Sep 1, 2009

Best of the Month: August '09

August saw some interesting posts on the blog. There was one on charts where I discuss what is the difference between data and information. How presenting data is not the same as presenting information and that most of the time you end up presenting just data. It is important to realize that converting a piece of data into a nice looking chart does not make it information. Information comes from analyzing or arranging raw data and helps in decision making. You must read the post here.

I also did a survey this month to find out what people dislike the most when they are part of the audience. Chances are that when you present you make the very same mistakes. The results of the survey was interesting. The culprits were the same cliched ones; Too much text on a slide and the presenter reading from the slides. But the very reason these cliched reasons still feature in the top 2 means that you are not learning anything from all the presentation gyaan in public domain. You continue to fill your slides with text ("How can I remove that line, it is so important you see") and you continue to assume that your audience can't English. So you type out 100 words on the slide and then read it. A friend of mine made this remark when she wrote to me saying she hates presenters reading out slides: "... that makes me look like an illiterate fool!!! Everything else I can bear." Strong words of advice for you as presenter. Read the results of the survey here.

I also happened to receive a mail from a colleague warning me of a huge virus that was on its way to destroy the zero sector of my hard disk. I should accept that I enjoyed writing this post the most. You should read it here. A hoax like this has huge learnings from a presenter like you. You can learn the following from this email:

1. How to catch audience attention?
2. How to add credibility to your statements? and
3. Why call for action is so important in all our presentations?

Hope you enjoyed reading the posts as much as I did writing them. I would like to hear from you. Write to me at vivek [at] September has a lot in store. Watch out for interesting stuff within a few days.