Ending MEGO: Presentations Don't Have to Suck
By Bob Rhubart-Oracle on May 23, 2011
Oracle ACE Director Ron Batra [blog] and Oracle enterprise architect Pat Shepherd [blog], two of the people I interviewed for my latest column in Oracle Magazine, made a point of mentioning the importance of presentations in communicating with IT architecture stakeholders. PowerPoint and its equivalents are certainly the tools of choice in such gatherings, and I've seen them used to great effect. But having endured my share of MEGO-inducing presentations ("My eyes glaze over") I couldn't help but laugh out loud at Keyvan Nayyeri's DZone article The Art of Presentation, in which he shares his opinion that "the majority of presentations and presenters suck."
We all have attended presentations that made us want to go to sleep right away or...that didn’t have any excitement for us and most likely, we were able to predict what happens next.
Nayyeri goes on to offer sound advice to those interested in keeping audiences awake and engaged during presentations. Read his entire article: http://dotnet.dzone.com/news/art-presentation
Of course, sometimes even the best presenter will struggle to engage an audience. I'm rarely called on to present, but on occasion I'm involved in organizing and stage-managing day-long events that involve multiple presentations by others. One of the challenges at such events is that even with excellent presentations, at some mid-afternoon point members of the audience lapse into low-level comas. One remedy I've always wanted to try is to hire a group of bagpipers to burst into the room unannounced at about 2:30pm, raise hell for about 15 seconds, and then abruptly leave. I figure the adrenalin rush should be sufficient to keep people awake until the post-conference cocktail reception.
I hope one day to put that theory to the test...