Presentation Zen Analysis

On Presentation Zen, I discovered a TED presentation done by John Hockenberry, an award-winning journalist. In his speech his talked about his father, a designer, who gave him the sage advice that every element of his life should be performed or decided intentionally. His father believed that every person on the planet should be the designer of their own lives. Mr. Hockenberry went on to give examples, both personal and sometimes tragic, that described how he carried this theme of intent and discovered the intentions of others throughout his eventful life.

In our presentation, we can make our speech as effective as possible by including a well thought-out visual aid.  The visual aid should serve to enhance our words, rather than be the focus. Mr. Hockenberry used a simplistic projected slideshow that displayed only a few key words that were the highlights of his speech. As well, he only used relevant images in his presentation.  This tactic was effective because the presentation aid did not distract from his message or take away the spotlight, instead only served his words as an additional visual prop to his aural message.

Mr. Hockenberry’s speaking style was clear and direct, like a conversation with an audience as opposed to a lecture. The audience could feel included in his message because of this tone.  Mr. Hockenberry made sure to explain the relevance of his subject by including the audience in his definition of design.

Our group presentation can benefit from taking inspiration not only from the style of his message but also the very crux of his presentation: do everything you do with intent. Everything about our presentation should be intentional: the intention being to inform the audience about our research and the project we channeled it into. Our intention should be made clear and consistent throughout the presentation. If the audience can latch on to our intention, we can hold their interest and therefore have a more successful presentation. I hope our presentation is more than just speaking at the class; I would like to class to be actively listening to our speech and interested in our topic and what we have accomplished. 

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