Presentation on Resilience

Bamboo_poster_picNext Friday (October 4) I will be presenting for the ACCJ (American Chamber of Commerce Japan) at the Hyatt Regency Osaka. This event is exclusively for members and for their invited guests. However, if you are not a member and would like attend — assuming you will be in Osaka, Japan next week — then you may contact the Kansai office of ACCJ directly here by email to request a seat. This is not a public event, but if you will be in Osaka next week, you may be interested in attending. The price for members is ¥8,000 and ¥10,500 for guests. You can find more information here on the ACCJ website. This interactive and visual presentation, which includes dinner in the beautiful Hyatt Regency Osaka's Sanctuary Kagayaki Hall, will incorporate some of the new findings in the science of resilience along with a look at the myriad lessons from the bamboo.

Title "Be Like the Bamboo: The Art & Science of Resilience"
6:00 - 6:30pm Registration starts, mingling, drinks
6:30 - 7:15pm Dinner & Networking
7:15 - 8:30pm Presentation & Workshop
8:30 - 9:00pm Discussion and Networking

Send email to:  kansai@accj.or.jp

360 degree visuals
Yesterday I checked out the venue down by the bay at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Osaka Hotel. The hotel is fantastic and the presentation room is quite special.The room will have a view of the gardens during dinner which are illuminated at night. Just before the presentation begins, the shades come down and video of swaying bamboo fills the entire wall, 360 degrees. There are four large 16:9 screens for the projected slides during the talk. Below you can see some of the pics we took during rehearsal (click for larger size). It's a remarkable place to present. Sort of like being in the middle of a bamboo forest. Hope to see you there next Friday.

Bamboo_room

Bamboo_screen  Bamboo_room2
Testing the projection systems at the Hyatt Regency Osaka's Sanctuary Kagayaki Hall for next Friday's presentation.  

UPDATE
Here are a few photos from the actual presentation. It was really a fantastic evening. Thanks very much indeed to everyone for attending.

Bamboo_1

Bamboo_2  Bamboo_3


TED Talk: A story of survival, resilience, and hope (redux)

Storytelling takes listeners on a journey of transformation. The journey is a progression that reveals a change and the unexpected. Story has logic and structure, but more than anything else story is the transfer of emotion. Story makes us feel something. It changes our state. The TED Talk below by Joseph Kim tells the evocative story of his life in North Korea. It's a moving story and a presentation well worth watching.



Painting images with your words
Storytelling is visual, but the visuals can be created with one's words. Projecting a powerful image for people to see—with their eyes and their hearts—does not necessarily require a projector. Joseph Kim's presentation is a good example of that. The beginning of his talk has necessary bits of exposition, but his narrative wastes no time in bringing us in and making us feel something:

"Hunger is humiliation. Hunger is hopelessness. For a hungry child, politics and freedom are not even thought of. On my ninth birthday, my parents couldn't give me any food to eat. But even as a child, I could feel the heaviness in their hearts."

In the beginning we hear of Joseph's father dying of starvation, where it is implied that though starving himself, the father gave up what little food he had to his children. Later in Joseph's narrative this deeply painful event is linked with the incident at the dinner table in America years later. An incident that would be an epiphany and an awakening for him, an awakening that leads to yet another new direction:

"But one day, I came home and my foster mother had made chicken wings for dinner. And during dinner, I wanted to have one more wing, but I realized there were not enough for everyone, so I decided against it. When I looked down at my plate, I saw the last chicken wing, that my foster father had given me his. I was so happy. I looked at him sitting next to me. He just looked back at me very warmly, but said no words. Suddenly I remembered my biological father. My foster father's small act of love reminded me of my father, who would love to share his food with me when he was hungry, even if he was starving. I felt so suffocated that I had so much food in America, yet my father died of starvation."

The message
Most people are unable to watch this talk without tearing up. It's hard. Loss and separation—especially from one's own mother or father— are the most painful elements of life, a type of pain to which most people can relate. This is Joseph's story, and it's one that in some ways is just beginning. In the end, he leaves us with a clear message: the smallest action of compassion can make an enormous difference.

"My foster father didn't intend to change my life. In the same way, you may also change someone's life with even the smallest act of love. A piece of bread can satisfy your hunger, and having the hope will bring you bread to keep you alive. ...your act of love and caring can also save another Joseph's life and change thousands of other Josephs who are still having hope to survive."

