The Art of Presentation

I was all jazzed up to see and hear the presentations in the exhibit entitled “AJAX: What Do I Need to Know?” After thirty minutes of ugly slideshows, improperly tuned microphones, and piss poor public speaking, I decided I’d had enough, and I retreated to the much more interesting exhibit, “We Got Naked, Now What?”

The lesson here is pretty simple, I would think, and it’s something I thought everybody learned in high school and/or college. It’s all about the Art of Presentation, and apparently it’s not something that comes naturally to people who spend most of their time coding and hacking. Understandable. However, at your industry’s biggest tradeshow, I think it’s fair to expect some fireworks. I want to be interested; I want you to engage my attention.

One of the areas where I am absolutely certain I stood out in college was in the realm of presentations. Mine were always interesting, always lively, and always contained lots of visual cues and elements to help keep people’s attention. Given my character and my current business, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, because hey, I’m a web designer! I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but I am suggesting that these people could have put more effort into these presentations. Had I presented at this year’s show, I would have been obsessed with providing something totally memorable for the participants, and I find it hard to believe that today’s presenters didn’t feel some responsibility to do so.

Oh, and just to be absolutely specific, I thought Jesse James Garret of Adaptive Path was both informative and demonstrative, and he’s clearly got lots of experience in the realm of public presentations. He was good – I only wish he would have talked the whole time!