Thursday, March 26, 2009

Presentation Zen

I broke the rules for making a good presentation last Sunday. I had way too many slides, although they were all pictures, and I tried to communicate too much information about my recent trip to Africa. Presentation Zen principles of restraint, simplicity and naturalness did not move people to the front of their chairs. No one leaned into my presentation. I want to do better next time. I need to remind myself of the principles for making powerful presentations: restraint, simplicity, and naturalness. In Brain Rules for Presenters Garr Reynolds combines John Medina's Brain Rules with a lively frog to present the key concepts. Death by Powerpoint is just like it sounds. A slow, boring death by slide after slide of a bunch of bulleted lists is avoidable with proper design and delivery. Finally, a short powerful example of the key ideas for making a memorable presentation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some Interesting But Radical Ideas

Since I've been back there's been little opportunity to fully incorporate a time for reflection back into my schedule. However, over the last few days, I've found some interesting resources covering a broad base of topics around the theme of reform. I simply offer them here with limited comment.

Parker Palmer was recently interviewed by Bill Moyer. Click Here to hear him talk about American illusions and injustices.

Thomas Frey's (Executive Director and Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute - Website) article on the Future of Education. Click Here to learn about his view on the change that will begin within two years toward an education system unleashed by the advent of a standardized rapid courseware-builder and a single point global distribution system. In the article he explains eight trends that are driving changes in education. This is not a modest proposal.

Finally, an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor on the impending demise of evangelical Christianity. Click Here to read Michael Spencer's article (Michael started Internet Monk right after the November 2000 elections. Internet Monk is consistently rated in the top twenty Christian blogs in the world. It was recently voted the number 12 blog read by Christian leaders.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back to the Routine

I have been back from Africa for one week. As hot as I was in the Sudan, now I'm freezing in Bellevue. Wind, rain, hail and snow have become a part of the routine. I'm pleased to report I picked up the "Red Rocket" last Friday. When I took it in for routine maintenance just before leaving for Africa, the mechanics noticed a crack in the frame near the seat post. The timing was perfect since the fix required melting the seat post out of the frame, repairing the tubing, and repainting the entire frame. Now I have a new bike. I'm excited to get out to ride, but the weather is not cooperating at all. For now it is indoor spinning for me.

Please check back here for regular updates on what I'm learning. I've also included blogs from past adventures as well as from Stephen, a missionary from Nigeria, whom I met in Yabus.