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zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
15 Jan 11 17:53
I recently had an audition for a teaching position at a well known training company.  My instructions were to prepare a 15 minute presentation on any subject of my choosing.  Since it was a training gig, I pulled 15 min of information from my 2-day course.  The course is intended to be instructional.

At the end of all the auditions, one of the senior instructors said "At [this company] we never do presentations, we transfer information".  He said it like his words had some profound meaning.  I would have just blown past it, but at my last class one of the course evaluations said that the class felt more like a "presentation than a class".

Does anyone have any ideas as to how a "presentation" becomes "training" and what the difference is?

MikeHalloran (Mechanical)
15 Jan 11 18:19
My (amateur) take:

At a presentation, you tell/show me what you know.
I listen, maybe take notes, and may or may not absorb any of it.  I.e., you transmit, I may or may not receive, and no measurement is made of what was received.

At a training session, you tell/show me what you know.
Then I spit it back in some form, maybe a quiz, or these days by answering questions on a computer.
OR I apply the information you have transmitted to a problem that you didn't present, in order to gauge how much of it I have actually received.  

These days, again, my input goes into a computer that provides some kind of measurement, and may adaptively modify what is presented next, or vector me to remedial material, and recurses until I demonstrate that I'm starting to 'get it'.

IOW, training, computerized or not, includes quizzes, questions, or other feedback mechanisms, that in turn are used to adapt the presentation to the speed and efficacy of reception.

For example:  
You might give a presentation on how to disassemble an engine.  You might even actually do so during the course of the presentation.

In training, you would provide instruction, guidance, critique, and so forth, but I, the student, would actually handle the wrenches.

OR, the training company representative might have meant something else entirely.  From my outside perspective, education seems to comprise mostly polysyllabic BS.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
15 Jan 11 18:32
I think "polysyllabic BS" encapsulates my initial reaction.  Had I not heard the criticism twice in a short period I would have blown it off.

But your distinction of a Presentation not requiring the learner to demonstrate learning seems valid.  I'll  work on that (maybe the audition should have been a 5 minute presentation and a 10 minute quiz?).  I know my 2-day course fails completely in the requirement that the learner demonstrate learning.  I was already working on adding exercises and quizzes (turning the 16 hours of intense lecture into into a week-long course by adding about 4 hours of arithmetic, doing 4-hours/day of lecture and 4 hours/day of breaks, lunch, exercises, and quizzes).  Maybe I'll get past the distinction.

Ron (Structural)
15 Jan 11 18:42
I view training as more interactive than a presentation.  In a presentation you tell them stuff.  In training, you engage them and ask for input and answers.  They have to be as much a part of the process as you.

tygerdawg (Mechanical)
16 Jan 11 14:17
Quizzes & evaluations are useful and force a little bit of seriousness in the students/attendees.  It can also be a matter of style as much as anything else.

For example a co-worker made a presentation where it was clear he spent more effort creating animations and cutesy crap using PPT functionality than he did trying to make a point or transfer knowledge.  He was drawn & quartered by the CEO in front of everyone:  terrible behavior of the CEO and terribly painful to watch my coworker pilloried like that.  My presentation was based on the style I developed as a trainer.  No cutesy crap, visually simple & directed, present the facts, walk the audience through the learning process from goal summary through start-finish to finality, supply references to offline data, & ask for feedback at every step to make sure they are getting the information I am trying to transmit.  I was lucky that day as it was well received not only the CEO but by everyone in attendance.  I certainly don't claim to be perfect about this, but is just something to consider.

Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering

TheTick (Mechanical)
16 Jan 11 14:54
Training is for imparting new skills. Anything less is just  a show.
rmw (Mechanical)
16 Jan 11 15:49
To me a presentation is when you do a design and present what you did to the huddled masses for their observation and/or learning and/or approval.  For example, slide with a bolted joint and a caption "I calculated the bolt stresses and found them to meet the requirements of ASME XYZ."  

Training is ..."next we have to calculate bolt stresses.  First determine the grade of bolt to be used.  Look up the YS (or allowable stress, or whatever) for that grade from Table ABC.  Determine the thread root area by calculating thusly or consulting MNOP.  Then divide the world by the moon and multiply by the stars, etc, blah, blah, and you determine the maximum stress that the bolt is capable of.  Now look in ASME XYZ paragraph 123 and check your result against the requirements of table 12.

