The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

‘Chinese Whisper’ Presenters …
November 9, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Inside the Empty Vessel Empty Vessel

NP wrote something a while back about how people who have confidence in presentations, can often come across as boring or lacking passion.

Now while that’s quite a generalisation, I absolutely understand what he is saying because someone who is brimming with enthusiasm is far more interesting to watch than some uber-slick presenter who you feel has said the exact same thing about 100 times before.

However, as long as what Mr/Mrs Slick say is interesting and well thought out it can still be a really enjoyable experience … which is more than can be said for when I attend a presentation given by a Corporate Amoeba.

Corporate amoeba?

Yep, those individuals who have absolutely no formulated view of their own, just express what they have read/heard from other people.

Blah Blah Blah und Willkommen 

Now I’m not talking about those folk who have ideas ‘inspired’ by others … no, I’m talking about those people who simply consume external information then repeat it verbatim, because they think it makes them look clever and relevant.

A friend of mine told me this story about a guy who made a big speech in the UK which he realised was almost a word-for-word take on what Australian Business magazine, The Bulletin, had written the month before.

Because my mate is a mischievous sod, he decided to ask a bunch of questions taking the absolute counter point of view – however because this guy only had a superficial understanding on this topic, he couldn’t counter the argument in any way so ended up looking nothing short of a fool.

Mike also told me about another guy he met who kept using really weird words in all of his presentations.

What grabbed his attention was that often, this bloke seemed to be using the words out of context.  All became clear when Mike visited a WORD OF THE DAY website and found all the words this guy had used, listed for previous days.

The reason so many of these people get away with it is because I think we’ve all become too polite.

There’s this sense asking a question shows disrespect or ignorance when I believe – if done the right way – it shows real interest and enthusiasm.

There’s a massive difference between duplication and inspiration … so next time you are in a presentation and feel something doesn’t quite make sense [or infact it DOES make sense and you want to know more] ask them a question because you’ll either learn something really good, or you’ll learn how many people in corporateland have no ability to think for themselves at all.

[Tips on how to ask questions without looking evil can be found here]

32 Comments so far
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First! Look I’m still awake. I know have the chnace to say something really important, deep and meaningful. erm….

Comment by Marcus

It never ceases to amaze me how many presenters have views based entirely on what someone else thinks without ever overlaying it with their own personal consideration and opinion.
Guess this goes back to your view too many companies focus their employee training on methodologies rather than also including philosophies.

Comment by Pete

Wow Marcus is first up.
Early start or late finish?

Comment by Pete

late finish. I’m home alone Pete. Home alone with booze.

Comment by Marcus

To be honest I thought it was probably going to be booze but I didn’t want to appear rude 🙂

Comment by Pete

Your “mate” Mike wouldn’t be referring to an individual who works in advertising and shares the same christian name would he Robert?

Comment by DD

Bloody hell I didn’t know you came to this blog!

What the hell is going on? You’re intelligent, interesting and most of importantly of all, cool!

Anyway it’s lovely to ‘have you’ [so to speak] I hope you come back again soon and abso-fucking-lutely the person I am talking about shares Mike’s christian name.

Doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to work out who I’m talking about does it, haha!

Comment by Rob

it’s all a matter of timing…stealing or inventing..

“With every song that I write, I compare it to the Beatles. The thing is, they only got there before me. If I’d been born at the same time as John Lennon, I’d have been up there.” Noel G..

Comment by niko

You are a one-man-quotation-factory Niko …

Given you’re so good, can you give me one on ‘individualism’ or ‘being demanding about what you want’ – it would help me very much, ha!

Comment by Rob

“What, you askin’ me if I’m happy? Listen, I’ve got eighty seven million pounds in the bank. I’ve got a Rolls Royce. I’ve got three stalkers. I’m about to go on the board at Manchester City. I’m part of the greatest band in the world. Am I happy with that? No I’m not! I want more!”
Noel again…talk about drying one and the same well..

by the way we are down to 15 minutes…still not good enough…

Comment by niko

Come on Niko … you can do better than that.

Now am I talking about your presentation or your quote 🙂

Comment by Rob

bastardo…:) going back in to nervous breakdown mode….talk to you when the strait jacket comes off

Comment by niko

“What the hell is going on? You’re intelligent, interesting and most of importantly of all, cool!’

Your opinion of your readers is now quite transparent Campbell!!

Comment by John

“Fookin hell”

Liam G

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Trust me John, DD IS all those things … he can make all of Hollywood and Rock Star Land look like twopenny whores. I fucking hate him!

Comment by Rob

He who cannot be named sounds interesting…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

It’s getting a little bit loud over here. Keep it down.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Take a fucking panadol Marcus and Mr M, ‘he-who-cannot-be-named’ IS interesting because he’s one of the biggest wankers in advertising.

Comment by Rob

Nothing slips past Doddsy 🙂

Comment by Charles Frith

For fuck’s sake guys, the walls are really thin in here and my head is fucking killing me. Keep it down.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Yes there is Charles … women! Haha!

Comment by Rob

… and hair.

Comment by Marcus Brown

“I Need a Personal Jesus, i’m in depeche mode”


Comment by niko

Actually, both the mystery arse and DD sound interesting.

*hands Marcus earmuffs*

“You’re not going to get a quote out of me…”
Met Police when asked for a quote for Banksy’s Wall and Piece book

Comment by Rob Mortimer

11:35 minutes!!!

Comment by niko

Hurrah … but does it still say what you want it to say?

Maybe I shouldn’t of put that doubt in your mind eh, ha!

Comment by Rob

i’m hoping that self-deprication goes a long way when you’re presenting to an audience and you’re supposed to know what you’re talking about, but really don’t….

and marcus – pot, kettle, black?

Comment by lauren

I’m guessing that’s a sign of panic over your impending Interesting presentation but that’s rubbish because you’re brilliant and will be a star … and with a bit of luck I’ll be there to see it

Comment by Rob

10..9…8…7…6..5…4…3…2…1…no turning back now…by the way…that comment did not make me doubt myself…my megalomania keeps me grounded…

Comment by niko

Oh God yes Lauren.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Niko: Your command of the English language gets much better when you’re stressed with a meeting.


Good luck …

Comment by Robert

“Corporate amoeba?

Yep, those individuals who have absolutely no formulated view of their own, just express what they have read/heard from other people.” R.C.

Richard Nisbett, Rob?? 😉 …..only joking

great preso on east and west and great visuals, I am still not sober….I am not to be taken serious

Comment by niko

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