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Steven Bell, at the ACRLog, is talking , more specifically on the pressure of making good and engaging presentations. He wonders if other professions have as high standards as us do and discusses ways to help presenters.
I’ve done my fair share of presentations at this point, from peer-to-peer stuff at my place of employment to international conferences. I think I’m successful enough but I’m no dynamo on stage. I know that, by personality, I’m not the most extrovert person, I could be more animated and engaging. English is not my maternal langage, so I have an accent (oh my. I once got this feedback on one of my presentations: “the organizers should find presenters without accents”. I wasn’t that bad. It was a state conference. I think it was a geographically challenged person).
But, thinking as an attendee, I have myself empathized with a less-than-star-quality presenter. The level of animation for me counts less than the content. If the content is interesting, valid, has value, I can ignore a less stellar presentation.
What works for me: level of preparation (the more the better, including practice), level of nervousness (I’m more nervous when presenting to smaller groups, or people I know/work with), examples and anecdotes (they really work because it makes it more personnable, more “real”).