Now your test will be: given a flange with Quantity X bolts of A193 B7 bolts of 7/8" diameter is used on a vessel with 122 pressure and an operating temperature of AAA having a blind flange of X pipe size.......  Determine if the bolts will meet the code.

Hopefully the training will have given them everything they need to pass the test.  The presentation didn't and wasn't designed to.

SomptingGuy (Automotive)
16 Jan 11 17:41
I worked on a very wide-ranging simulation project in the early 90's, using a combination of a commercial product, much user coding and a lot of really good validation data.

I was invited to present the work at a user conference run by the vendor.  I was also asked to run a training course for the customers.  Same work, but totally different requirements.  The presentation was a taster, with nothing too deep given away, hopefully attracting more work from new clients (as it did).  The training was completely hands-on, showing all my workings.


- Steve

Helpful Member!  MintJulep (Mechanical)
16 Jan 11 20:30
Teaching is a skill that must be learned and practiced.  Think back to your days at school.  You had good teachers and bad teachers.
IRstuff (Aerospace)
17 Jan 11 0:06
One can go back to the beginning and look at "training" as pertains to apprenticeships.  Back in the days when whipping an apprentice was an acceptable practice, the apprentice NEVER got any "presentations" and their training consisted of them actually doing the work while the master observed and corrected, and whipped, or not.

Nowadays, of course, we do expect that trainees actually absorb knowledge from the fonts that are the masters, and the whole process is compressed from many years into 2 days.  Isn't modern progress amazing?

Of course, I'm an absolute firn believer in learning by doing.  In many instances, booklearning without a personal or work-related project to work on results in possibility high transmission, but relatively poor reception, and even poorer retention.


FAQ731-376: Forum Policies
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DerPumpeMeister (Mechanical)
17 Jan 11 17:25
The major difference between a presentation and training is the reciprocal communication.  Training should include regular feedback from the audience (students).

I give presentations quite often, but have on occaision been required to provide training to operators of our equipment.  Since I cannot physically have the equipment present, it is difficult to actively involve the audience.  Therefore I generally try to ask for a lot feedback and limit how long I am the only person speaking.  I also like to provide a workbook or manual to assist during training classes.

Twoballcane (Mechanical)
17 Jan 11 17:47
I've been to a few conferences and the way I look at it is presentations are what you give for free with scant power point slides to entice and training is what the audience will pay to be exposed to the rest of your ideas and methods.   

"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
17 Jan 11 17:59
The thread I see developing here is a presentation is an information dump without audience participation.  Training is a presentation with the requirement for the audience to demonstrate their understanding of the material.

I'm starting to get it--the first guy was full of crap (my class had quite a bit of back and forth, no quiz or formal exercises, but a lot of questions for the class to ponder) and the second guy had some unrealistic expectations for a 15 minute time slot.

Thanks everyone.

TheTick (Mechanical)
17 Jan 11 19:00
One thing I will say about my navy training: the goals were always clear.  Instructors wasted very little time on anything that did not relate to the detailed list of objectives we were given at the start of our coursework.

I worked for a couple different companies teaching standardized test prep.  Each had their own culture (one was far more professional than the other), but both had their own language to describe what they wanted that made little sense to the uninitiated.

I'm sure you'd be a great teacher, Dave.  They'd be fools to pass you up on account of such nitpickery.
rmw (Mechanical)
17 Jan 11 20:02
I agree with the "information dump" as a definition of presentation but disagree about the audience participation part.  To me, in a presentation, the audience is trying to learn something or be shown something, but it fits within their current level of training.

Training on the other hand, assumes that the audience knows noting or very little about the subject being taught and will by some process when it is completed.

I make presentations all the time to peers who may well be better trained on the topic than I am.  I also do trainings where my beginning point is that the audience knows very little to nothing about the topic and when I get done with them, well, they will be experts, won't they?

MintJulep (Mechanical)
17 Jan 11 20:39
How about this.

When giving a presentation you have a script of what you want to say, and you don't deviate from the script.

