THROW IN SOME FUN WHEN PRESENTING YOUR TECHNICAL REPORT
Good grief! The first week of February is already gone! As with every year, I am alarmed at how fast the days flick by. Which got me thinking about time… Our topic for today.
Time is both an objective and a subject thing. We use it to measure scientifically and we also use the word metaphorically.
In the metaphoric sense, time is subjective. It can drag or it can fly. Think of going to the movies. Sometimes you are so engrossed in the story that you wish it wasn’t over when it ends. Other times, you spend half the movie wondering why it’s taking so long to resolve and who designed the super uncomfortable seat you are sitting in. Both movies may be the same length, but our perception of how long they take is determined by our level of interest and enjoyment.
As Kermit the frog said, “Time’s fun when you are having flies.” (Oh wait, that’s my dad’s joke.) It should be: “Time flies when you are having fun”. But more to my point: Time flies when you are engrossed in something.
I don’t have to tell you that you shouldn’t be boring when you give a presentation but knowing how to be interesting can be a challenge. It is good to throw some “fun” into your presentation, but make sure that it serves a purpose in underlining your point. Activities, jokes or cartoons should all be closely bound to your central topic and message. There is no room in a presentation for fluff.
“Fun” can be a tricky thing. It is often culture and gender sensitive and in this day and age, you never know who you might offend. This is why it is best to bring lightness in when it is clearly related to your topic and not attempt to synthesise laughter. Canned or embarrassed laughter does not promote camaraderie with your audience.
The easiest and least risky way to make sure that your audience enjoy your presentation is to be personable. This characteristic enables you to show empathy and sociability towards them. Show interest in both your topic and your audience, and the time they spend with you will surely fly.