An evening with Presentation Gurus

Kavitha and I had an opportunity spend the evening with the giants in the world of presentations – two people that have influenced how I create and deliver presentations – Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte.

Nancy had organized a get-together hosting Garr at her office. We had an opportunity to meet several wonderful people. The highlight of course was a spell-binding presentation from Garr about his upcoming book – The Naked Presenter. Garr spoke for about 32 minutes – that’s what he said but I just couldn’t believe it. It was fast-paced, fun, interactive and the slides were BRILLIANT!!

There were so many lessons to learn. Here are a few:

1. Respect: The level of respect and appreciation Nancy and Garr had for each other was very clear. There is a lot to learn there. Both of them are BRILLIANT at what they do and they are still learning from each other. Lesson for the rest of the world creating presentations: There is a lot MORE to learn.

2. Giving: Although Garr was speaking about his upcoming book not even once he asked anyone to buy it . I am sure a lot of people have already pre-ordered the book as a case was made brilliantly via his presentation.

3. Humility: Although I have followed both of their work for years but I had never met them. They were both the nicest people to meet and very humble too. Great combination.

4. Grace: There was a question from the member of the audience where Garr was asked to pick his favorite presentation software. Garr’s answer was on the lines that tools were tools and it is YOU and the CONTENT that’s important. The person asking the question followed up again requesting Garr to pick a software – Powerpoint or Keynote to be specific. I loved the way Garr gracefully declined to answer that and moved on.

5. Thoughtfulness:  This is for Nancy. There was a question from the audience about presentations and after Garr responded he turned back to Nancy and asked if she wanted to comment on the question. Nancy didn’t blink an eye when she told Garr that it was his day and he should take it all. Knowing Nancy’s work, I am confident that she could have responded to this but she didn’t. It was a lesson in thoughtfulness delivered brilliantly.

Also, the staff at Duarte Design were super-friendly – not surprised at all that they were like that 🙂