8 Minutes That Could Change The Way You Present Technical Information

Do you make technical presentations (or work with anyone who does)? Do you have 4 minutes?

Here is a 4-minute TED Talk by Melissa Marshall called “Talk Nerdy To Me” and it reduces instructional design for technical presentations down into one simple equation (if you’re really in a hurry, just start the video at 3:51 and you’ll see this equation, but then you’re just going to want to rewind and watch the whole thing anyway, so I suggest you take four minutes to watch it from the beginning).

With a background in communications, Melissa understands that a presentation can only change the world if people can understand and connect with a speaker’s content. Give it a watch and let me know what you think in the comment section.

Talking about a presenter’s need to provide just the right amount of information, Patti Shank recently wrote an article on ATD’s Science of Learning Blog entitled “The Case for Less… Generally” in which she asks how much instruction we should provide in any session we design. She explains why we can’t train everyone on everything (people don’t have unlimited time), she makes the audacious suggestion that people rarely go back and look things up in their old training materials (so look for ways to create performance support materials), and in the event that some workers actually need to effortlessly recall facts and content in just about every situation, she offers several ways to help accomplish this.

If you have four more minutes of time after watching Melissa’s TED Talk, definitely take a look at Patti’s article. For an overall investment of 8 minutes of your life, you may just be able to change someone else’s life through a more effective presentation. Not a bad return on investment!

Know someone else who presents technical information and probably has 8 minutes to spare? Pass this along or Tweet it out!

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