Manny’s Moans – The Talking Head
On February 26, I presented the TechNation webinar on the Ladder of Inference. I am told that it went well. I myself am not sure how well it went. I am an old-fashioned instructor. I am trained in the fine art of standing in front of a captivated and captive audience. I am, as we in the business call ourselves, a talking head.
A talking head is trained, but not always, to present to a live and visible audience. I was trained in the U.S. Army as an instructor. I received a one-week course on curriculum design and presentation techniques. They even taught me to erase the chalkboard in up and down strokes, not side to side. Side to side, causes your ass to shake back and forth, which is true. And this is the point.
When I started my curriculum design experience almost 40 years ago, technology was blackboard and chalk and maybe some handout material. I then graduated to overhead projectors and then to computers, Power Point, and video projectors. Webinars are the latest innovation in the flow of presentation technology.
In a webinar, you don’t generally see the audience. They might be naked, eating pizza and drinking beer. They might not even be in the room or the house. You can’t see the effect of your words and videos. You can’t tell when someone did not understand and has a question. People can send you their questions, however, people hesitate to do that unless you ask for them to do that. And even then it is an unusually interruptive action.
A talking head can see the people, how they react, and gauge their understanding and his own effectiveness as a presenter. A webinar is mostly unidirectional and consists of words, verbal inflections and tone, and pictures. The presenter cannot provide the visual cues of body language. Research indicates that body language contains 55% of any message. The biggest deal, however, is that the presenter misses the feedback from almost the entire audience. Therefore he does not know how he did as a presenter.
Sure, we send surveys after the webinar. How often do you take the time to complete a survey and provide quality feedback? I have some strong negative opinion about the value of surveys. That, however, is for another Moan.
So…I spent a great deal of time generating my informative, entertaining and awesome presentation. I conducted a witty and remarkably intelligent presentation. Yet I did not receive the applause and admiration to which I am accustomed. As a talking head, I feel an emptiness that I now must use wine to fill.
If you attended the webinar, please email me with your compliments and adoration. If you did not attend, the webinar will shortly be available HERE.
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