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Ace the Technical Presentation2010.04.28

    How many hours have you suffered sitting through boring presentations? You are not alone. Search Google for the words death by powerpoint, and you will discover nearly 1.4 million sites referencing this phenomenon. Of course it has nothing to do with the software PowerPoint, and everything to do with its abuse by people who force feed information to an audience that would gladly take the nearest exit if they could.


    You might argue that for some subjects, the need to be accurate and convey technical or legal information overshadows the need to be interesting or entertaining in a presentation.


    If you have ever attended a conference, business meeting or presentation, chances are you remember the siege mentality, having to endure slides covered with data and text, boring presentations read from the screen or script, and one-way lectures with a powerful sedative effect.


    There is no better way to kill or waste a business opportunity than to bore people to death. David Ogilvy (1911 - 1999), the famed British advertising executive and co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather, also known as the Father of Advertising said, "tell the truth but make the truth fascinating." The same can be said for the technical presentations.


    If you believe that technical presentations at conferences by engineers, scientists, bureaucrats, manufacturers, professors, lawyers, doctors, or technical experts must inevitably be boring, then it is time to see examples of some of the world’s greatest presenters, who also happen to work or teach in technical fields. These people are making a difference, and their presentations are riveting.


    Jane Chen has spent years in the field of health issues in the developing world. CEO of the social enterprise Embrace, a social entrepreneur and TEDIndia Fellow, she delivered a moving speech that illustrates how a technical presentation can carry great emotional impact, by talking about how technology affects people. Watch her presentation on TED: "A Warm Embrace that Saves Lives" at:


    Hans Rosling is a Professor of Global Health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. He was voted by Foreign Policy Magazine to be one of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers of 2009. He is a master presenter of one of the most challenging subjects to present well, statistics. Watch his TED presentation debunking myths about the developing world with real data, like nothing you have ever seen at:


    Walter Lewin is a Professor of Physics at MIT, but one who has attained legendary status as a master teacher of what is arguably one of the most abstract and technical subjects in the world. He is the Physics Professor you would be lucky to have, a superstar in his realm, and a great role model for anyone who wants to become a world class presenter on technical subjects. Watch one of his many great videos and interviews on YouTube at:


    These speakers are master storytellers, as well as masters of highly technical subjects. Their passion and enthusiasm are contagious, and in their presentation style they are definitely world class. They are heros and models of what could be called introvert expert power, the presence that comes from authority and mastery of a subject matter, combined with the passion to present it well.


    They could also be great models for Japanese speakers who may not feel comfortable with speaking styles popular in America that favor the extroverted approach of the entertainer, the comedian, and the motivational speaker. Master technical expert speakers prove that you can be yourself and still be great, without having to copy a style that really doesn’t fit you. They are living examples of how you can ace the technical presentation.


    If you have a message to convey, tell it in a way that reaches the hearts and minds of your audience. Show how technology affects people and your audience will be all ears.


    World Class Speaking is not just just for motivational speakers and people with great stage presence. It is a process that works for anyone that learns how to apply it. To find out more, visit


    William Reed






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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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