Tag Archives: presentations

Pitching

elevator

Image courtesy of Sean Benham
On a side note: This is my 50th post on this blog. As most of you know, I don’t get too excited about things like this, but it is nice to look back over the six months I have been working on this blog and see what has transpired since then. No matter how many visitors, retweets, FB shares, and so on that I get, I am in awe that anyone would think I have anything even remotely interesting to share. Thank you for putting up with my rants and incoherent rambling. I appreciate you all. Really.

Today I did elevator pitches with my students and I thought they did a really great job. I decided to do those instead of a traditional presentation for a number of reasons, but mostly because I feel it is more realistic than a lecture style speech. For those who are not aware of what an elevator pitch is, here is the basic situation.

Imagine you have walked into an elevator and standing there is the CEO / President / Manager of the company you would like to work for or with which you would like to do business. As the doors close, you have one minute to pitch yourself or your idea before the doors open again and you lose your opportunity of a lifetime. Continue reading Pitching

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Presenting

Nathan and Mike

Image courtesy of TESL Canada Conference 2012

As I have mentioned before, my first ‘real’ job was working in a camera store. This was in the days  when we had to use film and get it developed at the photo lab. I worked for a long time in that field before I went away to Lithuania for five months to teach English. Upon my return to Canada and my old job, something new had arrived, the digital camera. It was spectacular and horrendously expensive. We had two models: one with zoom and one without. Both took 0.3 megapixel photos and both went through batteries like water. But that didn’t persuade me away from showing them to customers. I KNEW this was the way of the future.

Fast forward a few years where I am now the manager of the smallest shop in the chain. A money losing store with hardly any customers. Being the youngest manager in the company, this was to be my training ground. I knew that there wasn’t a lot I could do to change the business in regards to location, advertising,  and so forth, so I needed to do what I could within the shop. And then it hit me; sell digital cameras. Make it a destination shop for all things digital imaging. I had already become fascinated with them, so with the long hours of no customers, I read and learned all I could about how they worked, the models, and so on. One day, the general manager called and said the head of the digital department was supposed to give a presentation on digital cameras at our annual open house and he came down sick. He asked if I would I be able to do it on short notice. I jumped at the chance and the rest is history. From that moment on, I travelled around giving training sessions on digital imaging and my job changed to training specialist.

I enjoy giving presentation. After giving so many of them, it isn’t so scary anymore. That initial twinge of anxiety I have just before starting quickly disappears once I get going. I know that I am not the norm here. I wasn’t always that comfortable in front of people. I have tried to take some of what I have learned over the years and used it help my business English students with their presentations. Recently, I have started to wonder about how valuable presentations are in the language classroom. We have all used them, but do we really know how helpful they are to the students? I took some time think about the features of oral presentations in the language classroom and this is what I came up with. Continue reading Presenting