Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Episode 1: Presentation Skills

In this episode, Bart and Pete wax philosophical on positive presentation qualities and the things we hate about bad presentations.

Direct download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/geekingafterdark/Geeking_After_Dark_1.mp3

Podcast Summary

  • Bart and Pete introduce themselves and explain that everyone should love their podcast.
  • Just a couple of dorks at a technology company.  Very, very stream of consciousness.
  • We don't feel like we have fantastic presentation skills, but we know what makes other presentations suck.
  • A Technology expert does not a good presenter make...
  • Be careful to not bullshit when you're presenting to your peers -- they'll know when you're faking it.
  • Um, yeah.  Fillers.  Everyone hates them.  Why do we do those verbal tics, anyway?
  • TED-talk quadcopters have balls.  Pete almost broke out laughing while trying to explain about balls on quadcopters.
  • Bart has a hyperactive filler detector. "umumumumumum"
  • Bill Clinton has one critic: Pete.  He hates Clinton's  "EXPLOSIVE inhale of breath."
  • Whenever Chelsea Clinton talks, Bart believes she's talking directly to him.
  • Pete goes into pseudoscience and compares public speaking to a computer doing memory retrieval.  He also wishes he could read from a script and not sound like he's reading from a script.
  • You should record yourself and listen to yourself.
  • Your presentation always goes faster when you're practicing it.  You will spend more time presenting than you did in your practice round.
  • Review your post-game footage.  Learn what you've messed up and work to fix it.  Be your own best critic.
  • Pete only got two surveys returned from his presentation.  He's not sure if most of the people in his presentation at LOPSA-East were asleep.  Fill out those presentations, people!
  • Steve Jobs was an awesome presenter.
  • Technical presentations by technical people can sometimes be a shitshow.  You want to make sure your presentation is quality, as if you're giving a testimony at congress.
  • Practice with the equipment you'll be using to make sure your technical delivery is as good as your information delivery.
  • Bring all of your adapters.  ALL OF THEM.  You never know what you're plugging your PC into when you're at an "away game."
  • Test the equipment you'll be presenting on as soon as possible!  Making your crowd wait is totally unprofessional.
  • If you're going to "phone it in"  please don't wear your company's swag.  As a result, Pete is going to wear quora tee shirts everywhere.
  • Occasionally conferences have afterparties/Birds-of-a-Feather session that involve ice cream and beer.  We find out that Pete goes just for the beer.
  • Business networking is another form of presentation -- you have an image to present, not necessarily a technical message.  Don't be a drunk idiot or a "brogrammer."
  • Does one bad apple really spoil the bunch?  Behave yourself lest people think your company has a culture of hiring dicks.
  • Don't hide behind the podium -- be mobile!  Adam Moskowitz, Tom Limoncelli, Bryan Cantrill are all great at giving presentations and they're all mobile speakers, they move around a lot.
  • Bart and Pete realize they're really good at bullshitting for 30 minutes on a microphone.
  • Pete says "shit" for the second time on the podcast.  Sorry, virgin ears!
  • Bart has a takeaway action item of coming up with an awesome intro and outro.
  • Bart takes a swipe at dubstep and the next thing you know, Pete's talking about twerking like Miley Cyrus.
  • Bart: "Be careful out there!"
  • Pete: "Have a wonderful day!"

Things referred to in the post

  • Raffaelo D. Andrea "The Astounding Athletic Power of Quadcopters" -- http://www.ted.com/talks/raffaello_d_andrea_the_astounding_athletic_power_of_quadcopters.html
  • "Be careful out there" is actually from Hill Street Blues, not Hawaii Five-O.
  • Bryan Cantrill from Sun.  Not Bryan Carrol.  Sorry, Mr. Cantrill!
  • It might sound Pete is dumping on LOPSA-East's technology group by talking about "projectors of dubious parentage."  This is just a hypothetical example, Pete had zero trouble with his A/V at LOPSA-East and that's because there are kickass volunteers who make it go awesome.

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