Don't blame the tools, teach people how to use them

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According to an article that was shared a lot recently, yet another CEO decided to ban the use of PowerPoint in his company. He's not the first CEO to have that idea and he won't be the last. But, as in all the other cases, what he does is only fighting symptoms, not causes. In other words: He's blaming the tool for being used incorrectly.

Maybe the Future (of Presentations) isn't so bright

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I recently attended an event, an evening consisting of a series of short talks. Afterwards, it occurred to me that what I've seen could have been representative of the future of presentations, i.e. the average talk we're going to see in the future. And I have to say, the outlook isn't pretty.

On paper, the programme read a bit like a TEDx event: 12 short talks on a range of topics like innovation, management, motivation, health, etc. Content-wise, what we did get, however, were effectively 11 variations of a "you can do it!" talk plus one mildly entertaining one about sex.

Präsentieren für Geeks - The German edition of Presenting for Geeks is out now

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It's been a little over two years since my first ebook, Presenting for Geeks, was released. I made the deliberate decision to write it in English, despite this not being my native language, in the hopes to reach a wider audience that way. I think it mostly worked out okay, thanks in no small part to my editor Anna Kent, who dutifully corrected my English and overall made it a better book with her sometimes radical but always necessary cuts.

I do get asked for a German translation from time to time, though. Until very recently, I simply didn't have the time to do it (hiring a translator was pretty much out of the question for cost reasons). Back in January, I sat down one day to see how hard it would be - and finished the translation just a few weeks later. Friends and family volunteered to proofread it and now I'm happy to announce that Präsentieren für Geeks, the German edition of Presenting for Geeks, is available for purchase from Leanpub and the Amazon Kindle Store.

Dear Speaker, who are you and why should we invite you?

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There are several ways to find speakers for your event. You can invite them, for example, or you can put out a Call for Papers. Many conferences use a mix of both.

At TEDxStuttgart, we are constantly looking for good speakers and interesting topics. Some we find ourselves, some are recommended to us, and some suggest themselves via our website or by email; and we found quite a few good speakers via that latter method, so a little self-promotion is not something we frown upon.

That is, if you do it right ...