Friday, December 17, 2010

Back to School

Since the new website was rolled out last week, we have had a few questions about the SP presentation workshops or schools, or whatever you would like to call them. Admittedly, this section of the website is lacking and is currently undergoing a rebuild and restructuring. The workshops are going to be really beneficial to our clients, but to many others as well. It will be clearer soon, I promise.

For now, though, I'll attempt to provide a bit more clarity here, for those who have asked.

No, these aren't classes to teach you how to use Powerpoint or Keynote. We're going to assume you have at least a basic, working knowledge of those tools. Sure, there will be some tips and tricks along the way, but these are NOT tutorials on how to import images or how to change the color of text.

No, we're not going to bring you into a big auditorium and lecture you on public speaking. Actually, we are creating a very warm and comfortable environment, that will make our classroom sessions not only very personal and casual, but limiting each class day to a small number of people at one time, it will be a very hands-on and direct approach to interactive learning.

So here is the nitty gritty of these workshops—we're basing the whole concept on the human brain.

It's accepted that each hemisphere of your brain serves different types of thought. The left side of the brain serves thought in a linear fashion—logic, rational, structured and tactical. It takes in verbal commands and organized structure. The right side of the brain serves creative and holistic thought, and tends to absorb input via imagery and ideas. Both process information differently, and most people are dominant to one side or another.

In any audience, you will have BOTH types of people, so you need to not only consider that in your presentation to them, but as you build your own ideas, as well.

So each day will focus on the left- and right-brained parts of developing brilliant presentations. Day 1 is the right-brained part that speaks in ideas, concepts, pictures and imagery, and Day 2 will focus mostly on the verbal, linear and logical development of the presentation, through speaking and orator development. They both MUST overlap, though, so we will cover both sections on both days to some degree.

These are 2-day workshops—you can do one, or the other, or both—it's up to you. Each day will have a different emphasis. The first day will be the "Creative" day. Roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Well, not really. But you will learn to re-think the ways you have been developing and designing presentations.

What does this mean? Well, for starters, we're going to teach you a different way to think about developing a presentation visually and verbally. No more template-driven, bullet-riddled litanies of copy to have your audience read from while you recite exactly what's up on the screen. We're going to start from the beginning, and that doesn't mean the slide template. We'll also discuss subjects such as identifying your audience, identifying your message, creating a plan and concept around that message, building the presentation structure, working with (and around) brand guidelines, typography, image sourcing (and legalities), and some basic design theories to help you lay out at least interesting presentation slides. The "creative" side of this is not only about the slide backgrounds your audience sees—it is SO much more than that.

In our Creative session on Day 1, we will also touch on the SquarePlanet presentation philosophies and how they differ from the status quo currently plaguing the corporate and university world today. With that, we will also spend a bit of time on the aspects of the actual verbal presentation, and how you can help your audience interact and retain your messaging better. It doesn't hurt to have a bit of speaking help, too, so we'll touch a bit on that during Day 1.

Day 2 will have a small bit of overlap for those who can't make it to the Creative workshop, touching on our philosophical concepts and ideas on how to develop memorable presentations. This will include a brief overview of the creative side of the process, for anyone only focusing on the verbal side of presentations.

The "Presenter" workshop will dive into tips on getting comfortable in front of a crowd of any size, the power of the pause, the SquarePlanet 4 keys to a successful presentation (authenticity, personal, simplicity, restraint) and many other topics that face anyone standing up in front of an audience. We will develop your skills as a presenter, and teach you what you need to know to develop a presentation that is clear, concise, captivating and memorable.

These schools will be held in the middle of the week, in the middle of each month, and they will fill up quickly. If you would like to get a seat for any of these workshops in the next few months, don't hesitate to contact us through the website. We're really excited about what we can offer you and your company.


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