Day#336: How to speak – Patrick Winston

Day#336: How to speak – Patrick Winston

Hey Researchers today is such a lovely day with the cloudy cool breeze, I just watched an amazing talk at MIT done by Patrick Winston. The talk is on how to speak and he discusses everything from how you open a talk, what to discuss, how to present your content as well as tools and actions and then eventually how to close the talk off. I enjoyed how he referred to real world examples and explained why certain scenarios don’t work. For example, he indicated that you should never start a talk off with a joke, wow have I learnt that the hard way. I mean I haven’t actually done it a lot but I did it about 4 months ago on a playback presentation. The joke in question was one that if misinterpreted could be seen as a little mean and nobody in the room really laughed. I moved on fast, and didn’t even indicate that it was a joke at the time. Patrick mentions that when you are first doing a talk, and especially if you don’t know the people in the room, it’s difficult for them to gauge your tone and manner to understand if it is a joke or not. This is exactly what happened with me, I mean the people in the room knew me from mails, and the occasional meeting but not closely. 

Anyway I decided not to use jokes in my playbacks, especially with that team in question but I feel more comfortable now understanding why it happened. Furthermore Patric discusses how to structure the actual presentation, this part is difficult for me. Seeing as a lot of my presentations have very complex data compressed from research conducted. Mine are not high level fluff talks, and I struggle with just making them that way because that is not the service that I provide for teams. Given the above, I do acknowledge that my playbacks can sometimes be long, like one of the last ones that I did for 2019 was around two hours long, this was a 3 month projects with a multi prong approach. I conducted site visits, and mystery shopper scenarios as well as ethnographic research with a variety of different users. The end artifacts ranged from archetypes to personas, and understandings of behaviour with specific groups using certain methods to achieve results. I even presented on existing journeys and proposed new journeys with testing on concepts etc. So running an image based presentation for everything is not the solution with types of presentations that I do. I have thought that perhaps playbacks are more high level and that I do a separate document with more intricate details on data, however working on so many projects I don’t often get the time to do two seperate documents. 

Something else I really enjoyed was hearing Patrick discuss what companies want to see with people, they want to see a vision and they want to see that the candidate has done something. Those two ties in very closely with one another, the vision is the  individual seeing inconsistencies in the fabric and the “done something” part is the individual then taking steps to solve the problem. This for me would show that the person has two integral parts to be a successful problem solver. To end off one of the biggest things that I learnt from this talk is that Patrick Winston indicated you should never tell your audience thank you, and especially thank you for your time. This hints that the audience has a better place to be. I like that, he included examples of great speakers not saying thank you, but rather ending off on a powerful statement. This does not mean that you are not thankful or that you should seem aloof, it simply means that you are ending with more impactful sentiment. I like the idea of the contributions and I really think that can work well with what I do, having a final slide discussing final sentiments and what we provided is a great way to show the value in what I have provided to the teams I work with. Please please give this amazing talk a watch, I hear this lovely intelligent man passed away from the comments, I suppose he will live on in all of us watching his talk and learning from his amazing findings. Happy researching until next time Uxers.

Bye for now

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