The “Brain Rules” for Presentations

Posted by Barry Flanagan on Jul 18th, 2008
Jul 18

Garr Reynolds put together a great presentation last month on John Medina’s book "Brain Rules" and presentations.



Here is the full list of 12 rules from "Brain Rules" .


 12 Brain Rules from John Medina


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Hottest IT Market + Sex = ?

Posted by Barry Flanagan on Mar 19th, 2008
Mar 19


Virtualization is the hottest IT market today. Everyone in the software industry is trying to get a piece of the action in virtualization. I am not sure you need sex to sell something this hot, but apparently someone thinks you do.




That is  a  very unique example of technical public speaking. I can safely say I have never seen "visuals" like that during a presentation on virtualization.


This is part of a contest to pick the "Virtualization Girl", a spokesperson for a blog on the virtualization market apparently . I love the irony of a blog that includes the word "intelligence" in it’s name is using sex to sell a blog.   


Based on this example, it doesn’t appear "Virtualization Girl" will be hindered by the "Curse of Knowledge"  .You could argue that this is simply a way to build rapport with the audience through understanding what results they would like to achieve (all part of the Six Rs of Communication) . The great majority of the IT Market is still men. It is not at all unusual to see beautiful women used to pull in booth traffic at a technology trade show (known as "booth babes"). I have seen extreme examples where startups used strippers and "escorts" to do this.  I can’t imagine those types of leads end up being all that valuable however, since the reason for interest has nothing to do with the benefits of the product.  But since this is a website whose model is likely based on advertising, this may turn out differently.             


You can see the videos announcing the contest here. More audition videos are planned to be posted at the website


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Great Message + Great Delivery = Powerful Impact

Posted by Barry Flanagan on Mar 9th, 2008
Mar 9


You may have seen this already, or you may have missed this story completely as I did. My wife forwarded this video to me.  Randy Pausch is a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. You can read a short summary of his story on WikiPedia.


This is a powerful talk. It is also a fantastic example of how to use visuals (and PowerPoint) to support your message. This is a short 10 minute version of "The Last lecture".




I found the full version of  "The Last Lecture" on YouTube.




This message is not new, of course. The popularity and impact of the message to "really achieve your childhood dreams" is driven by more than the message.  The context and how Randy chose to deliver this message drives the impact deep inside the audience.



There are many lessons to learn from this talk of course.  Choose to be a Tigger instead of a Eeyore. Be humble even if you have won the Bronze Star.  Break through the brick walls in your life. People are much more important than things. Show gratitude. Don’t complain, just work harder. If you live properly, the dreams will come to you.


Great advice, and each had a relevant, moving story behind it supported by pictures and visuals. The stories and visuals hammer home the points in a very powerful way. There are many things to learn about life and speaking from Randy Pausch.







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