Amazing Discoveries for Presentations

Today I made some amazing discoveries. I have given my usual presentation on the complexity of software projects to a small number of students. They listened intently to my rambling about nonlinear dynamics, self-organization, emergence, feedback loops, power laws, performance systems, mutation, cross-over and fitness landscapes. That is, just your everyday stuff with some fancy wording.

After the presentation, the teacher had the students give marks for my presentation. The average mark turned out to be 8+ (on a scale of 10). This may simply have been jolly nice and generous of them. But I actually think that the presentation really deserved it. Not only because students are not known for being kind and generous. I simply had the feeling that it went rather well. On the way back to work, I tried to figure out why. These are the amazing discoveries that I came up with:

  • This is the fourth time I gave this presentation, and I am continuously adjusting the slides on the basis of the feedback from my public. I removed ineffective jokes, removed superfluous bullet points, etc. Only the strongest messages in the slides make it to the next presentation. I think I am going to call this principle "the survival of the fittest"…
  • I have also cut down on the number of slides in my presentation, bringing the total down to 1 slide per 2 minutes. It appears I can explain my story better when I try to limit the amount of information. I have decided to call this great insight "less is more"
  • What really works well is mentioning that I'm going to talk about sex, and saving that slide for the very end of the presentation. It keeps them waiting for the big finale. I will name this unique idea "sex sells"…

I will let you know when I have more jawdropping insights that seem to be working well for presentations.

  • What is an Agile Project?
  • Self-Organized Quality Improvement
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