A Presentation Is Not a Lecture

A national meeting of the best and the brightest in the field.  A day of powerful research on a topic of urgent importance.

All far less meaningful than it could have been because almost every single one of the presenters–to a man and a woman–made three simple mistakes.

–They arrived with many slides, in some cases more than 40, for presentations that were to be no longer than 15 minutes.

–They crammed their PowerPoints with enough words and bullet statements to fill a book.

–They insisted on reading their slides, instead of engaging in a conversation with the audience.

Why do smart people make these stupid mistakes?  They do it because they are so in love with their research they that can’t bear to parse out a single point or telling fact.  They made the mistake of giving lectures when they should have given presentations.

Presenters understand that if they can communicate three ideas in a single presentation, they have succeeded.  Links to a full slide show or paper can present the details for those who are more deeply interested.  Otherwise, save the lectures for the classroom.

Mark Davis Mark Davis has years of experience writing for leaders at the highest levels of government, politics, business and finance.

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