Librarian by Day Bobbi Newman | I'm not that kind of librarian

Presentation Pressure? Too Much? Not Enough?

02.05.2009 · Posted in Presentations

micWhen someone first mentioned this post about presenting – Too Much Presentation Pressure during last weeks T is for Training, my first reaction was that writer is wrong, that there isn’t enough presentation pressure.  But now I’m not so sure.  On the one hand as someone who as sat through more than her fair share of flat out bad presentations – presenter reading the PowerPoint slides, which have too much information on them,  to the audience, mediocre presentations, some good and very few great presentations, I would really love for presentation skills to improve over all.  On the other hand, am I there to be entertained or to get information?  Sure, I think it’s more likely I”ll absorb the information if I’m engaged by the presenter.  But if my true aim is to access the information and knowledge of the presenter I’m doing that even in a mediocre presentation ( I can’t say bad because I’m sure there are some examples of presentations so bad you do miss the point).  I’ve seen some brilliant people that I highly respect speak and not give a great presentation, it happens.

So do I think there should be more pressure for good presentation skills?  In a perfect world where we all had all the time we need to do all the things we want to – yes.  But in the world we have where, we’re all doing too much and struggle to keep up – my answer is no.  If I have to choose, I’ll choose that brilliant, innovative, and forward thinking people keep doing the brilliant, innovate, forward thinking things they are presenting about,  rather than spend their time polishing their presentation skills.

Of course if you would like to improve your presenting skills ;-) :

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2 Responses to “Presentation Pressure? Too Much? Not Enough?”

  1. Hi Bobbi,

    I stumbled across your post surfing out there in the great www. I must respectfully disagree with your position that there shouldn’t be more pressure or emphasis on good presentation skills (of course, I am a communications consultant who teaches presentation skills…so what would you expect???).

    I think you are the exceptional audience member who will suffer through a mediocre presentation, look for the learning and wisdom from the expert and not be distracted or annoyed by poor presentation habits. Many, if not most, do not have your dedication, particularly in a business presentation, and will simply tune out.

    The main reasons I think there should be more pressure put on presenting effectively are:

    1. The presenter squanders a “magic moment” to educate, inspire and lead when s/he causes an audience to become disengaged because of bad presentation techniques.

    2. Doing it right doesn’t take extra time. It takes caring enough about the audience to make sure you know WHAT to do (and not do) to do it right.

  2. [...] enough to attend one — anyone else? At Librarian by Day, Bobbi L. Newman references Bell in Presentation Pressure? Too much? Not enough? in noting So do I think there should be more pressure for good presentation skills?  In a perfect [...]

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