A good teacher is constantly reading the audience, looking for signs of comprehension or confusion, and digresses from the script when he or she sees that the point is not getting across.

IRstuff (Aerospace)
18 Jan 11 1:08
"When giving a presentation you have a script of what you want to say, and you don't deviate from the script."

Rarely does that happen; only if I get to duct-tape everyone's mouth winky smile


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Ron (Structural)
18 Jan 11 7:06

Quote (The Tick):

I'm sure you'd be a great teacher, Dave.  They'd be fools to pass you up on account of such nitpickery.

I agree.  You don't mince words and you present your points clearly.  Besides that, you've got a ton of relevant experience to back it up.....and it's something you clearly like and want to do.  Pretty damned good combination, I'd say.
zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jan 11 7:42
I'm blushing, thanks for the kind words.  There were 6 of us auditioning for an unknown number of positions, the other guys were really strong (3 PhD's and a JD and a couple of hundred years of experience amongst us), so I don't know how it'll turn out.  If I don't end up teaching (their material) for them, I'll certainly find a way to continue teaching (not "presenting") my own material for someone else, it is just too much fun to stop.

casseopeia (Structural)
18 Jan 11 8:44
I would compare this to a dance presentation, a performance, where your audience watches what you can do.  Trained dancers may pick up a move or two, but won't be able to replicate the choreography or maybe even some of the technique.

A dance workshop where I would instruct dancers on the choreography is different.  You can teach the same material, but at a completely different pace.  We call it breaking down the move or the choreography.  I would not expect feedback from the students so much as questions or requests for clarification, etc.  The feedback is individual and comes from the mirror.

But I'd also expect a different setting for the training vs presentation.  A presentation occurs on a 'stage' and your audience is fairly immobile.   Training occurs in a large studio and the students are able to move around and expected to replicate what they observe.

Was the setting like that, or was it more of a lecture hall with seats?  Where do their training sessions occur, a shop or lab?  I guess I would have expected the people requesting the audition to have made that clear.  Maybe next time you are asked to do a 'presentation', you should ask what the setting will be just to be clear what is expected of you.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

sprinkler1000 (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 8:52
"Presentation", we think of a powerpoint with some facts over some kind of topic. When we say "Training" I think of some procedure to DO something.
Both can be done with a powerpoint, but Training means a method or procedure to do something maybe work related.
casseopeia (Structural)
18 Jan 11 9:00
Next time ask if the students are going to have pens and notepads, or wrenches in their hands (or whatever fits the material).


"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

Helpful Member!  TheBlacksmith (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 9:19
We always went by Terminal Objectives and Enabling Objectives; "at the end of this lesson, the student shall be able to ..."  If you can't define the objective, then it's probably a presentation and not training.
zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jan 11 9:27
The eventual training will be classroom (I don't even want to think of a flock of overweight, gray-haired engineers dancing, I think I'll have nightmares over that for a while).

"Learning objectives" is a good distinction.  At the end of a presentation, the observer will be able to "decide whether to toss the slides or not".  At the end of training, the trainee "will be able to ..." do specific things.  Thanks for that clarification TheBlacksmith.

casseopeia (Structural)
18 Jan 11 13:23
I chose to compare this to dance because of the word you used to describe the interview as an audition.  It was an audition.  I have never thought of a job interview as an audition.  Although both are a type of selling, auditions are a completely different animal, and I would prepare differently for a performance audition versus a dance instruction audition.

To answer the original question, a presentation is like a performance and a training is like an instructional workshop, but both can be auditions.  With a straight job interview there is a give and take with your interviewer, so you can structure your responses based on the reactions and questions you are getting.  With an audition, once you are 'on', your fate is sealed.

You have to know what they are expecting before you show up.  You do not have that same give and take like at an interview.  If you get it wrong by not giving them what they were expecting, then you have blown the audition.  That was my point for asking specific questions ahead of time, so you do not blow the audition.  You do not need to ask your potential audience.  You need to ask your judges what they are expecting.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

moon161 (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 14:21
You rub your eyes and stretch after a presentation. After training your brain hurts, you may have asked a couple questions, have a couple more, and you want to try something that you've learned.
zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jan 11 14:45
This felt more like a cattle call than any job interview I ever had.  First, the 6 applicants had to stand up and do one of those extemporaneous "Who am I and what motivates me" talks to the other applicants and a half dozen people on the selection committee.  Then we each had to do a 15 minute talk on a prepared subject of our choosing.  It really was an audition.

