The Happy Presenter

Most of us are not happy presenters.

Consider the complications: the drill of assembling our ideas, putting them in order, finding that, nope, they’re out of order, rearranging them, developing slides, exhausting our eyes as we create clever little graphics, only to find that they are way too busy, or not interesting enough, or the headlines need fixing. Or, worse yet, deciding not to use slides.

And then the attempts to get the whole damn thing up on it’s hind legs. How ...

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Communicating Complex Data

Even the best and the brightest have trouble communicating complex data.

But when there is a lot of information, there are things that people can do. You can make the presentation more appealing to an audience.

I knew a man–he was a scientist at Rockefeller University. He loved to walk around the office saying “Data, data everywhere, and not a thought to think!”

So when you’re delivering a presentation with a lot of complex data, remember this. Your audience ...

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Power of Examples

The power of examples is huge, and it’s probably underestimated.

Recently, I went to a private equity firm. They were asking me to help sell a portfolio company that they owned.

Of course, the presentation was really slick. They had a bunch of financial terms: EBITDA, CAGR, P&L for almost every month that the company had been in existence. It was a highly quantitative, highly mathematical presentation, and when they finished delivering it to ...

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Facilitating Ad Boards

David Luke was recognized by his colleagues at Pfizer as a great facilitator. He had a standard opening line: “I’m an equal opportunity abuser,” he’d say to the assembled physicians.

“I will be calling on you at anytime on any subject during the meeting. So–heads up!”

It takes a skilled and confident facilitator to use an opening gambit like that, and while it worked well for David, it might not work for every facilitator out there.

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You Don’t Need a Personality Transplant

I believe that scientific medical presentations need to be more dramatic. After all, doctors are talking about life and death. Yet many doctors speak like test pilots: flat as a mashed potato sandwich.

It’s the culture of intrepidness, as if all medical professionals were Steady Eddies who stuff fear and face cold, hard facts with hardly a hiccup.

I recognize the need for distance and reserve in the professions, but the content of medical presentations can be structured ...

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My Kind of Champion Speaker

I have been looking at various presentation websites. I am impressed and not impressed, and I am concerned about the distinction between making a convincing argument to serious people with serious decisions to make, vs. giving an entertaining performance to people who need to be entertained.

Because I accidentally live in New Jersey, my career has been largely in the pharmaceutical industry. It is a highly regulated industry because it deals with serious issues of human health, and on top of that, ...

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