Tag Archives: presentation

It’s all about telling stories

Phil on the micPhil: For the first time in years, I find myself having to give a talk to a room full of people tomorrow. It’s a work gig, not a literary one, but I’ve just remembered something.

I don’t like writing presentations.

I love giving them. Public speaking has never worried me, at least as long as I know what I’m talking about. Unlike my writing friend, I don’t suffer from stage fright. I’ve happily stood in front of a few hundred people using the magic of PowerPoint to entertain them. Generally it goes well. OK, there was this one time, but that’s another story.

Actually writing a talk though, is a bit of a slog. Even drawing up a spider diagram and try to work out the correct order for the slides, and exactly what should be on them doesn’t ease the pain.

Then, I had a brainwave.

First: Open a packet of Maltesers. I need brain food.

Second: The first half of the talk is a story. I’m explaining how I came to be in the hobby I’m talking about. With this in mind, the whole thing becomes easily linear. No need to work out diagrams, just tell the tale. With plenty of photos.

My presentations are always full of photos. The less words there are, the more I can busk it on stage and adjust the talk to the time and audience. And if there is one thing I really hate, it’s a presenter who does no more than read every word off every slide. I can do that, and generally, quicker than they can.

Thinking about this a bit more, most of my job involves telling a story. When I explain how to make something, I take the reader through things step by step until we reach a joyful conclusion. Along the way, there are diversions and even a bit of jeopardy.

In fact, pretty much every form of communication is a sort of storytelling. Maybe they don’t all start “Once upon a time”, but that’s how humans tell each other stuff.

And having been so profound, I better get back to writing my talk…

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Are we famous yet?

_RPB8357Candice: We came,we saw, we presented.  Yes, last week we set the world alight by talking about our book writing process at the Stratford literary festival. The build up was unnerving, the day was stressful, the cake was plentiful, and the audience was receptive.

It actually went really well, though I was nearly sick before hand. Once I got to the green room and Phil talked at everyone I was nicely distracted.  We didn’t have time to think about what was going to happen as we had our photos taken and then were taken down stairs to the room.

Sitting down at the front was un-nerving, having been to a few events an been in the crowd, suddenly we were the focus.  That is the point when it really hit me we were there to talk about our book.

The crowds flocked in to sit down… all four of them.  I think it made me more relaxed that we didn’t have that many people but Phil said it made him feel more nervous.  He’s used to performing to big crowds!_DSC3953

The talk went really well, we had a few bumps in the road but that just shows we need a little more practice.  But it was great to prove that we can talk for 30 mins about the book in an engaging way. One of our audience said she thought she could see us as a radio show (which backs up what a few people have said).

So, yes the audience was small, we aren’t going to millionaires off that soon, but we did make some good contacts with a book group and WI so hopefully there will be more listeners (and readers) to come.

A great experience and thank you to the Literary Festival for giving us a slot.

Now to sort out the new book cover, that is a whole new area of conversation!

Photos courtesy of Rupert Barnes.

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Filed under Candice, Writing