This group personified the old joke that an extroverted engineer looks at your shoes while talking to you instead of his own.  The "who am I" talks were painful.  The prepared stuff was better.

casseopeia (Structural)
18 Jan 11 16:28
That absolutely fits the feel of an audition. The rare exception does not seem like a cattle call.

In acting classes, you learn how to do a preprepared "who am I" monologue that sounds like it's off-the-cuff, and you rehearse it with appropriate pauses and gestures.  

Last week I was sent to a casting call unprepared simply because I had a certain look.  Normally any modeling I do is for print or web sites and any video is for non-speaking roles.  The call was for a model/actress and I was the only non-professional model spokesperson there.  I had to do a 'runway' audition, a cold read and also had to take a quiz. One of the questions was to describe the Triangle Theory, so I wrote down the Pythagorean theorem.  It's not what they were looking for.  I don't think the casting director knew what I was talking about either.


"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

TheTick (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 16:54
The two "auditions" I did for teaching jobs involved teaching the other applicants a skill.  First time I distributed decks of cards and taught the group how to do a one-handed cut.  Second time I distributed string and faux fishing lures and taught the group how to tie a clinch knot.

The real trick was finding something simple enough that the other applicants had no excuse for sabatoging me.  Also had to run out and buy cards that weren't R-rated.
casseopeia (Structural)
18 Jan 11 18:31
I don't know IRstuff.  They didn't tell me how I did on the quiz (I'm positive I did very badly) or what the answers were if I had them wrong.  The triangle theory might be in reference to the Karpman Drama Triangle.

or maybe they wanted the theory behind the Bermuda Triangle, or the primary color triangle that forms the basis of the color wheel.  When I asked I was told to "do the best you can."  I wish now I had called to find out what was being cast exactly and what credentials I was expected to possess, instead of showing up assuming it was a typical audition where I would pose and have my picture taken to be evaluated later against the other candidates.  It was not a happy experience.   

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

Ron (Structural)
18 Jan 11 20:27
David...that "audition" sounds more like some crafted internal bull$hit to jump through their hoops than to determine if you know and can do anything.  That's a fine line to you have enough of the malleability that they want to teach/train "their" way and do you have a modicum of knowledge that will give you (read..them) credibility?

You don't strike me as a particularly malleable person, particularly by a corporate structure (if you were, Muleshoe wouldn't exist).  They are looking for cookie cutter training....somehow, I don't think that fits you.

Go do what you're doing!  Apparently it seem to be doing it all over the world.

Good luck,
MintJulep (Mechanical)
18 Jan 11 20:35
I would be wary of a training company that won't train you to be a better trainer.
beej67 (Civil/Environmental)
18 Jan 11 20:57


"At [this company] we never do presentations, we transfer information"
You should have told him that you prefer not to transfer information, you prefer to teach.

There's a huge difference between displaying information and teaching a process.  If your boss doesn't know that, you're in deep doo doo.

I've taught as an adjunct, and it's quite fun.  The most important thing to do, in my experience, is to be honest with your students, and try to see the lecture through their eyes, as someone who doesn't understand the material.  Then explain it in a way that you would want it explained if you didn't understand the material.

Seems like a 'duh' thing to say, but so many teachers don't get it.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East -

plasgears (Mechanical)
19 Jan 11 12:33
Toastmasters is excellent training for the presention business. Did it for 10 yrs.

Training is epitomized by the military method:
- tell them what you will say,
- tell them,
- tell them what you said,
- review,
- exam,
- review the exam.
rmw (Mechanical)
22 Jan 11 22:16
This has been a good thread.  I recently prepared a 'training' course for my peers.  I am about to tear it up and start over.

