Last Friday I talked about My ooVoo Day and trying out this fantastic new video chat tool ooVoo. Well, yesterday I put it to the test by attending a workshop put on by Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting (in the land of Twitter, we just call her @pistachio which is kind of fun and gives her lots of street cred I'm sure). Laura is a speaking coach extraordinaire, so it was amazing to have some semi-private time with her.
She is based in Boston, and other people who joined us were Andrea Vascellari in Finland , Beth Kanter in Boston, and Nico Pin in Brazil (I think!). Tommy Vallier in Kingston, Ontario, appeared briefly but unfortunately was having problems. The ooVoo platform does demand a lot of bandwidth and some people do unfortunately have issues with the set-up at this early stage of the game. Anyway, it was great to have such a geographically varied group!
10 Minutes to a Presentation That Rocks MUCH More, and then answered our questions since a number of us were already experienced at presenting. Then (this is the COOL part) we shared slides of our own presentations via Slideshare (remember I talked about that last week, too?). Laura was able to post the slides in her screen on ooVoo and we could also page through it ourselves. We tried out her concept of "Lightning Round" where you spend only 5 seconds on each slide, verbalizing the main concept of the slide. Most presenters are unlikely to go through an entire presentation more than a few times, but one can do the lightning round frequently to really practice and warm up. It also helps narrow down which slides are needed or not.
What I really liked were the personal comments Laura gave us. For me, I need to think about some key ideas of my overall presentation and put them up front to really hook people in. You really have their key attention right in the first 30 seconds, so it is also best to have someone *else* introduce you so that you don't waste those precious moments at the beginning. Finally, she gave me some good hints about how to build real "take away" ideas into my presentations, since that is something I feel needs work.
Working with Laura for the hour will, I think, really help my presentation style. Maybe even my blogging and podcasting style, too. Which surprised me because I thought I knew a lot already, and doubted how much she could teach me in a short time over ooVoo in a group session.
If you are a speaker who wants to kick it up to the next level, I would highly recommend working with Laura at Pistachio Consulting!
Okay, I'll stop gushing now. ;-)