glad it's you up there and not
them). There will always be cranks, but you'll learn to spot them.
(Believe me, you've not seen a hostile audience until you've tried to do
standup in a coffeehouse. Or done improv before a singles group where
there's one person to every four-person table and no one will make eye
contact or laugh.)

I'll get some specific confidence-building improv games from my improv
teacher (I don't remember most of the early stuff anymore -- it was over
three years ago and I have a short attention span!) and post them
Friday, if anyone's interested.

Bonni Graham
Owner, Manual Labour
bonnig -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com

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