It will be the same material, but it will be presented differently.

zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
23 Jan 11 2:11
I had the same feeling about a 2 day course the was really a presentation as described above.  I went back and added objectives for each section and an exercise that carries through all the sections and now it is a week long training session.  I didn't change 5% of the material.  A long way from "tearing it up and starting over", although that is what I thought I needed to do.  Maybe you'll be as lucky.

Ron (Structural)
23 Jan 11 7:11
Likewise, David.  Good discussion and input.  I'm preparing an online course and this has made me re-think a few things.

IRstuff (Aerospace)
23 Jan 11 14:21
Gunnar posted an example of really bad presentional, and really bad training in the Pub:


FAQ731-376: Forum Policies
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a2mfk (Structural)
25 Jan 11 16:39
tyger- I hope you aren't talking crap about a present employer, never know when someone will google and find this thread. Seriously... (even if they did deserve the criticism)

Speech class- Not to say you need a class to know how to teach a class, but my wife took one at the local CC and greatly benefited from it, despite doing training classes for her company for several years.  
IRstuff (Aerospace)
25 Jan 11 17:55
Sure, we had that at our previous job.  Someone from corporate communications came and critiqued our presentations and presentation styles.  

As a result, we got better, and won our oral proposal presentation, 313 charts in 4 hours flat.  Of course, the customer wasn't allowed to ask questions during the actual presentation; that was for the afternoon session.


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a2mfk (Structural)
25 Jan 11 18:20
Also, I would watch the Office, you can pick up many interesting, attention grabbing techniques from Michael.
btrueblood (Mechanical)
25 Jan 11 18:44
Regarding presentation, I have always found it prudent to ask the customer what their objectives for the presentation are.  Giving them what they want usually results in success for both parties.  

<Anecdote alert>

I had a boss who insisted that I cut 100+ pages from a presentation I'd prepared, to our customer's rather detailed guidelines.  He insisted I took them too literally, and wanted to give them "what they really wanted".  Boss and I compromised on having two presentations ready, mine and his (at roughly 8 or 10 pages).  At the meeting, he stood up and started with his presentation, was brusquely cut short by the customer team leader...and I stepped up to start the (yawn) presentation they'd asked for.  We got thru with the data dump, got the box ticked for passing a milestone, and the check was cut for our contract payment a couple weeks later...because I wouldn't back down on not taking the requested number of copies of bulky presentation packages, and the requested backup documentation with us on our trip.  Didn't help me keep my job, note this anecdote fails to abide the over-riding rule of "don't ever one-up your boss".

<anecdote warning cancelled>
zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
25 Jan 11 23:04
I made a career of one-upping a long series of bosses.  One of them said "As long as you're right, you're golden, but with your mouth don't ever be wrong".  I guess I got through a career without ever being wrong about something important, but there were some near misses.  If you choose that path, be aware that you will NEVER be the boss, but you can have a lot of fun.

IRstuff (Aerospace)
26 Jan 11 1:01
I had forgotten; the gist of what we were taught in presentation class is summarized here: FAQ731-1668: Introduction to Effective Presentations


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SiliconeAurora (Materials)
26 Jan 11 15:53
With presenting, it's assumed at the beginning by both the presentor and the audience that the item being presented has inherent qualities that make it important. You present a sculpture. You present a painting. You present vital findings on a subject where the group you are addressing has been gathered for that very purpose because the results may have wide-reaching ramifications. It is very "ta-dah!" where the very reveal of the presentation is justification enough.

But a lot of life isn't like that. People aren't always convinced what they're listening to is valuable to them or even coming from a source that has any credibility. You can't just show someone a new procedure and expect them to dig into the details, because to them it's just another thing higher-ups are telling them to do. But you can train them on it by going through what is required at each step and make sure they understand it.

If I had to sum it up, you can train people against their will and they will eventually become familiar with the subject, but you can't present the same thing to someone and demand that they care.
rmw (Mechanical)
27 Jan 11 22:31

I had one boss say to another subordinate (who repeated it to me) "don't you just hate it when the little SOB is right?"  I took it as a compliment and I think the other subordinate did too, or he wouldn't have repeated it.

debodine (Electrical)
22 Feb 11 15:40
I just completed a series of meetings with a training company and I learned their explanation for the difference between a presentation and training.

