Carnegie Hall, this way
In his article on Presentation Mastery (June), Tad Simons writes of presentation mastery as the "next big thing." I completely agree that the mastery of your presentation is crucial to its success. Though this was not the intention of the article, the preparing or aspiring speaker may have been left with the impression that content isn't important. First, you must have something important to say, then you must master the presentation. There must be a foundation of content in any presentation, whether a it is a paid professional speech, a sales call or any interpersonal communication. Without this base, a speaker is just another toastmaster who may speak at a high level but has nothing concrete to say. But as Jim Cathcart states, after the content is built, a master presenter's time must be spent "researching their audiences or clients, learning what's important to them and reflecting on how their message is going to make sense to the people in their audience." As the old joke goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" Well, you know the rest.
Rodger B. Price President, San Diego Chapter (2004-2005) National Speakers Association San Diego
Mediocrity: The new excellence
Great article on not settling for "good enough" (Podium, June). In fact, the current mantra appears to be "excellence at mediocrity!" Your thought-provoking insights and reference to "Presentation Mastery" have put me back on track, at least for now. Now I need to make sure I don't derail myself.
Ed Nowicki Executive Director International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) Twin Lakes, Wis.
Bravo Zulu, good buddy
Bravo Zulu (salty talk for congratulations on a job well done) to John Oathout for his letter published in the June issue of Presentations. Meeting clearly stated performance-based objectives is the goal of most training, certainly the type with which I am normally involved. PowerPoint is a tool and, as with all tools, it an be used properly or poorly. The best presenter I ever saw was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, who used a chalkboard, and chalk that sometimes broke, but the force of his personality and a sincere belief in his subject got the ideas across.
John Priolo Production Training Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Industrial Maintenance Facility Pearl Harbor, Hawaii