How many presentations did you attend in 2010?
My answer is…. no idea. A lot? Think back for a moment: all the travel, conferences, obligatory meetings, the webinars you signed up for…Nope… I still couldn’t tell you how many presentations I attended.
I can recall the good ones - like John Mancini at AIIM's annual conference or Jess Schell's DICE 2010 keynote (WOW!). But it's rare to land the Double Jeopardy presentation: great speaker and great content.
Far too frequently, I witness the audience succumb to the relentless Blackberry itch that compels attendees to check for anything that will hold their attention or maintain a semi-conscience state (especially during the dreaded post lunch time slot).
Let’s flip it around: how many presentations did you deliver in 2010? Were you memorable? What about your content? Let’s be honest – there's one Steve Jobs. For the rest of us presentation mortals, we can use some tips and tricks. Especially when we're one of umpteen speakers in an all day line-up of back-to-back presentations – we can use a little help to up our game.
I hit Double Jeopardy last week at the annual CMO Council Summit in San Jose.
I didn’t know Chris Hummel, CMO & President of North America, Siemens Enterprise Communications prior to the CMO Council Summit. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t anticipating any life changing revelations during his keynote, How the Operationally Savvy CMO Can Become a Valued CEO Asset.
I’ve never been happier to be so wrong.
I’ve never seen a keynote delivered by a mortal in 8 slides. And with an introduction I’d call genius. Yep, Hummel is my new reigning Double Jeopardy presentation champion. The bar has been raised: compelling content and speaker with 8 slides. Actually:
- 7 slides if you remove the title.
- 6 if you overlook the bio.
- 5 if you don’t count the Agenda.
In this instance, his intro was the highlight. Chris called it a “Biography Puzzle”, he captivated an entire room with 7 bullet points:
- The Martinellis & the Walshes
- RS – C – P
- 14 + 8
His DaVinci code approach had everyone’s attention. The next day I caught myself telling a friend about this great speaker who was part Irish, fluent in Russian, has a German last name, lived overseas for nearly a decade, in 8 countries, did a stint somewhere as a Foreign Service officer and is now the CMO of Siemens Enterprise Communications.
I’ve never seen this approach before and based on comments from the other CMOs in the room – they won’t forget Chris either. I figure if I can remember that level of detail on someone I just met - in a line-up of 20 other speakers, he's on to something. And I love that he came up with the concept just to keep the presentation interesting.
I decided to give it a try and came up with my own biography puzzle:
- It’s all German and Greek to me
- T •
- 000010001100011 x 15
- BI, CPM, ABM, APM, SOA, ITIL, BPM, BBIM
- CMO and/or Wired
- Sat Nam
I suppose I could simply tell you what it means…. Nah! I’m interested to hear your interpretation, see your biography puzzle or find out what other interesting presentation tips you've seen.