Monday, August 3, 2009

Technical Presenters – Make your point

I caught this blog post, Who says technical presentations can't be engaging?, today thanks to Dana Coffey (@crazeegeekchick on Twitter).  My takeaway from the post is that good speakers tell a story. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you just tell stories, what it means is that you are organized and know where you want to go and how you are going to get there.  Think about some good stories you’ve heard or read, the speaker/writer didn’t just wander around, did they?  No, they were coherent and went from point A to point B.  Everyone group of friends has someone who can’t tell a story to save their life (if you don’t know who that person is then you probably ARE that person), and the common theme is that they can’t tell a story without wandering all over the place.  Well, the same principle applies to technical presenting, “A good story has a point”.

The best feedback I ever received about my speaking was in Bible school, when I had to teach a Bible lesson to the class.  At least 3 people in the class said, “I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to learn”.  If that’s the reaction, then you haven’t told a good story.

The point I’m trying to make is that you need to know what you want your listeners to learn, and make sure your presentation takes them there.  If your presentation is “How to create SQL Server Login” stick to the point and don’t do into database roles because they have nothing to do with creating a SQL Server Login.

I hope I made my point.

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