Storytelling needs Context

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One of the early adopters of the concept of storytelling, long before there even was a name for it, was the ad industry. Cheesy as they may have been, those little household dramas they were telling in their TV ads for detergent were early - and successful! - forms of storytelling.

They've come a long way since then and now we often watch ads for their entertainment value and as examples of storytelling craftsmanship.

Upcoming Presenting for Geeks workshops

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I'll be giving two free Presenting for Geeks workshops in July and August 2015:

On July 23, there will be a Presenting for Geeks workshop (in English) at the monthly meetup of the C++ User Group Rhein-Neckar in Heidelberg. Please RSVP via their Meetup page.

The other workshop will be in German, hence Präsentieren für Geeks, and will be at this year's FrOSCon, the Free and Open Source Conference in Sankt Augustin (near Bonn, Germany). Exact date (August 22 or 23) to be announced. Entrance to FrOSCon is free this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this great 2-day conference.

Hope to see some of you in Heidelberg or Sankt Augustin!

Laurie Anderson, Master Storyteller

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I had the pleasure of attending a rather unique and special evening with the American performance artist Laurie Anderson and two fellow musicians recently. The event as such certainly counted more as art than entertainment, so I'm going to ignore a few things that I would quite definitely not recommend for your usual public appearance. Most notably, that we, the audience, had to more or less sit still, in semi-darkness, for one and a half hours. The musicians played their songs back to back, with no pauses between them, so we only got to applaud at the end of the evening. In the meantime, we tried everything not to disturb them. That is not an environment that you can (or should) count on having for your next speaking gig.

Don't let your Speakers go over Time

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Of the many tips, recommendations, and best practices for delivering a presentation, the one rule that is not up for discussion and not meant to be bent or broken, ever, is this one: Don't go over time. Nothing you can say or do will be worth the inconvenience that overrunning your allotted time would bring to your audience, the speaker who comes after you, the organisers, and the event as a whole.

Not going over time is mostly the speaker's responsibility, but the organisers of an event also share some responsibility in making this work.