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geek's guide to presenting to business people

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31054
    
162

A teammate forwarded this to me. (It's free; registration required.) A lot of it is common presentation stuff. But my favorite quote is "we geeks ten to cram everything we know into a presentation. It's a huge mistake."

One day we will have knowledge by brain transfer and can just to a dump...


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Steve Luke
Bartender

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 4181
    
  21

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:But my favorite quote is "we geeks ten to cram everything we know into a presentation. It's a huge mistake."

That is absolutely correct. I worked as a technical sales specialist for software/hardware where 50% of the time was field support and 50% was pre-sales. The best way to turn a crowd off (and not just business people, but anyone) is by going into too much detail. I found the best presentations to be sparse - lots of white space, and a 'script' that allowed only 30 seconds to a minute on a slide - too little time to get too detailed. The toughest tight-rope I had to learn to walk was how to answer a question without giving so much info people stop listening but not so little that they think I don't know or am blowing them off...


Steve
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14428
    
  23

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:One day we will have knowledge by brain transfer and can just to a dump...

I think it's more a problem of presenting the right information to your audience - if they are business people, they most likely do not even want to know all the technical details, like a developer would. Even if you could do a direct brain transfer then you'd overload the business person's brain with details they don't want to know.


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Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31054
    
162

Jesper de Jong wrote:
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:One day we will have knowledge by brain transfer and can just to a dump...

I think it's more a problem of presenting the right information to your audience - if they are business people, they most likely do not even want to know all the technical details, like a developer would. Even if you could do a direct brain transfer then you'd overload the business person's brain with details they don't want to know.

Aw man! You're right. Even that won't solve the problem.
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1871
    
  16

If your audience ask questions like this then you've probably overdone it.



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Sachin Patil
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2002
Posts: 124

I would say, in short, talk the language audience speak and understand.


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Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Ten words per slide. This includes the title words. Seriously.
 
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