This is a document. I am reading it. Out.

If you turn on the radio, you can tell immediately whether the piece is a news broadcast or an interview or the presenter speaking directly to you. The reason is that we speak differently to the way we write. One of the reasons a standard presentation fails is that the presentation has been crafted as a document, transferred as a document onto slides and the read out, as a document, to the audience. When constructing a presentation it is important that there is a point at which the written script is converted into a spoken format.


This is not simply a question of nuance. An audience is there to be engaged and the perceived quality of a presentation (p cubed) is significantly influenced by failing to engage even if p1 and p2 are good. The nature of the spoken voice encourages engagement. Virtually no presenter is able to imbue a piece of written prose with passion or emotion unless they are an accomplished actor. The teleprompt is similar. It is essential that one’s script be crafted for speaking, not writing.

My best advice for this is covered in #htdap but comes from practise. Once you have constructed the p1 and illustrated that with p2 it is essential to practise in real time and repeatedly. I start with notes not a script as the natural habit will be to attempt to replicate the script. Practise ensures timing issues are specifically addressed but also allows editing, sometimes of scenes, sometimes only of steps within a sparkline but principally of the words that are used. This then will deliver a presentation that the audience feels is specifically for them rather than just a recording. The way we write is not the way we speak.

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  1. Pingback: A scientific presentation at BBTS Conference - p cubed presentations

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