Presentation pressure

Feb 5, 2009 by

Steven Bell, at the ACRLog, is talking about the pressure of presenting on librarians, 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”).

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4 Comments

  1. I’ve heard you speak and I think your accent is not only lovely but quite easy to understand.

  2. Answer Maven

    What a great site.  I really enjoyed the Presentation Pressure post.  Now I know from experience the more prepared I am the better my delivery.  I have a couple coming up in early April, perhaps I should really get started soon.

    • Thank you Maven. It’s a reworking of my blog for engineering and sci-tech librarians. Since I’m not subject-specific anymore, I re-geared toward academic libraries.

      Now go practice :)

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