Joseph is an inspiration. We all pray that he will one day be reunited with his mother and sister.

Related
Hyeonseo Lee's incredible TED Talk.


Interview with Tokyo-based interpreter & author Yayoi Oguma

Yayoi_Oguma_Bust_Below is a 40-minute conversation I had today with Tokyo based interpreter and communications specialist Yayoi Oguma. Yayoi is a best-selling author and she has a new book on the way, which we talk about in the interview. She is a sought-after language interpreter in Japan for various IT institutions, medical, and retail companies. She regularly interprets on Fuji Television and on the radio as well. Yayoi was chosen to present at TED's Worldwide Talent Search in Tokyo last year, and she presented on the TEDxTokyo stage as well. Yayoi is heading off to Australia next week to interpret for Tony Robbins's Date with Destiny, the second time working with Tony's event. Our discussion touched on English language learning in Japan, the field of interpretation, issues related to presenting in Japan, and so on. We also spoke about her work very briefly interpreting for Tony Robbins.


Links

Yayoi Oguma's website
Yayoi's TEDxTokyo 2012 talk


Can (and should) scientists become great presenters?

It's not simply a question of whether or not scientists and other specialists can be effective communicators. For that answer is simple. Yes, of course they can. The real question is should they work on becoming effective communicators with other scientists and non-scientitsts alike. Does it matter? The answer to both of these questions is also an emphatic yes. The best presentation book ever written specifically for scientists is Jean-luc Doumont's Trees, maps, and theorems. It is a fantastic book with many good examples of what to do and what not to do. Jean-luc Doumont is an engineer from Belgium who holds a PhD in applied physics from Stanford University in the USA and he is the most rational voice out there today providing training and guidance for a whole generation of scientists, science educators, and students from around the world.

I recommned you take the time to watch this entire presentation by Dr. Doumont, which was delivered at Stanford University's Clark Center on April 12, 2012. In this talk he explains why scientists are often perceived as being poor communicators, and he discusses the challenges of communicating with lay audiences. In November, 2011 I was keynoting at the Creativity World Forum conference in Belgium, so Dr. Doumont gracioulsy volunteered to drive all the way over to Hasselt to spend some time chatting with me about everything presentation. We were like kindred spirits. It's one of the most enjoyable 90-minute conversations I've ever had. Absolutely inspiring. I remember that Dr. Doumont said then that scientists and PhD students attending international conferences reported to him that they actually did not understand much of the content being presented and they reported remembering even less of the actual content once they returned home. He says something similar in the Stanford talk as well. If you ever have a chance to hear Dr. Doumont speak or attend one of his seminars, don't hesitate to sign up.


At a glance
I realize that an hour is a long time to devote to watching a presentation online, so below I put a few of my favorite lines from Dr. Doumont's talk above. There is much more great content in the talk so please bookmark it and watch the entire talk when you have a chance. Some of the quotes may seem quite provocative, but you need to watch the talk to get the context

"People can only learn something new if they can relate it to something they already know. That's the only way."

"When people like you [scientists & PhD students] talk about their research, half of the time even your peers don't understand what the hell you are talking about, and when they do understand they find it boring. That's the sad truth."

"Scientists cannot communicate very well with non-scientists, but in fact they cannot communicate well with other scientists either."

"If you are a PhD student, a post-Doc, or even a professor, where have you been all your life? In School! And school is the worst place where you could possibly learn communication."

"You see the problem here. We are learning to communicate by explaining things to people [professors] who all ready know [the material]. What kind of learning experience is that? It's the wrong approach…..on top of that the purpose is being graded, which means we have to prove to those people grading us how clever we are."

"Find a simple way to explain something complex."

As I mentioned, the book is excellent and well worth the money, but if you can not afford that at the moment, you certainly will find this 16-page and free pdf document called Traditions, templates, and group leaders: Barriers to effective communication quite useful indeed.

