Wednesday, October 28, 2009

6 talks that every presenter or trainer can learn from

One of the things I believed as a novice presenter was that I lacked creativity. In fact, that was far from the truth. What I really needed was some inspiration. I've learnt a lot by watching some really excellent speakers. I still consider myself to be just about an advanced beginner as a speaker, though being able to watch great speakers each day helps me hone my skills. Here are the top 6 talks that I believe every budding presenter can draw inspiration from.

The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch


A successful talk needs STAR moments (Something They'll Always Remember). The late Dr Pausch demonstrates the power of stories to make a point. He introduces the head-fake theory of how, while practicing something straight-forward you can learn something much deeper. A great piece of learning for trainers and presenters, the best talk I've seen in many, many years.

Ken Robinson


If not for the amazing sense of humour, or the ability to just stand in front of a crowd with no 'presentation crutches', you should watch this talk for its content. Sir Robinson dissects how education systems are killing creativity and how creativity is really just as important as literacy!

David Pogue


David Pogue says that when it comes to technology, "Simplicity Sells". I think its true of training and presentations as well! Watch this talk to see how this New York Times columnist uses the power of real-life examples and quick-wittedness to make his point and keep you enraptured. As you will notice, having your signature style makes quite a difference.

Lawrence Lessig


If there's one person who is the absolute guru of how to effectively use multimedia in your presentation, its Larry Lessig. This talk on copyright laws and how they're killing creativity is an excellent demonstration of multimedia usage in presentations.

Jill Bolte Taylor


Unexpectedness is a key to great speeches. If people can anticipate everything you're going to say, you're no different from what they've already heard. If you're not different, you're boring! What does Dr Taylor do, to create the difference? I can't reveal that bit.

Hans Rosling


There's something to be said about being in the moment and showing a passion for what you're teaching or speaking about. You may stand in front of your projector, turn your back to your audience, you may even read from a script at times -- showing an infectious energy and an excitement for your topic can cover up all of those mistakes. You've got to watch this Swede to believe me.

I hope you found this above list of talks interesting. In fact these have been around for so long that I don't even know if they're novelty anymore! I'd love to hear from you though. Please feel free to comment on this post and point out other talks that you've found interesting.

22 comments:

Vivek Prahlad said...

Sumeeet, that's a nice set of talks!

I love this 15 minute talk from Dick Hardt: http://identity20.com/media/OSCON2005/

It uses the Lessig style, but it's more like a performance than a talk :)

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