That caught your attention, didn’t it?
That word has been thrown around a lot on this blog, but for once I am not referring to my naked self.
No. Instead, I’m talking about Naked Presentations, where professional people give presentations entirely in the nude, to confront their deepest fears and conquer insecurities about their bodies… Sorry, no please stop. That’s not what I meant at all.
THERE IS NO ACTUAL NUDITY DURING A NAKED PRESENTATION.
OK, got it? Please go elsewhere if that’s what you’re looking for…
Virtual Writing Retreat
It all began last week at work, when I participated in a Virtual Writing Retreat. That means, of course, that I wasn’t really there, because there was no actual retreat; instead I lingered on the internet for three hours, keeping quiet, going about my business.
What on earth is a Virtual Writing Retreat? I think I hear you ask (or rather, I insist I hear it, whether you’re asking it or not, because otherwise this whole article will fall apart and rapidly descend into full frontal nudity innuendo, and nobody wants that, not at this hour, and especially not in this weather. Can you imagine?)
A Virtual Writing Retreat is this thing when people, in different locations, decide to either carry out research or work on a piece of writing, at the same time as each other, for mutual support. In my case, I joined a Moodle group at work, and we slaved away independently on our own projects, during the same few hours.
What’s the point of it? Well, I signed up for three hours, and during that time, I was incredibly productive, much more so than if I had decided to carry out research just under my own steam.
By knowing that my colleagues were also working on their research at the same time as me, made me feel a bit more competitive somehow, that I needed to work really, really hard, within that fixed time frame.
In those three hours I researched Naked Presentations, and discovered what it means; it is a way of delivering presentations without PowerPoint or any other similar equipment. In essence, you are stripped of technology, and encouraged to find alternative, more versatile ways of engaging with your audience.
I found this to be incredibly inspiring, in part, I think, because without really knowing it, I have already been striving to give presentations in this way for a long time, in the different jobs I’ve had; as a teacher, as a workshop leader, as a storyteller.
Death By PowerPoint
We’ve all sat through those awful presentations where the presenter has read, word-for- word, everything that’s on their PowerPoint slides. It drives me to distraction; instead of paying attention to what they’re trying to say, I find myself critiquing their presentation style, thinking of all the different things they could have done to make it more engaging.
So, anyway, after three hours, my desk was littered with sheets of paper and my notes scrawled all over them; much to my surprise, I had read a whole book, and subsequently sketched out an hour-long workshop to present to my colleagues on the topic. My workshop, incidentally, will also have no PowerPoint, and will be packed full of alternative ways to engage an audience.
In short, I am on a mission at my workplace to revolutionize how people give presentations. There are much better ways than simply sticking to PowerPoint. I have put forward a proposal to present my workshop at a staff development day at work.
I’m currently considering what to call it. Let’s try out a few titles for size:
Naked Presentations: The Full Monty Experience
How To Avoid Death By PowerPoint: Get Naked
Naked Presentations: Dare To Bare
Stripping Down For Your Audience: The Power of the Naked Presentation
Going Full Frontal To Engage Your Audience