3. Delivering a Lasting Presentation

As an infrastructure architect, I get to present a lot. It can be public speaking in large events such as VMworld, or presenting to a small group. Certainly, all of us who have been working with VMware for a long time can just stand up and present, especially if it’s a technical topic. After all, the content is all in the brain.

However, I learned that the difference between a great presentation and a good presentation is much larger than what I thought. Much larger than the different between a good presentation and an average presentation.

A great presentation has that lasting impact. It goes beyond educating. It changes the listener’s paradigm. They remember the key message long after they have forgotten the specific content. It gets put deep into their heart. Another word, you’ve calibrated their thinking with yours.

So what makes a great presentation?

A great presentation…

  • looks natural (as if you speak from your heart, not your brain)
  • is both humble and authoritative
  • is both funny and deep
  • is both engaging and relaxing
  • is both entertaining and enlightening
  • and truly leaves a moment of truth.

I find that delivering a great presentation is very hard. I normally take around 40 hours to prepare a 40 minute presentation. The less technical the topic, the longer it takes. The less technical the audience, the longer it takes. The less interaction I have (e.g. due to large size), the longer it takes.

I created all the slides manually, I typed every word I want to say in the speaker notes section of Power Point, Then I rehearsed, rehearsed and rehearsed. I time myself if time is a constraint. For an important event, you are right to guess, pretty much the whole thing is memorised from so much of darn rehearsal!

So anytime you see me speak naturally, it was more like virtually natural.

To me, a great presentation is like an entertainment. How long does a singer practice and rehearse for that 4 minute song? Much more than we vrealize or will ever know!

This page was last updated on July 1, 2021 by Stellios Williams with commit message: "Cleaned Markdown syntax"

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