Training only takes place when there is at least one measurable objective, and at least one critierion by which to determine if that objective has been met.

Without those items present, it is a presentation whose purpose is simply information transfer, not training.

I am not a training expert so I can't say if they are right or wrong, just passing on what they showed us in the meetings.
zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
22 Feb 11 19:16
After reading the whole thread above and thinking about it, I'm pretty much in agreement with the training company's definition.  You have to have objectives and measure progress.

IRstuff (Aerospace)
23 Feb 11 10:31
"Training only takes place when there is at least one measurable objective, and at least one critierion by which to determine if that objective has been met."

The same can be said of presentations.  Why do a presentation if there's no defined goal?  We don't do presentations just because we've nothing better to do.

sales> MO-> increased audience knowledge of products
design review> MO -> demonstrate compliance to exit criteria
Morgan Stanley dinner presentation> MO -> impart knowledge about financial instruments and company's benefits to the clients

At the end of the day, every legitimate business presentation has an exit criteria, however weak or nebulous.


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debodine (Electrical)
23 Feb 11 14:39
IRstuff, i think you and the training comapany that spoke to us are saying similar things, and the difference is possibly only semantic.

I didn't mean to imply on their behalf that a presentation has no goal or intent...but I appear to have sent that message to you.  They simply stated to us that information transfer that results in measurable results against a specific measurement critieron to verify an objective has been met is, to their definition, training.  Otherwise, it is still information transfer for a specific purpose but they use the term presentation.

Ultimately, I don't have any vested interest in their definition being consdered "right" so I only present it as information for the discussion.

I always enjoy reading your responses as you are a very active contributor here.  I suspect with your experience in our industry (I am also in aviation though not in aerospace per se), your idea of what constitutes training versus a presentation is at least as good as this training company's definition.
IRstuff (Aerospace)
23 Feb 11 15:06
No worries...  I'm just in the position of having seen too much.  What's old is often new again, not unlike women's fashions.  Even bell bottoms make an occasional appearance.

I think that what distinguishes training presentations from other presentations, is the expectation that the audience will, or can, actually digest and use the presented material to perform the function as described in the presentation.  And, it's not just about the learning, since I can watch "Naked Science" and "learn" lots about Pluto and other dwarf planets and planet-like objects, but there's no expectation that upon conclusion of the program that I can do planetary science.  I might be inspired to do planetary science, but I'll need way more than one TV show.  Ditto, unfortunately, for many presentations students often get in school.

Training, then, is more than just learning, and more than just finding out that the contractor has met his contractual obligations for preliminary design review.  It's specifically showing by example and repetition how to actually do something, be it running Matlab, designing a Kalman filter, or even how to do a hockey shot.  

So, the defined goal for a training presentation is a bit narrower, specifically that the audience will gain sufficient knowledge or skill to accomplish a task work which the training was intended.  And ultimately, the measureable objective would be that each audience member can complete a task with minimal help or supervision.

Beyond that, training and other presentations are structurally and content-wise the same.  You start out with a goal, and you construct a set of slides that achieve that goal.


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Helpful Member!  HgTX (Civil/Environmental)
1 Mar 11 21:59


- tell them what you will say,
- tell them,
- tell them what you said,

I *hate* being presented with "here's what I will say in this presentation".  It is a waste of my time.  I will find out what you will say at the time you say it.


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MikeHalloran (Mechanical)
1 Mar 11 22:31
>>>I *hate* being presented with "here's what I will say in this presentation".  It is a waste of my time.  I will find out what you will say at the time you say it.<<<

I don't mind getting an outline up front.
It affords me the chance to politely excuse myself and skip the bulk of the presentation if it's of no interest to me.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

IRstuff (Aerospace)
2 Mar 11 1:19
"- tell them what you will say,- tell them,- tell them what you said,"

I'm not sure what the big deal is, since that's the structure of just about every technical paper written, i.e., you start with the abstract, followed by the body, followed by a conclusion.  Likewise, every trial proceeding is the same way, opening statement, followed by the body of the presentation of evidence, followed by final arguments.


FAQ731-376: Forum Policies
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KENAT (Mechanical)
2 Mar 11 11:34
"- tell them what you will say,- tell them,- tell them what you said,"

I've had that basic principle drilled into me for a long, long, time.

