Jack Hidary, A Professional Presenter
In the last two weeks I've given a presentation and I've seen a professional presenter, Jack Hidary ply his trade. In a previous post, I went over a few things I did to try and make a recent presentation of mine a success. In this post, I'm going to go over some observations of what made Jack's presentation good.
First and foremost, Jack's presentation was well rehearsed either through having practiced it thoroughly or having given the presentation many times. Either way, knowing the content by heart gave Jack the flexibility to stop when needed, handle questions from the audience, and even ask questions of the audience.
Jack also injected some humor in to his presentation. While a single comic is common, Jack had two slides with comics, but he also poked fun at how IT related presentations always seem to use Dilbert comics. Humor is important. It relaxes people. And a relaxed audience is one that is more likely to respond to questions and pose their own questions.
If one projector is good, then two must be better, right? Well, that's what Jack believes as he had two for his presentation. I can't know all of his motivations for this, but I do know it made for a less jarring presentation when he wanted to show something from his slideshow and then switch to something live on the web. In office-type presentations you're likely to be limited by space so two screens probably won't be an option.
Planned or not I don't know, but Jack managed to make a statement that caught a lot of people's attention. He managed to weave in to his presentation that the iPod was dead. Even though he was just saying that an iPod is an unconnected device, he chose to say it in a way that raised eyebrows during the presentation and was the cause of discussion after the presentation. Can a presenter hope for anything more?
And finally, Jack was enthusiastic. If you were to get rid of all the other props, Jack could probably still present well just because he's able to inject energy in to his speech and movements.
To me, an excellent presentation stems not only from an active personality, but by having excellent content and the ability to present it artfully to your audience. In this regard, have you heard of Freepath? I just bought it. I was able to use Freepath in a conference meeting - it shows Flash, multiple PowerPoint files, pdf, images, websites, everything! I even dropped music from iTunes over my PowerPoint - and everyone heard it.