Taken from my new blog:
I give presentations a lot. And I mean a lot! Most of my presentations are technical in nature, but many times (lately most of the time) are aimed at not technical audience (like managers, directors, shareholders, and the like). Yesterday, I did two inhouse presentations for a multi-national company. They were on network security. I don't want to brag, but they loved my presentations. My presentations rocked! Everybody laughed all the time, enjoying the presentations.
How do I make my presentations understandable, fun, and yet not watered down? Do you want to know the secret?
Ok, here it is: stand-up comedy.
Believe it or not, I learned my techniques from Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Seinfeld, and ... other (stand-up) comedians. I found out that it is difficult to do it. You have to have a good script (or at least a guideline). You can write it yourself or hire somebody else. In my presentation, I have to do the same. I start with a formal material and modify it to make it more "fun." Sometimes it is not that straight forward, though.
Then, there's "timing" and gesture during the delivery. This ... you have to learn.
By the way, stand-up comedy is not common in Indonesia. We have groups of commedians. Usualy the group consists of three to five persons, four being the common one. Being an Indonesian, stand-up comedy is not that natural to me.
One other thing, giving presentation is more difficult because there is interaction (questions and answers) with the audience. If you do not master the presentation material, you're dead. The audience will know. So you cannot just borrow somebody else's presentation.
Well, the secret is out ...