Question: What is the purpose of the presentation?
The overt purpose is to educate and inform
The covert purpose is to reinforce the status of the expert and remind the audience that they are not competent to solve their own problems.
I submit that in the information age the traditional presentation model needs to change from
Ideas don't evolve in a vaccuum and they don't generally flow in one direction.
Our current paradigm is based on a preacher model. An authority figure stands at the front of the room and lectures the class for forty minutes and then takes questions from the audience. Presentation styles vary but more or less they all follow this model.
Nearly every one of XPLANE's customers already has the expertise they need to solve their problems. They don't need more experts in the traditional sense -- they need people who can help them find, develop and share the best practices and experts within their own organizations. They don't need more wizards and consultants; they need to improve their communication flows.
We need fewer presentations and more conversations.
We need to develop new approaches that allow the group to take on a greater role in the knowledge-sharing experience. Approaches that turn the traditional presenter into the host of a knowledge-sharing event, rather than an expert spouting wisdom.
At XPLANE, we are working on some experiments in conversation, in an attempt to flesh out some new mechanisms for unleashing the knowledge and creativity of groups. We have already identified some interesting patterns and structures that have lead to powerful results. If your organization would like to host one, please let me know and we can try to design one together.
Please share your thoughts.
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