Lessons in telling stories

July 24, 2011

cc image via flick by stephee

Read any book on presentations and the concept of storytelling will be in there somewhere actually more than in there, usually it will be quite prominent. I realize I need to work on this skill and therefore I am constantly looking out for great stories, or more specifically great storytellers. Today after church it dawned on me that any presenter can learn about storytelling from The Greatest Storyteller himself, Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »


Will somebody want to eat your pie?

June 26, 2011
Eating your pieI cannot understand why people are so fixated with pie charts. There are occasions when pie charts are useful, but here are more occasions when it is a completely inappropriate. I think many people decide on their chart, long before they actually decide on what they want to show…

Yesterday I discovered builtwith.com which allows you to see which technologies rae used to build any specific site. Just enter the web-site you are wondering about… Great tool for curios geeks like me! They also have a trend site trends.builtwith.com which provides interesting statistics.

However, this post is not about builtwith, but about using some of these graphs in presentations.

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Learning from 10-year old presentation passion

February 16, 2011

Presentations can be nerve-wrecking.  Apparently not if you are 10 years old, your name is Schulyer and you love 3D printing. Watch this video from the Ignite Phoenix conference a couple of days ago… 11 Feb 2011, to be exact, then read my comments and tell me what you think about the presentation. Read the rest of this entry »

Five things your too long presentation says about you

November 24, 2010

Hand of Time by Looking Glass

So your presentation runs longer than planned? What does this say about you? Read the rest of this entry »

What makes good ol’ bullshit?

October 19, 2010

Well the answer is not bulls… Last week I attended a rather academic conference, and as part of one of the keynotes (Jan Dietz) I had to listen to an academic explanation of what is bullshit… Yes, you read correctly: bullshit. So what is bullshit?

Well here is the official slide photographed…

I like the first and third comment very much. Let me repeat them here for the record.

Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about”
“Bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are”

The second point makes sincerity sound like bad thing… which i am not sure i agree with, speaking truly about ones feelings, thoughts and desire can be a good thing, provided it is not about you.  However the focus of the sentence on the slide is on the shift from considering facts to personal beliefs certainly is not good…

For a much deeper discussion read Harry Frankfurt on “Bullshit”. Philosophers clearly have too much time on their hands…

Currently I am reading Chris Brogan and Julien Smith‘s Trust Agents. When they discuss “trust signals” they make the following statement (p. 99) “People have very sophisticated bullshit sensors, and your intentions will be exposed, if not immediately, then later.” I could not agree more: a good reason for sincerity in the good sense of the word. So I was just wondering: if we are so good about sensing bullshit, why has it not been eradicated yet…

What characterizes bullshit for you? How do you know when somebody is bullshitting?

[PS. I hope you don’t think my blog is bullshitting you!]

Two options when using non-standard fonts in your presentations

October 18, 2010

You want to use a non-standard font in a presentation for a specific effect? Yes, well that can be a good idea, but one must be aware of the caveats. The presentation may not display correctly on another PC as the font may not be standard distribution.

Take the slide which I chose for this post. I used this at a presentation at the World Computer Congress. I wanted to give the feel of a stick on label and therefore choose the Blackout font that looked as it was a label generated by an old-style label-making machine. But clearly this font was almost certainly not available on the PC that the conference organizers provided.

So how do you do it while playing it safe?
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Staying cool, calm and collected when the unexpected happen

October 17, 2010

In an earlier post I reminisced on some things that can go wrong during your presentation. If we believe in Murphy’s Law examples of the unexpected is abound. It does not even skip leaders of nations…

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