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Rules for Starting Presentations

Kathy Sierra of ‘Creating Passionate Users’ has come up with a set of rules you can use for your upcoming presentations. The premise of her piece revolves around the fact that too many people provide too much context espeically at the begining of the presentation, thus killing the mood completely.

  1. Do NOT start at the beginning! Drop the user straight in to the fray without all the necessary context, and let the context emerge
  2. Show, Don’t Tell – The motivation for why they should care should be an inherent part of the story, scenarios, examples, graphics,
  3. For the love of god, DO NOT start with history!
  4. DO NOT start with prerequisites – Decide what is absolutely, positively, crucial and then… stick it in an appendix
  5. MYTH: you must establish credibility up front – the reader/listener cares about himself way more than he cares about you.
  6. Trying to establish credibility is backwards. Don’t try to get the reader to respect YOU… the reader wants to know that you respect HIM! – You demonstrate it by assuming they’re smart. By recognizing what they already bring to the discussion. By not insulting their intelligence. By being prepared.

Focusing and getting to the point is what many presenters miss out on. Attract your listeners from the very begining, and you’ll get a good hold of the audience throughout your talk.


Categories: Business, Communication


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