To some extent it probably goes with 3 part repetition which is one of the tricks of public speaking to get people to remember what you say.

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HgTX (Civil/Environmental)
3 Mar 11 20:41
Typically I know what the talk is about before I show up.

There are probably good well-flowing ways to give an "abstract" at the beginning of a talk.  But more often than not you get people who just read somewhere (like a discussion forum) that they're supposed to say what they're going to say, and so they put up the complete talk outline including bullets for "introduction" and "conclusion" (and all the completely predictable and thus non-informative sections in between) on a slide, and the first thing they say after giving their name and company affiliation is, "First I will give an introduction, then I will..."

In a 20-minute talk, I can afford the suspense.  I don't need a warning.

I haven't seen really good speakers do this (or even a less clumsy version thereof).  Maybe they're so good that I can't tell they're doing it.


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MikeHalloran (Mechanical)
3 Mar 11 20:57
Best presentation I ever gave went like this:

"First I'll tell you what we screwed up, and how we screwed up.
Then I'll tell you how we intend to fix it.
Then I'll ask you to approve our approach by signing the revision documents."

Then I went ahead and did what I said I'd do.

Then the customer signed off, with no questions, and remarked that it was the best presentation they'd ever seen.  It was all over in 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, they also took the trouble to call my boss and tell him how much they enjoyed the presentation, so I got nominated to present even more of our screwups to the customer.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

mshimko (Materials)
4 Mar 11 9:22
Back to the original posting from ZDAST04;  

The original posting reminded of two past experiences; both occured right before I retired from the military as was open to "ALL" opportunities:

(1) An "AMWAY" rep mentioned a business opportunity he thought I would be interested in.  Turned out it was selling AMWAY.

(2) I went to an information session, lead-in for me was "educational and teaching opportunity".  It was ----- selling life insurance.

To me, the statement "At [this company] we never do presentations, we transfer information" ..........appears to has the same level of BS as my two examples above.

zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
4 Mar 11 9:34
You know, the company really has a proud history and has trained a significant portion of my generation of facilities engineers.  Having sat through a bunch of their train-the-trainer stuff, they may be eroding that reputation with a rush-to-market attitude (which is manifested in too many pat statements like the one you quoted).

It turns out that they weren't as interested in me as they had indicated and I'm not going to be teaching classes for them (their choice, not mine).  The experience was worthwhile though.  Based on what I learned from them and this thread, I've rewritten my 2-day "presentation" into a 5-day "course" with exercises and tests.  Now I just have to find a venue to teach it.

Compositepro (Chemical)
4 Mar 11 12:00
Look into technical societies related to your subject matter. They often offer training and tutorials. They need people to create and give these courses. They take a cut for marketing and perhaps providing the classroom at a conference. A 5-day course is pretty serious and some colleges offer these to working professionals.
zdas04 (Mechanical) (OP)
4 Mar 11 12:47
I'm boycotting SPE right now (I spent a couple of hundred hours organizing a conference, Chairing it, and doing a bunch of the presentations and realized that after all that I still had to pay admission, I havent' been to one of their events since).  I may look into ASME.  They do a bunch of training.

oldfieldguy (Electrical)
10 Mar 11 15:21
"- tell them what you will say,- tell them,- tell them what you said,"

Or the version given in "Techniques of Military Instruction" circa 1970:

1. Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em.
2. Tell 'em.
3. Tell 'em what you told 'em.
4. Test 'em.

Leave out Step 4 and it's a presentation.

old field guy

grockj (Mechanical)
17 Mar 11 16:13
I see this as pretty black and white, as in I've received training that did not require me to participate.

Presentation is showing "what"

Training is showing "how"

Presentations explain you or some work you did, some "thing" to the listener

Training empowers the listener to reproduce, replicate, or DO what you have discussed.

I do not personally believe this requires responsive/interactive styles. I've had quite a bit of training that was presentative in nature. However, I will say that training of this sort is of minimal effectiveness unless I have someone back at home base who is well versed to answer questions I may have if I get stuck.

The testing/quizzing/participation is, simply, a time tested way to make sure the people "got it."

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