Confessions, Failures and Presentations That Are Not Canned

Scott Berkun made a very salient point during his Confessions of a Public Speaker presentation at Web 2.0 NY 2009. 


We now use machines, software and assorted tech tools as an excuse for human failures.

These failures are mostly communication failures.

Either the messenger sent a mangled note or the recipient read only part of the message.

The latest happened to me the day before Scott' s presentation when I read only the first few words of a text message and it set me back 45 minutes at least for my next appointment.

That's what you call fast mistakes.

At the book signing Scott Berkun had at the O' Reilly booth at 4:00 PM, he seemed to be there physically but not completely when I congratulated him on his presentation.

I just realized today that he had another talk scheduled at Columbia University at 5:30 PM so he might have had his mind already on that next stop...and how to get there on time.

On his home page, Scott points to Why conferences must talk about failure as a learning tool:

"In many cases I bet people learn more from hearing people they respect talk about their mistakes, than hearing people tell perfectly fake, boring, takeaway free stories of things going perfectly well (e.g. lies).  All innovators fail more than they succeed, and thrive on experiments which mostly go wrong, often on purpose. It’s the only way to learn something no one else knows.

Anything conferences do to get to the truth and teach is progress, and I’d love to see all of the above spirit and ideas adopted at just about any event."

He mentions Failcon, a recent 'All About Failure' event.

Checking on these people in turn brought to my attention UnPresenting or Giving talks that are more fun, require less preparation and leave your audience feeling awesome, a one woman show by none other than Heather Gold on December 4 , 2009 from 9am-4:30pm at Parisoma in San Francisco which I discovered happens to be a Coworking space.

Can't make it to UnPresenting, Heather gives us a feel for the topic with highlights from her Web 2.0 skit on Conversational Mechanics or Presentation (Scripted) versus Conversation (Scored, I guess like a Soundtrack).

All things worth reading if you have a case of the shakes before the spotlight sets on you.

I still have a lot of progress to do regarding both substance and form as far as public speaking is concerned.

Trying to think and speak clearly for Monday Work Etiquette #117

Previously: Your Negative Could Be My Positive, A Visit to the Freak Factory

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