Jean-luc-Doumont-pdf

Links
Principiae.be
Other great resources from Jean-luc Doumont
• Jean-luc on Facebook
Another great talk at Stanford in 2013. Creating effective slides: Design, Construction, and Use in Science

Talking about presentations with Nancy Duarte

Last month we took the long flight across the Pacific to spend a day with our friend Nancy Duarte at the new and very cool head office of Duarte, Inc. in Silicon Valley. About eight years ago Nancy contacted me out of the blue—and it will be eight years exactly this December that I first met Nancy and Mark Duarte at their offices in Mountain View California (post from 2005). Since then they have upgraded twice to bigger offices in the Valley as their business has grown. Duarte has an amazing team of storytellers, designers, and a whole lot more.

Duarte-office
At the new office of Duarte, Inc. in the heart of Silicon Valley, USA.

Q&A with Nancy & me
On July 10th, about 100 people came for a lunch and a Q&A session held at the new offices of Duarte, Inc. It was fantastic to meet so many people passionate about the many forms of presentation including photography, filmmaking, visual storytelling, etc. Thanks very much to everyone who attended. Below you can watch the Q&A session of the event on YouTube. There is also a slideshare deck featuring highlights from our discussion.







Michio Kaku on The Power of Video

"The Power of video," says famed theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, "is the power of the mind itself. A huge chunk of the brain power we have sitting on our shoulders is devoted to processing visual images. It's how we communicate. It's how we share information. It defines who we are." Dr. Kaku suggests that even the most complicated theories can be expressed simply through visualizations of some kind, including video. "All the great theories of the world are not equations," Says Dr. Kaku, "[rather] they are based on simple principles which can be manifested as pictures, as video images." Watch the entire short clip below.



Also see Lucas, Scorsese: On the need for visual literacy.


Good science makes for good story

Youngscientist"Good science is a good story," says the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning biologist Edward O. Wilson in a recent interview on Science Friday with Ira Flatow. "We're all storytellers—all of us. From the novelist to the artist who is trying to say something new and take us in a new direction on canvas, to scientists who have discovered something, and when they discover something they want to tell a story, they want to...explain to others [the] why and where it came from, what kind of process is going on and where is it going to lead?" Dr. Wilson says that he trained himself to be able to explain things simply and clearly in order to keep his students engaged in his lectures at Harvard. I highly recommend his book Letters to a Young Scientist, a book that should prove inspiring and motivating for future young scientists and others interested in science and science education.

In the interview Dr. Wilson touches on many different points concerning what it takes to be a good scientist today, besides being a clear communicator and good storyteller. Two others that speak to me personally are alonetime and self-talk:

"You need a lot of time," says Dr. Wilson. "It's a good idea to be alone a lot and talk to yourself. I don't know if—how many other scientists talk to themselves. I do so all the time silently. And I guess I risk my reputation for complete sanity by admitting that. And I've now wondered how many creative scientists, people who are constantly in search of new ideas, new ways of looking at things, new enterprises, talk to themselves in a way as though they were speaking to another person, and trying to open up new subjects, new ways to get into old subjects. And this is a very good mental process for doing original science." 

Listen to the interview here.

Desktop Diaries: E. O. Wilson
After you listen to the Science Friday interview, take a look at this 6-minute video with Dr. Wilson. Science is an active and creative endeavor, and at 83 Dr. Wilson is still going strong. Inspiring.

Wilsonoffice

Above. Dr. Wilson's office. Click image to go to the video.


David S. Rose on the art of entrepreneurs pitching ideas

Davidrose_pic

David S. Rose is a business-savvy, fast-talking New Yorker who has been called a "world conquering entrepreneur" by NewsWeek Magazine and has been dubbed The Pitch Coach for his many years of helping entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors. Last week a tweet was going around asking "...if an info-rich investor deck was preferable to a 'Presentation Zen' investor deck?" David S. Rose gave a succinct answer to this question on the Gust.com blog. Here David linked to a presentation he made at TED in 2007, which I also linked to when it first appeared years ago on TED. David's presentation should be seen by every entrepreneur who is thinking about creating a pitch. Although it is a few years old now, the content is as relevant as ever.

Some of the material may seem obvious to you, but coming from a business leader who has successfully pitched for millions of dollars and helped others pitch for millions more, David is a very credible source. In this TED University talk, David is talking specifically about "the pitch" to a VC, which is different from a 45-minute talk at a technical conference, but there is much in there that can be applied to other types of presentations as well.  The top ten characteristics you're conveying, says David, are personal. You are asking people to invest in you, not just the idea. "The primary hallmark of an entrepreneurial fundraising pitch as opposed to other types of presentations is that the most important factor by far is you," says David. "Investors are going to spend the entire session attempting to determine if you are the person behind whom they should invest their money, and how you come across personally is often more important than everything else combined, including your business plan, and industry and financial projections."
 
