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August 25, 2005

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Kevin Bjorke

I discovered the value of conversational style the hard way -- I was giving a lecture in Japan, and when I arrived at the venue discovered two things: that instead of 20 attendees there were almost 300, pulled in from offices all over Tokyo, and that my translator hadn't shown up.

So the canned version of my presentation got promptly tossed and I winged it all through with one of my Japanese colleages translating on the spot. My only metric for quality was the faces of the audience members.

Afterwards we got back some survey forms and they were through the roof! Comments like "we have never had so passionate a speaker here, please come back again" etc. Gratifying AND illuminating.

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