Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Germany! A great trip...

So many years ago I hired a inexperienced but super smart and high EQ member of the team. Little did I know how it would change the trajectory of both our lives (Admittedly probably mine more than hers) She was and is smart enough to be successful in any endevor she took on. I can oly hope that what we have build together allows us both to maximize our families and productivity. More on another post. Recently I was blessed to take my son to Germany and England infront of a business trip. (Probably another post also) but this was the culimination of connections, business consulting and work that has allowed this before mentioned team member the chance to vist home several times a year. Home in this case being Germany. It was such a special trip to see both some tourist attractions in Cologne and to see a less tourist location of Recklinghausen. I have to be honest this was pushing my comfort zone but with having a OG with me (OG being the team member mentioned above) it was quite the experience. From navigating around, taking the trains and so on. Bottom line she made me comfortable even navigating after a day on my own. It was so much more though being able to go to her family's home and get a true local experience. From the walk out to the edge of the housing area to playing a little football (Soccer) in their yard with OG's kids and her sisters. Then enjoying a great dinner with a Russian flair. What a life changing experience and OG will never know how much it meant to me.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Presenting V

Couple of small points for this lesson. NEVER run long. Short by up to 10 minutes (Probably depends on total lenght - if you have 15 min and run short by 10 not great) But what I see time and time again is people get to 3/4 point where they are about bring the impact, then they skip how they got there and oops, out of time! Only thing worse than that is if they run long and say there is 10 min between sessions or if things are back to back and make the entire event run long! You must be prepared to hit your time marks. Assume that people that intro you will sometimes run too long (They are giving event update that takes way too long or such) Be on your mark. Know inside the presentation where you can skip a part to go longer or where you can add an additional story to expand time. This is just good presenting!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Presenting IV

Styles. In the past I have been a fan of lots of slides, don't cover all the items on the slides, have them as reminders of your information and then keep the pace fast. Recently I have been exploring the no slide option. Definitely is more on memory and story but you sure can connect with the audience. Walk through the crowd, get more eye contact and so on. I will let you know how it goes. First trial of this will be in March. I am calling it the "Choose your own journey" I had that thought up several years ago but within the last several months discovered one presenter (Gordon McKenzie) So far it is the only example of this style I have seen.

Quick break from presenting - when you are at the top?

Yep, probably going to be not as authentic as I would like to be on what is going through my head but anyway. Recently as I have continued down my own leadership journey this idea of Boss versus Leader has come back up but in a bit of a different way. When you are trying to lead but a person you are trying to lead moves from team member to bully. (OK maybe bully isn't quite the right word) but they either are trying to take advantage of you or their self awareness is not great. So they don't understand that their actions are the cause of their problems. (Being on time, communicating clearly, setting expectations and so on) So you have to move from leader to boss. Way more direct. This is the expectation and I will hold you to that. No more BS. Here are clear and not to be messed with expectations. Maybe you lead and provide coaching right up until your trust is broken then boss must come out? Then on another front I recently was dealing with a situation where either empathy and trust could be deployed or distrust and strict enforcement (Plus a little Boss/title) ultimately ruled with an iron fist. Hope I don't lose my empathy through the boss situations over time.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Part III of Presenting

The intro. The data is not completely concise. From 15 seconds to two minutes but the message is the same. How you start a presentation makes all the difference. My opinion is you have 30 seconds to hook the audience with Energy A story Having Fun Direction I know that is a lot. So lets talk about what doesn't work for sure. The "Glad to be here hope you are enjoying the..." This adds no value for the audience. Then "I am XXX and my experience is XXX" Sure if you are giving a deep technical discussion - credentials matter but otherwise - Boring! Or a story of how important the presentor is (Unless you are a president - you probably arn't that important I like to start with a story that grounds me with the audience. A goofy story about how I screwed somethign up that everyone can relate to? Bottom line, Hook the audience early. If you are going to invest in one good story, make it the first story you tell!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Part II of Presenting (Topic Ideas)

Where do you come up with topic ideas? For me I am always looking, reading articles or just seeing something that triggers an idea. I then take that basic idea and put it into a OneNote that I have where those ideas sit to see if they still ring true in the future. If I am still intrigued I then write up a teaser for that presentation that on the page has my picture and my bio. That goes out to the world to see if people are interested in hearing that presentation (Usually through industry events looking for speakers) Yep, I book presentations that are not written. Last part is putting together that presentation - that will be the next part of the series!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Presentation Training

I have been doing some presentation training and sometimes you need to go back to the basics. I am going to do a several part series on this (My personal opinion on presenting) First you must be prepared with some basics. If you are presenting to a room. What are you connecting to. Do you have the adapaters> I have a presentation kit. All the HDMI to VGA, USBC, Display port and more. Amazon makes this easy to get the pile of adapters you might need. Next, have the laptop charged. But I always prefer to be plugged in. You never know if your intro presenter takes too long or if your battery isn't like it was from new. You also want to make sure you have power settings for never go to sleeep on PPT presentations (There is a profile for this) Do your Windows updates (I don't want to have the laptop off then when turning it on - it is applying updates) Then make sure you are on a clean boot! I want to reboot close to my presentation so there is no hanging gremlins. Shut off all your messaging apps (Many times I shut off wireless just to be sure) that way you are not getting notifications or people reading your messages when presenting! Then use your own clicker if you can. You can remember better what clicks forward and back, to black the screen and to have a laser pointer if you need one. Just trying to eliminate all the potential problems! Know your screen setup. If you have the "Preview" screen infront of you? Are you using your phone or tablet for notes? With the above, know if you are being recorded. The camera person usually tells you where you can go to (How far and such) Usually they have tape marking! Know if you are using a microphone, where you can go and how far. If you go infront of speakers it tends to feedback! Have your water so if you get a frog during presentation you can go to it! Control your intro (Make sure they know how to intro you (Or in my opinion, not) Take a lanyard off (If you have one) it can be a distraction, bang the mic or such. Again, eliminate the unknown. I prefer not to wear hard soled shoes. Depending on the stage, it can be like tap shoes! I am not a fan of external AV or if you are, make sure you can survive without it! I have seen speakers spend 10 minutes tring to get it going. Not worth the distraction and pain. Know what you are going to do if the answer is "Nothing is working" Be prepared to entertain either way. Assume when putting deck together that screen will be small so make fonts big! This is all BEFORE you present. Next I will dive into the actual building of a presentation.