Bad Presentations, Good Stories and $#@* Facilitators Say…

Dog Days in the Desert: People in Phoenix get that vapid look in their eyes this time of year, scanning the skies for afternoon monsoons and longing for those coming days when overnight lows will again drop below 80….or 90.

My suitcase is actually tucked back in the closet for a couple of weeks instead of staged for repacking on the bedroom floor, so I get to enjoy the thunder and light show.


Unacceptably Bad Public Presentations

Last week, I attended a “town hall-ish” public meeting hosted by two congresspersons and their staffs and was reminded of yet another reason that Washington is broken. These two people, elected by us, shed absolutely no light on a contentious, dicey issue by standing at the front of a high school gymnasium and reading indecipherable PowerPoint slides for 45 minutes.

Here are a few slightly different takes on getting better at public presentations that I wish they’d read. If you only have time to click on one link regarding this subject, then click on this one:

Got a little more time? Then here are seven simple steps for improvement:

And a final thought on this subject: Remember…on-line is on-camera. As on-line presentations grow in popularity, I’ve noticed that many people forget some of the basics that we talk about in media (television in particular) training:

Once Upon a Time… 

Stories communicate and break through the clutter of data and information that vie for our attention 24 hours a day. Stories are hard to ignore and compel us to stick with them to the punch line. Make it a story:       And I hate to break it to you, but people aren’t reading what you’re writing anyway:

Conversation Killers & the Death of Outrage  

Conflict and controversy aren’t necessarily bad things. They get people’s attention and keep them engaged. But there’s a limit:

You’ve seen the bumper sticker that says, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”  But, of course, people are outraged by just about everything now:

Just for Facilitators…    

…Which, as you’ve probably figured out, includes everyone who reads this newsletter. Everybody facilitates whether they call it that or not:       And if you take yourself pretty seriously as a facilitator, then I suggest that you skip “$#@* Facilitators Say:”

Annoy Your Friends with Your New & Improved Vocabulary

Just some fun for all of you Word Geeks:

Upcoming Training      

Public anger, opposition and mistrust are components of almost every initiative these days.. The Emotion, Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation workshop is hands-on, effective, and has never been more important.

The IAP2 Public Participation Certificate course is for people who want to do public involvement effectively. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, why and what to do about it. Please join us for one of these:

IAP2 Public Emotion and Outrage class:

  • September 20 & 21 (preceding the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) North America Conference) in Salt Lake City.
  • October 10 & 11 in Calgary

IAP2 Certificate class:

  • October 28 – November 1 in Chicago

We also customize these and related workshops for your in-house group to give you the strategy, tools & tactics to move things forward. Call for details.

For existing U.S. class registrations click on:

For existing Canada class registrations click on:

For custom workshops call 602-266-5556

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