Why I think that lectures that don’t get applause at the end have failed (and how I think you can fix that).

When we design courses for our students, at some point we decide that the best thing to do is to put all our students in a large room and talk to them for 90 minutes. Usually, we do this because it’s cheap, which is not a good reason. Often, we do this to convey information,Meer lezen over “Why I think that lectures that don’t get applause at the end have failed (and how I think you can fix that).”

Do not underestimate the power of the dark slide.

Yes, there is one. A dark side of PowerPoint I mean. It can be a tad dominant (like Vader). In fact, some presentations look as if the speaker has thought only about what they could show in PowerPoint, instead of what they wanted to say. All the books I know that deal with preparing presentationsMeer lezen over “Do not underestimate the power of the dark slide.”

How Eeyore can help you become a better speaker

Most useful bits of wisdom come from Winnie the Pooh and so they do too. Many of my students, when they are trying to sound convincing in a presentation, sound like they have just had some seriously bad news. As this rather harms their persuasiveness, I feel something must be done. So here is aMeer lezen over “How Eeyore can help you become a better speaker”

A cat, algae and a small snake

A few years ago I was asked to coach the contestants in a pitching contest for one of the big oil companies. The goal of the pitches was to present new, greener energy sources. For one of the participants I was able to come up with a shrewd plan involving a prop. A prop canMeer lezen over “A cat, algae and a small snake”

My first presentation in Delft (XXX)

  The first presentation I ever saw at Delft University of Technology was in the faculty of aerospace engineering. I was invited to this presentation to help me get acquainted with the kind of presentations I should expect as a teacher of communication skills. I came from a polytechnic where the majority of the studentsMeer lezen over “My first presentation in Delft (XXX)”

What’s the point of your presentation part two

Again: no I don’t think your presentations are pointless. This time I want to think about why we give presentations in the first place. Consider conferences. From the point of view of information transfer, conferences are spectacularly inefficient, as you can usually only attend a fraction of the talks that are offered. Conferences have ecologicMeer lezen over “What’s the point of your presentation part two”

Speaking Anxiety and golden retrievers

A couple of months ago I had a student in my group who got so nervous when he faced the other students to deliver his presentation that I was afraid he was going to faint. He was trembling, he looked pale except for the red spots in his neck, he could only make choking noises andMeer lezen over “Speaking Anxiety and golden retrievers”