Sunday, November 7, 2010

Prep time

I'd say that "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs" is a gem. I bought a copy at the National Bookstore after choosing between a presentations book and a photography book. When I learned that I was speaking in a conference, I got the book out of my bookshelf and leafed through it, hoping to find some secret shortcut to good presentations. Alas for me, the author reminds presenters to prepare and rehearse long before public speaking engagements.

So I started working on my slides early on, following the book's advice. I've planned, story-boarded, and assembled my slides a few weeks before the conference. The long prep time allowed me to think through the change in focus and to overhaul the talk after my supervisor and co-workers suggested improvements in its title and in its content. I'm currently on the tenth version of my presentation, and though I'm hoping that this is the FINAL version, I just might (after my experiences in previous conferences) tweak the talk a bit on presentation day.

Now, I guess the only thing left to do is to practice. If I want to get over my stage fright, I have to practice hard to get everything down pat. Steve Job's conversational tone doesn't come naturally, the book says, but is a product of long hours of rehearsals.

That means: timer starts now...