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    Entries in speaker (5)

    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    How to have the best job ever

    I saw a speaker at a conference a week or two ago; she walked on stage with some Bollywood dancing music pumping out loud … and she danced and danced! She used this as a metaphor for loving the work you do.


    It was Diana Larsen, speaking at Agile 2014 in Orlando, Florida. Diana presented on how to have the Best Job Ever. Here are my visual notes to her wonderful and energetic keynote. I hope this gets you thinking about what you're doing and whether it's what you really want to be doing!


    Diana's advice is to:
    1. Do work you love to do (and you might need to think back to when you were doing work you loved)
    2. Work with purpose - work that inspires, focuses and motivates
    3. Care for your tribe - this is about collaborating. Working on working better together is the best team building!
     

    I'm just back from presenting at and attending some brilliant events in Berlin, the Florida and Sydney and will share some of the great learnings, insights and thinking from these events with you over the next few weeks. 

    For now, get thinking about how much of what you're doing is contributing to you having the best job ever. 

    Tuesday
    Apr022013

    Memo to guest speakers: organise your thinking

    Yes, three cheers for a call to conference presenters to have a go at engaging the audience (participants!) and delivering their thinking without the use of PowerPoint.

    On Twitter today, I happily retweeted  and  when this was put out there, with a reference to agile conferences:

    RT @neil_killick I call on #agile conferences to ban PowerPoint and equivalent. Let's see presenters really present and lead discussion.

    Here's the next challenge then - given the Agile Australia conference is set for June, the sold out Scrum conference is next week, and the UX and LAST conferences are also bearing down in August, every speaker has the time to organise their thinking. 

    Start now speakers! Get your thinking sorted out now! 

    I believe visual agility skills are what's needed - visual skills where you can swiftly and clearly:

     

    1. capture your thinking
    2. convey information, and
    3. collaborate with others

     

    ... using visuals.

    What happens is that PowerPoint gets used to capture thinking. And then it's the tool that's used to convey information. (Not as good at collaboration is it?)

    A great communicator, leader and conference speaker/presenter can use all three: 

     

    1. Capture your own thinking about what your presentation and key message is;
    2. Convey information during the presentation; and
    3. Collaborate - get input from others in the session, engage and lead discussion. 

     

    It's not for artistic types or creative folks; it's for normal people and thinking people whose job it is to think, communicate and work well with others. 

    I'll be watching next week at the Scrum conference; and I'll be capturing using visuals on my ipad.

    I so hope a session I've proposed for the Agile Australia conference gets up; no surprise it's on visual agility - I want to help Agile folks get more visual so they can help people in their teams - and right across the businesses they work with and in - to "get" what they're on about quickly, clearly, and in an engaging and captivating way.

    The sooner you're understood, the sooner we can all get on with it. 

     

     

    Tuesday
    Apr022013

    What's an important point ... and what's 'waffle'?

    When I'm facilitating, leading a team session or working with visuals to capture people's thinking (and talking), some feedback I often get throughout the session is - how did you know what the key point was they were trying to make?

    People say a-lot of stuff. Sometimes it's their own thinking, working out their views as they're speaking. Sometimes ideas haven't formed yet. Other times, their opinions are changing as they're speaking. 

    But here's how I really know when someone is getting to their gold nugget, their kernel, the essence of their point.... their voice changes. You just need to listen. 

    One of my earlier 'careers' was in radio, voiceovers and creating voice characters. I spent many hours speaking into a microphone, hearing it in headphones and then adjusting pace, tone, volume ever so slightly. 

    This is the stuff to listen out for - this is when you'll be guided to what people are saying... when they are making an important point and when they are, well, adding to that point. 

    • Tone change: it won't be as drastic as from a deep baritone to a high soprano, but people's voices will shift from lower registers to higher (or higher to lower) when they're getting emotional and getting to the point
    • Volume change: think of our voices like a volume dial - we have low and soft down at levels 1, 2, 3 and higher at 6, 7, 8. Ten is heavy metal stuff. Listen for when volume increases. A key point will be delivered right there. 
    • Pace change: when people s-l-o-w down their speech, there can be emphasis there. When theyarespeedingup, there can be energy, passion and enthusiasm there. Their brains are working faster or slower, there is an important point here for them. 

    Listen up. It's all there. Along with the content of what people are saying, listen for how it's delivered. Then you'll be more likely to pick up their important points and those that are further down their list. 

    Monday
    Sep032012

    Visualising TEDx Melbourne 

    It was a thrill to be at the recent TEDx Melbourne event - not on the stage as a speaker, nor in the audience. I was on the sidelines graphic recording as the speakers presented on the topic of Education Leadership.

    Three 18 minute talks showing a global, state and local perspective of leading in education. As the room was being set up before the event, and the TEDx banners and signage were put in place, the speakers did microphone sound checks and a had a final run through of their talks.
    Then it was show time; the speakers presented, the audience listened, and I listened too... capturing in the moment the key themes I was hearing. Here's the end product - a large wall chart. At the end of the evening I was interviewed for a podcast (the edited link is here) by the guys atEdTechCrew (the full podcast) about graphic recording and using visuals as well as words. 

    So... if the stage was yours, how would you structure your 18 minute TED talk? How would you start off? What would your key points be? What stories would you tell? How would you finish?

    There were more speakers to listen to this week at the LAST Conference (Lean, Agile and Systems Thinking) in Melbourne. I presented on the topic of Visual Collaboration and also captured several of their presentations using the ipad. Several speakers had more than 18 minutes to fill and so I wondered, how did they prepare? What were their key points? I was tempted to walk over and 'pull the plug' on the data projector and slide show a couple of times! Too much reliance on what was on the big screen, not enough faith that their content and thinking could be delivered even more powerfully without the technology. 

    As Leonardo Da Vinci said "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication". It's not always quick to simplify, but it's most effective and most engaging in a busy firehose-full-of-information world.

    Get closer to simple before you stand and deliver your next talk, presentation or workshop. Your audience will be engaged and it will be memorable for the right reasons!

    Monday
    Sep032012

    A Presentation Unplugged

    It was a brave and creative leader who took up the challenge I gave him recently when I said: 'turn off the data projector; deliver your entire presentation unplugged."

    This leader of a national team was about to embark on the classic roadshow; you know, fly about the country or region at great expense (airfares, transfers, accommodation) and present to a room of the organisation's leaders. This room of leaders is there at great expense too! They've stepped away from their work, projects and teams and are about to give their time and attention to your message. You hope. 

    So without the safety net of his slide show, he unplugged the technology and went with his prepared points, key messages, structures, stories and examples ... plus a flip chart and a thick black chisel point marker.

    A 30-minute presentation was broken down to six flip charts that he created in the moment. They included: where the business was now, the challenges ahead, how the business was addressing the challenges and what the call to action was for the people across the organisation. His presentation was scripted and structured using this one-pager which you're free to use.

    Rather than those good people snoozing in their seats, they listened and interacted with him. Best of all he said, "they came up at the end of the presentation and pointed to the flip charts; they talked about what I'd presented, they asked questions, they engaged!"

    You know you need to reduce your reliance on that data show presentation and to stop that 'click and talk' syndrome, but what do you use instead? Start with a good structure to give your thinking clarity; clarity about key messages. Aim for less wordy content. Get yourself a thick black chisel tip marker and use some strong visuals, created in the moment. Get your thinking clear and they'll get your message.