[2006-07-10] Presentation Skills

Most of us geeks seem to think that presentation skills are something for the marketroids or the suits to worry about. Even if we do have to present something, we only have fellow geeks in the audience who ought to be able to understand what we are talking about. However, geeks are humans too and humans need you to take care of certain things in your presentation for them to be able to fully appreciate and understand what you are talking about.

For example, in FOSS.in/2005 most of the talks were about cool stuff but in my opinion many a presentation left a lot to be desired. Among the talks that I attended, Jim Zemlin's talk about the Linux Standards Base was one of the precious few where the speaker seemed to understand and care about the basics of presentation.

Here are a few suggestions for speakers based on personal observations:

I can go on and on like this, but most of these points are obvious if you have any common sense or if you observe a good speaker. You can also search the web for a great deal of material on presentation skills. If your company offers a training on presentation skills, take it instead of sniggering and dismissing it as something for "losers".

Finally, here are a few suggestions for presentation attendees:

Once again, you would think that all of this is common sense but it is surprising how many people are willing to forget all of these when they attend a talk.

(Originally posted on Blogspot.)

Other Posts from 2006