10 things to know before you pitch a VC for money
The top ten characteristics that investors will be looking to find in you during your presentation, according to David S. Rose, are: Integrity, Passion, Experience (in starting a business), Knowledge, Skill (in functional operating areas), Leadership, Commitment, Vision, Realism, and Coachability.

Is an info-rich investor deck preferable to a “Presentation Zen” investor deck? - See more at: http://gust.com/angel-investing/startup-blogs/2013/07/25/is-an-info-rich-investor-deck-preferable-to-a-presentation-zen-investor-deck/#sthash.UvnxuM5b.dpuf
Is an info-rich investor deck preferable to a “Presentation Zen” investor deck? - See more at: http://gust.com/angel-investing/startup-blogs/2013/07/25/is-an-info-rich-investor-deck-preferable-to-a-presentation-zen-investor-deck/#sthash.UvnxuM5b.dpuf
Is an info-rich investor deck preferable to a “Presentation Zen” investor deck? - See more at: http://gust.com/angel-investing/startup-blogs/2013/07/25/is-an-info-rich-investor-deck-preferable-to-a-presentation-zen-investor-deck/#sthash.UvnxuM5b.dpuf
Is an info-rich investor deck preferable to a “Presentation Zen” investor deck? - See more at: http://gust.com/angel-investing/startup-blogs/2013/07/25/is-an-info-rich-investor-deck-preferable-to-a-presentation-zen-investor-deck/#sthash.UvnxuM5b.dpuf
Is an info-rich investor deck preferable to a “Presentation Zen” investor deck? - See more at: http://gust.com/angel-investing/startup-blogs/2013/07/25/is-an-info-rich-investor-deck-preferable-to-a-presentation-zen-investor-deck/#sthash.UvnxuM5b.dpuf

Links
BusinessWeek article.
It's All in the Sequence.
• A longer post I wrote back in 2008 on David S. Rose


Remarkable, inspiring interview with Cesar Millan

The other day, while surfing the net on the bullet train to Tokyo, I stumbled on a great interview with Seth Godin conducted by Bryan Elliott. I had never heard of Bryan Elliott before, but he's good and he has a very educational website called Behind the Brand which features interviews with many remarkable people. One of the interviews he did recently was with Cesar Millan. I was always a fan of Cesar and his TV show (Dog Whisperer), but I did not realize what an incredible story he has and how much he has been through. The term "authentic" may get tossed around too much in describing people's character, but the word fits perfectly in the case of Cesar Millan. He is down to earth and the real deal. I always found his communication style natural and honest and that comes across in this simple, no frills interview with Bryan Elliott below. So much of what he says about leading a successful business life and personal life resonates with me. I think it will resonate with you as well. Great stuff.



         "It's contribution, then business."  — Cesar Millan

Links
@CesarMillan
@BryanElliott
Cesar's Way
Behind the Brand


Digital Domination Summit

Digital-domination.screen

The Digital Domination Summit featues "video interviews with 30 leading experts sharing strategies on how to dominate business in the Digital World." There are interesting, informative, and inspiring interviews with people such as Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk, Alicia Navarro, and 27others. It's worthy of your time. It's free to sign up and get access to the videos here. Below I include an overview of Marco Montemagno's mission followed by three of my favorite interviews—Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, and Kathryn Minshew. I also include Marco's interview with me.

The Digital Knowledge Divide Truth
Marco Montemagno shares his vision and gives an overview of some of the content.



Seth Godin
Don't wait for permission, says, Seth. Don't wait for someone to pick you. Pick yourself. (I love Seth's comments around 24:20 in the video.)



Tony Robbins
An inspiring interview on marketing, business, motivation, and a whole lot more.



Kathryn Minshew
The founder of The Muse shares her experience in creating a business that helps millions find or create the career they want.



Marco and I chat about presentations (Youtube)
The photo editing software I mention at the end is called Pixelmator. It's inexpensive and excellent.



Many more interviews
Go to the Digital Domination Summit website to see all the video interviews. Another one I really like is with David Siteman Garland. Loads of good information.