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June 21, 2013

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Peter Eicher

Chuck, excellent advice all around! One detail I think you missed however is practice. Never -- ever! -- walk into a presentation if you haven't given the presentation before, slide by slide, even if that means presenting it to yourself (and maybe the cat as an audience).

I'm amazed at how often I've seen people start presenting slides and it's obvious they've never actually walked thru them before. They start reading the bullets and thinking of what to say as the audience waits (and often rolls their eyes).

"Reviewing" the slides is not enough. You have to present them, exactly as you would in front of your intended audience. Of course, if you've given the same deck many times before, you can skip that. But any new material -- or even a new sequence of old material -- should receive a complete walk through. You'll be more confident, smoother, and often the walk through reveals redundancies or logical disconnects you never notice until you say it all out loud.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Peter -- of course, you're right. I play in bands, and you never bring a new tune out until you've rehearsed it together at *least* two or three times -- even if everyone says they've played it before.

I think there's plenty of do's and don'ts along those lines -- -- basic hygiene -- which I chose to skip and instead go a bit deeper for people who really want to up their game.

Thanks!

-- Chuck

Suresh Kumar

Great blog, Chuck. Thanks for sharing these pointers.

There is also one more element that I have come across that often gets overlooked - the slides themselves. You have to see to believe how people ignore the need to have a consistent look and feel across all slides in their presentation.

Reckon this is falls under 'basic hygiene', as you mentioned above.

Chuck Hollis

Peter, Suresh -- based on your comments, maybe I should write a "10 Stupid Things People Do When Presenting" blog post.

You've given me the first two, and it wouldn't hard to come up with another eight or so: (1) turn off your cellphone, (2) make eye contact with your audience, (3) don't read the slide, (4) don't drone on, (5) make it interesting ... any others?

-- Chuck

Jeremykeen

Nice advice Chuck. When will you be holding a workshop for EMCers? :)

One ask. Can you write a post on how you do such a marvelous job blogging if you have not already? How do you choose topics, prepare, and stay motivated to regularly blog?

Chuck Hollis

Jeremy --

Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but here's what I've written, more about the mechanical side: http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2013/06/the-mechanics-of-corporate-blogging.html

It's hard for me to put the softer side into words.

Briony Hill

This is great from a conference producers perspective - what information potential speakers really want etc. Thanks!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis


  • Chuck Hollis
    Chief Strategist, VMware Storage and Availability Business Unit
    @chuckhollis

    Chuck works for VMware, and is deeply embroiled in all things software-defined storage these days.

    Previously, he was with EMC for 18 years, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Holliston, MA with his wife, three kids and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.
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