Presentations are trending around the world

Yes, believe it or not presentations are trendy.  According to the wonderful book on presentations that I now own (possession being 9/10 th of the law) called Presentation Zen (Author:  Garr Reynolds) presentation evenings are held in 80 cities around the world.  “From Amsterdam and Auckland to Venice and Vienna.”

And in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.  (Although in Cape Town the trend appears to have passed, but it is still going strong in the other two centres.)

Called Pecha-Kucha (pe-chak-cha) the Japanese word for chit-chat, this presentation style if very simple.  You must use 20 slides, each must appear for 20 seconds, and you must tell your story – in tune with the slides in 6 minutes and 40 seconds.  The slides advance automatically.  So when you are finished you are done.  According to Reynolds, “the objective of these simple but tight restraints is to keep the presentations brief and focused and to give more people a chance to present in a single night.”

Pecha-Kucha is to presentations what an elevator speech is to persuasion.  It is all about preparation, understanding exactly what your core message is (simply and completely stripped down to the basics) and why it matters.  You need to tell your message in such a way that you are telling people why they should care.  So the bottom line is that if you cannot tell your story or your company’s story in 7 minutes…

In trying to share the essence of this book, I asked the students  to create a link between words and visuals.  This was the challenge:  “Choose three words that you believe describe you best.  Then create three visuals with no more than six words per visual that explain these characteristics to others.”   As my own presentations are far from perfect, this is my effort.

My three words:  Curious, Independent, Free Spirit

Curious: Photo by Payolover

Curious:  “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” (Walt Disney)

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” (Marie Curie).

“Children are curious and are risk takers. They have lots of courage. They venture out into a world that is immense and dangerous. A child initially trusts life and the processes of life.” (John Bradshaw).

Since childhood I have always want to know the why and what and how of things.  Why are you doing that?  What comes next?  How does that work?

How does this picture relate to curiosity?  There are infinite possibilities as to what one will find at the end of the pier and beyond; and how and why are there as well.

Independent:  “I like being a strong, independent woman, and to be honest, I was never afraid to be on my own.” (Dido Armstrong).

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh”  (A.A. Milne).

Independent: Photo by jaz1111)

True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right.”  (Brigham Young).

Being independent means being able to think for myself, to make choices for myself and to order the world in a way that allows me to make good choices that will work for me.  It is not about being right or wrong, it is not about people agreeing or disagreeing,  it is not about judgement, but about living.

Why a lighthouse as a symbol of independence.  The lighthouse is a symbol of safety, of offering light as a warning of danger to those who are at sea.   A lighthouse stands alone, highly functional and doing service while maintaining a sense of independence and dependability.

Free spirit:  “A free spirit takes liberties even with liberty itself.” (Francis Picabia.)

“Something about her eyes or voice has always suggested the hint of a free spirit, trapped in a Peck & Peck cage, dreaming of making rude noises at public gatherings of Republicans.”  (Jeff Greenfield.)

Free spirit Photo by J Bournay

“To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”  (Helen Keller)

I have always battled with containment and confinement; with rules and regulations and with blind obedience.  Being a free spirit does not mean being without boundaries but about being able to move freely within the boundaries.

similar to the movement of the waves, predictable but unpredictable; knowing and unknowing…