Talks evolve

Posted by

My background is in talks at technical conferences where the CfP, the infamous "Call for Papers", rules. When a conference is announced, a call goes out to potential speakers to submit a proposal for a talk. When following that call, you are confronted with a form that you have to fill out. Specifically, it asks you to submit a title for the talk and a short description of the content (commonly known as the "abstract"). Once submitted, you wait for the conference committee to accept your talk - and only then do you actually start working on it.

There's a flaw in this approach. Can you spot it?

Sketchnoting with the Wacom Bamboo Spark

Posted by

I realise I'm late to this party, but I've recently begun to sketchnote. I've had Mike Rohde's Sketchnote Handbook for quite a while but hadn't gotten around to read more than the first couple of pages.

What motivated me to try it out now is my new toy: I got myself a Wacom Bamboo Spark. This is due to me being interested in bridging the gap between analogue and digital note taking and brainstorming. As mentioned in an earlier article, I am a huge proponent of doing things "offline" and "analogue", i.e. on paper, first. But at some point, you will run into the problem of having to take your notes with you or you will want to transfer them into some digital format for further use and processing.

Separating Driver and Presenter

Posted by

I would usually argue that the speaker should always be in full control of his or her slides. They know the presentation best and, amongst other things, it will give them a chance to go back in case they forgot something or have to revisit an earlier point.

So I was surprised to learn about the recommendation to have a separate "driver" for the slides, i.e. someone whose only job it is to advance the slides in sync with the actual speaker. How and when does that make sense?

Anecdotes are not data, but they help

Posted by

The plural of anecdote is not data. This is something you often hear from people with a scientific mindset or technical background. Too often, they warn us, we fall into the trap of overrating the importance of an event, especially if it happened to us. Because of that close connection, we tend to think it would be representative - that it's something that happens to others, too, and that we can draw conclusions from it.

In a way, this is the dark side of storytelling. We must not give in to it.

Attention Span - Humans vs. The Goldfish

Posted by

You've probably heard someone being characterised as having "the attention span of a goldfish", meaning that he or she can only focus on something for a very short time. If you search for the actual attention span of a goldfish, you'll even come across a recent study that found that the average human attention span is now less than that of a goldfish (human: 8.25 seconds, goldfish: 9 seconds).

So what does that mean for presentations?