Friday, October 5, 2012

The Boring Banished

Guest post by Ed Maloof, Principal, Content•DesignCollaborative LLC

The ocean’s edge on a fall morning in New Hampshire was the setting for “Banish the Boring: Developing Effective Presentations,” a workshop given by NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger and featuring Wendy Lull, president of the Seacoast Science Center. Dan began his presentation in a most bizarre manner, stating “The most important thing in public speaking is...”  and then just gazed at us, the audience, most intensely!

We didn’t get it, so he repeated the performance, and then queried us. What was he was getting at? Participant Jon Brandon thought he was trying to send a telepathic message. Others answered “The Pause!” or “Eye Contact!” Were these the lessons being demonstrated? No, the important thing was the fact we were all there, eager to become better public speakers.

In keeping with the spirit of the workshop, Wendy then demonstrated the “don’ts” of public speaking, but could not help keeping us amused nonetheless, “I studied snails, not whales, but since they rhymed...”

Credit must be given to the workshop presenters. We were not bored, and in the second half of the workshop we were tasked with putting what we learned into practice by creating a “do-it-yourself conference session.” I hope our presentations were half as fun!

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