Tell Your Own Story

Don’t ask other people to prepare your own story. If you want it to matter – do it yourself.

I’m following an interesting discussion on LinkedIn (yes – there are still a few of them happening amid the slew of self promotional spam) about presentations. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas. Stuff about keep it visual, tell stories, Prezi gets a mention as ‘an aid on the rapid journey to the vomitorium’ and a particularly smart bloke (thanks Alan Whitford) even suggests taking your guitar along and putting part of your story to music. And though it wasn’t me who suggested that, I accept that in replaying the idea I am guilty of the self promotion tactic I just derided. Ha!

I’d like to share a small part of the conversation that took place between Matthew Hudson and me. Matthew asks:

One thing that I am constantly struggling with is writing decks of slides for someone else, who I haven’t met, to present. Pass it up the line…..”he/she needs 5 slides that covers 2.1minutes on what the organisation aspires to over the next 20 years!!” 

You know the stuff!! Any tips?

To which I replied:

Hi Matthew – how about something like….do it yourself dude/dudess? I hate that crap too, just as I dislike writing stuff for other people. When I feel I have no option I quite like doing it in a style that is so obviously not theirs. If they are lazy enough to use it – then the lack of congruence often shines through. That person may be too arrogant to notice – but others are not.

In response, Matthew offers:

Thanks Doug. I’ll tell that to the minister as I leave! 🙂

And I added:

I guess it all depends on how badly the minister wants to tell a compelling story versus puke up a bunch of vague, disconnected hairballs of soulless crappy data.

Tell your own story.

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