Kurt Vonnegut on the Shape of Stories

Posted by Anne on November 27th, 2013

In the Cornelsen coursebook I’m writing, and in my classes, I warn my students against turning their presentations into straight pitches. Robert McKee, the Hollywood scriptwriter, has pointed out that the audience doesn’t really engage with and is not convinced by a presentation that tries to sell only strong points. People aren’t dumb. They’ll instinctively […]

Presenting science to your peers

Posted by Anne on December 20th, 2012

I gave a morning workshop yesterday on scientific presentations to students of Geoscience and updated my approach a little. It now includes the concept of creating storytelling cycles of tension and resolution (situation, complication, resolution, example), as explained by presentation guru Andrew Abela, whose book, Advanced Presentations by Design, I have just ordered. Also see […]

iCloud: iUnderstand

Posted by Anne on October 19th, 2011

This is one of Steve Job’s last presentations, still explaining “his” products with inspired simplicity and clarity. Focus with me for a moment on his metalanguage (often called signposting), that is the language he uses to take us from one point to the next. Metalanguage or signposting varies widely between presentation types, and is generally […]

10 things you didn’t know about…

Posted by Anne on June 22nd, 2009

Mary Roach takes the cake with her TED presentation on “10 things you didn’t know about orgasm”. Did you know that paraplegics can have orgasms by stimulating parts of their body not typically connected with sexuality, just above their sense-deprived bodyparts? That embryos masturbate? Or that there is a woman who can have an orgasm […]

The language of bacteria

Posted by Anne on April 30th, 2009

Yesterday at Morphosys we had an interesting discussion based on the TEDTalk by Bonnie Bassler on how bacteria “talk” to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks by recognizing “self” and “other”. I asked the course how she “hooks” her listeners, and they said one of her main […]

Crisis explained

Posted by Anne on October 7th, 2008

Paddy Hirsch gives a bubbly explanation of collateralized debt obligations, i.e. the financial instruments that got us into this financial mess. Found on Presentation Zen, a site dedicated to good presentations.  Source: Marketplace Financial Crisis 101.

The overhead projector

Posted by Anne on October 4th, 2008

It’s a low-tech office dinosaur of the 20th century, but I still use the OHP for teaching. It’s really good for…