Presentation wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

My dear friend @nicolegugger is very wise. She recently wrote this blogpost on the presentation insights from Winnie the Pooh. If your German is up to it, I strongly commend the original over at

If your German isn’t so good, please forswear the Google Translate version and have a read of the precis below.

It is always a thrill to see how much wisdom there is in children’s books. Recently I have been introduced to Winnie the Pooh and wanted to share some of his insights as reflections on presentations.

Winnie the Pooh

“It’s much more fun to talk with someone who does not use long difficult words but rather short, easy words like, “What about lunch?” said Winnie the Pooh

Simple direct language in presentations makes them more approachable but also shows honesty and authenticity. All industries are criss-crossed by technical terms but we should remember that audiences may not always share that vocabulary. Speak simply, the audience will thank you.

“Pooh, how do spell love?” asked Piglet. “You don’t spell it,” said Pooh, “you feel it.” 

Many speakers make claims of a product or service that they simply don’t believe themselves. Once you believe it yourself, then you can convince others, not simply by words but by your enthusiasm and passion. These are what put sparkle in your eyes, enthusiasm in your voice and act as the true power of persuasion and credibility. If you feel it, share it. If you don’t, your words are empty.

Pooh thought for a moment. “Rivers know there is no hurry. They say, we’ll get there some day.”

And so it is for presentations. It takes time to make a great presentation, it is not created in a rushed three hours the night before. No one can make the river flow. Similarly the apparently slow pace of a river is purposeful and one must not discount the value in time taken for brainstorming, storyboarding, planning a theme and finding excellent graphics before practise and practise, all of which takes time. What may appear to be a meandering river gets there in the time required. So it is with the practice of presentations, it takes time. 

Lastly, if you haven’t read Winnie the Pooh can I commend it strongly to you. Engaging characters, lovable stories and so much wisdom for all those with open eyes and hearts. And ignore the Disney version, only the original by AA Milne counts.

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