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geek's guide to presenting to business people

 
author & internet detective
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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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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...
 
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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.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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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.
 
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If your audience ask questions like this then you've probably overdone it.

 
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I would say, in short, talk the language audience speak and understand.
 
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Ten words per slide. This includes the title words. Seriously.
 
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