David Massey

Inspiration

The things I notice and that inspire me from life, from art, from people.

03/10/15 Inspiration

Awakenings – get it right for the audience

Too many presenters dive straight into the middle, technical section of their presentation either through fear or lack of preparation. If you don’t target your language for the audience in front of you it will be very difficult for them to respond to your objective.

An audience needs to understand the benefits in their reality of what you are telling them.

Try these tips:

  • Start with something the audience knows, something easy (like in every good story)
  • Then take the audience to where they could be (if they adopt the change in behaviour you are proposing)
  • Use numbers, data, statistics that mean something to that audience
  • If you are not leading your visuals and the visuals are not synchronised to your words – TURN THEM OFF and just talk!
  • Show YOU care about the issue (or the audience never will)

In the clip, Robin Williams, as a doctor has too much technical information at his fingertips for the audience. How does he manage to change tack and get the hospital patrons to pull out their cheque books?

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10/09/15 Inspiration

The wines were too various

So much language spoken and written is so tied up in itself that simplicity disappears. Long words, invented words, redundant words flap around aimlessly and what is meant is so often not understood.

I remember Brideshead so well from so many years ago. Apologies for the sick but enjoy the explanation for Sebastian’s poor health and Charles’s “yes”.

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16/08/15 Inspiration # , ,

No bullets in Amazon

No bullets in Amazon

Couldn’t agree more with Amazon/Bezos creed:

Amazon doesn’t allow PowerPoint presentations as he (Bezos) believes bullet points don’t convey quality information.

Making a list of points or issues is actually often an excuse for NOT thinking about them properly – just a series of things to do like on a shopping list but not actually really any analysis or even much thinking.

As someone who spends a lot of time in unprepared and unprofitable meetings I also like the idea that the number of participants in a meeting shouldn’t exceed those who could be fed by two pizzas!

Read the full interview in the Daily Telegraph. 

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01/08/15 Inspiration

Foo Fighters Rockin1000

If you want inspiration you don’t need to look much further than this.

It says everything that is good about the creativity, passion and resilience of young Italians.

Watch to the end and listen to the organiser’s speech!

It brings goosebumps to watch parts of this performance.

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04/04/15 Inspiration

In case politicians take themselves too seriously

The election battle is a media game where every sound bite is calculated, every message polished until it burns and where every slip sets you up to be pilloried and massacred by your opponents and the ever vigilant media.

Sky has put all this into perspective with a delightful send up of Cameron, Miliband and Farage.

Immense credit to whoever had the idea, who chose the song and then the technicians who made it happen.

It is the part of Sky’s election coverage that I look forward to most!

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03/04/15 Inspiration

UK election TV debate

This video show a series of clips from last night’s TV debates.

Notice the mix of data, facts and statistics balanced with emotion, personal promises and attempts to paint a vision of the future.

Which parts are moments of pathos, logos and ethos?

Who do you find the most convincing? Who would you trust?

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29/03/15 Inspiration

The importance of engaging visuals

A four year old and a seven year old (both already bilingual – English and Italian) happily choose a youtube video on the ipad even though the commentary is in Russian!

I am fascinated to watch them scroll through content based purely on the visual aspect and their own motivation to find a particular video game or cartoon.

The audio becomes secondary and I imagine they’re tuning it out as they are engulfed by the visual explosion on screen.

In too many presentations I see the visual content that clashes in a frustrating asynchronous manner with what a speaker is trying to say. Here are some of the things to avoid:

DON’Ts

  • Don’t read off the screen
  • Use text only to add power to your point (Powerpoint has a name for a reason!)
  • Don’t prepare slides for a live presentation that you think you can also use for those not there, for a manual or for anything else that would be better as a text document

As my two small boys have proved, the visual aspect is vital:

DOs

  • Do synchronise your presentation with powerful and meaningful visuals
  • It doesn’t matter how many slides you use, it is what is on them that counts
  • Make sure you lead you presentation and NOT that the slides lead you

I come to the presentation to see YOU – don’t read to me, I can read faster and in my own time. Be clear as to the benefits of your presentation and don’t waste my time.

Use visuals, both on screen with images, data, maps but also in the story you tell me with words such as “imagine” and “remember”.

Be inspired by what you present – if you’re not, we (the audience) will never be!

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26/03/15 Inspiration , Life Style

Aurora Runaway

Discovered by chance thanks to Spotify. Just listen.

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13/03/15 Inspiration , My Events # , ,

Travel for perspective

Travel for perspective

I work with many writers in complex and technical fields who have to continuously write about a specialist topic. This can be a theme such as Social Protection or it can be the type of document such a s a formal report or an audit or an evaluation. 

Information no longer lives in hidden silos or on dusty library bookshelves. Almost everything written (in some of the agencies I work for) finds its way quite quickly into the public domain via the Internet. 

This is a potential disaster for the writer who had in mind a much more selective audience. 

So it is like my trip to France today. Looking at new sights, experiencing new ways of doing things, talking to new people – I get an understanding of the audience I need to reach and the perspective that needs to change. I stick my head out of the silo. 

Audience is king and if what you are writing doesn’t mean anything to your audience then you have wasted your time and, more worryingly, you have wasted theirs. 

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04/03/15 Inspiration #

Giving direction in Presenting and Writing.

Giving direction in Presenting and Writing.

The sign posts in this city are only helpful if you know where you’re going. 

A report or a presentation cannot Rely on such familiarity. The audience or the reader will give you 30 seconds or a minute to decide if you’re worth listening to or worth reading. 

After that, unless you give them a clear idea where you’re going to take them and why they should accompany you it will be hard for you to keep them involved. 

What to do?

  1. Clear thinking
  2. Clear direction
  3. Clear signposts

This takes planning. You know what you’re going to say but your audience does not. But by fixing the stepping stones both for yourself and your public and by reiterating them with headings, visuals and your voice then you will do better. 

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