Presenting with Power eBook

A while ago, I was asked to participate with a snippet on what I think is an important lesson on preparing and delivering presentations. I did, and now it appeared in an electronic book together with contributions from 79 other co-authors.

Here is my contribution:

Facts are boring. Stories make them interesting.

It’s one thing to expose the facts about climate changing, and another one to tell a story about it. One leaves the audience indifferent, and one gets it excited. Al Gore tried the first one for decades. He had all the right data, but it took him to dress it in a story to get noticed. Yet, what truly brought it to life was him climbing on a stage crane to show what an off-the-charts-value truly means. That’s the power of a demo.

We crave concreteness. We want to sense. Our imagination thrives on examples. Tap that opportunity. Get the audience to experience your story. Don’t just talk about it. Demo it.

A good demo materializes your story and puts energies in motion. But, demoing is more than just marketing. It’s a design tool, too: When you demo, you cannot get away with big words. You have to show your story’s worth. It’s the best feedback mechanism you have available.

Demoing is a skill, and like any skill, it can be trained. Regardless of the subject, there always is an exciting demo lurking underneath. It just takes you to find it. And to do it.

And the full book is available on slideshare.

Posted by Tudor Girba at 24 November 2014, 6:04 pm with tags presentation, design 1 comment link

CHOOSE Forum 2014

We are pleased to invite you to the CHOOSE Forum to be held on November 28, 2014 at the University of Bern. This year’s topic is Software Engineering Today.

The full day event will feature four talks and a panel. New this year is that we allow more time for networking and informal exchanges. The speakers are:

The day also features the CHOOSE General Assembly, including reports from the President and the Treasurer.

More details together with the registration form can be found on the official webpage: http://choose.s-i.ch/events/forum2014

Please note that this year, we also organize a satellite course on November 27 with Michael Feathers on Working Effectively with Legacy Code.

Posted by Tudor Girba at 21 October 2014, 10:05 pm comment link

Humane assessment and demo-driven courses in Oslo - January 19-20, 2015

During January 19-20 I will give two public courses at ProgramUtvikling (the organizers of the NDC conference) in Oslo on:

The registration forms are available on the above links.

Posted by Tudor Girba at 14 October 2014, 6:21 pm with tags course, assessment, innovation comment link

Reflective thinking at Agile Breakfast Zurich - December 3, 2014

On December 3, I will give a talk on Reflective Thinking at the Scrum Breakfast Zurich.

The abstract goes as follows:

Have you noticed how adopting an Agile process sometimes works and sometimes not? Have you noticed how sometimes nothing changes even though everyone seems to "Inspect and Adapt"?

In this talk we try to answer why it so, but laying out a little theory of what we call "reflective thinking". For almost half a century the software engineering community has been working on a theory of reflection, which is defined as "the ability of a system to inspect and adapt itself". We draw parallels with that field and learn several lessons:

  • Reflection must be built deep into the organization.
  • Reflection always incurs an apparent cost.
  • Inspection is easier than adaptation.
  • We can only reflect on what is explicit.
  • Reflection is a design tool that enables unanticipated evolution.

Reflection is an inherent human ability. Only, it requires explicit training to develop into a capability.

Posted by Tudor Girba at 11 October 2014, 10:24 pm with tags representation, presentation, reflection comment link

1800+ TED talks later

I watched 1800+ TED talks. I watched all those published on ted.com. Why? Because I am a TED addict. And because each of these talks reminds me that storytelling is essential in everything we do.

Facts are important, but facts alone have no value. They have to be consumed to be worthwhile. Stories make this happen by getting us involved. This applies to researching novel ways, it applies to creating products, it applies to leading people, it applies to educating kids, and it applies to marriage proposals. Essentially, it applies to anything worth doing.

Storytelling is what makes stories happen. But, storytelling is a skill, and like any skill, it can be learnt.

For example, an easy way to learn is to listen to good examples. Like TED talks. But, there are many ways to learn. And, there are even more ways to apply.

It only takes us to invest in it. Why?

Because storytelling is essential.

Posted by Tudor Girba at 10 October 2014, 6:21 am comment link
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