David Massey

Inspiration

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

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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03/03/15 Inspiration # ,

House of Cards

House of Cards

President Underwood shows us the old school way of both presenting and leading.

Continue reading

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02/03/15 Inspiration

Ever tried presenting with provocation?

Films are not real but they deal with real things and that is why I love using them on training courses.

This is a short presentation from the film The Dilemma,  Ron Howard’s 2011 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James.

Our two presenters are trying to persuade Dodge Motors to invest in their ideas to create an electric motor with the sound of a classic muscle car.

Watch the video and look out for:

  • body language: standing still and then moving
  • voice speed and pauses
  • the power of three (how many pictures and examples?)
  • who is leading the presentation?
  • the impact of visuals (and music!)
  • who presents what (pathos/impact and logos/the “brain”)?
  • how they answer questions

The clip teaches me that 10 times more time needs to go into the planning and preparation than  the actual performance!

What do you think?

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01/03/15 Inspiration #

Team Sports

Team Sports

With my kids so easily entranced by video games, the chance to play outside in a team teaches so much that they would otherwise miss out on and that maybe 30 years ago we took for granted.

 

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19/04/14 Inspiration

Presenting with Breaking Bad

Dean Norris plays Hank Schrader a DEA cop. Watch how he uses storytelling, key data, rhetorical questions and some telling visuals to rally the troops.

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15/03/14 Inspiration

RIP Tony Benn

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Tony Benn died this week (March 14 2014). He was a passionate and extremely talented speaker in the House of Commons. This short extract from a 1990’s speech is typical of his style and highlights his clarity of message, emotional appeal and consummate delivery.

He balances pathos with facts and data (logos). His credibility (ethos) comes from how he looks and sounds, his reputation and his conviction.

Observe how he glances down to check his notes but then looks up and delivers to the whole audience.

What else do you notice?

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