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Guest Post: How to Give Great Presentations

I was preparing for my Tales of the Cocktail presentation and was thinking how unfortunate it is that I won't be able to use any of the information in the Tales session called How to Give Great Presentations for my presentation, as it is the presentation that takes place immediately before mine on Wednesday, July 21, in New Orleans. 

But then I remembered that I am writing previews of seminars for the Tales of the Cocktail Blog so I tricked asked session co-leader Philip Duff if he would give us a preview of his session that will help us prepare for ours. He was gullible kind enough to comply. 

Philip & Angus' Ten Top Tips for a Tip-Top Presentation.

1. Speak slowly and clearly in four-word groups, and don't say "fuck" too often. Oh, and be funny. Harder than it sounds.

2. Be sensitive to cultural norms. In Japan, for instance, people attending a presentation show they are listening intently by - I'm serious here - closing their eyes. That's just Japan though, so that shit won't fly in Nawlins.

3. Expect something technical to screw up. Your wireless presenter, your laptop, the microphone, the video you want to play, the air conditioning...It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of anything with a plug must be in want of a hammer to demolish the damn thing when it drops the ball.

4. Cui bono?To whose benefit is the presentation? Your own? The attendees? The sponsors? Figure out who wants what and a way to give it to them. Free food for presentations to bartenders in the morning or afternoon is a genius move, for instance.

5. Look healthy, be well dressed, fed, showered and spruce. There is a little sneaky trick us jet-set bartender chaps use to achieve this nefarious goal: we exercise, eat healthy, drink sparingly and go to bed early. The night before the presentation, at any rate.

6. Appear relaxed. This will necessitate you being relaxed, though. See #5

7. Know everything - everything about your topic, everything about other theories on the topics, everything about the category, everything about your brand, everything about competing brands. This will help you a whole bunch with #6.

8. If the room's empty when you come in: be all prepped and set-up at least half an hour in advance, and then go sit in the middle of the room with a cup of coffee and a pleasantly brain-damaged smile. Direct said smile at people who peep through the door and say "Hi, welcome, come on in! Can I get you a coffee?" Within 5 minutes you'll have 5 people: within twenty minutes you'll have 30 or so, at least.

9. For drink demos: put all the tools, glasses, garnishes and ingredients for each drink on a separate tray. Then you know, when making the drink, that everything has to come off the tray once, and then go back on the tray, removing the possibility you'll forget an ingredient in your drink or a bar tool in the sink.

10. Come see How To Give Great Presentations by Philip Duff and Angus Winchester, 10AM on Wednesday July 21 at the Queen Anne Ballroom in the Hotel Monteleone.

It's be a whole truckload of merriment, featuring such side-slapping Duff & Winchester anecdotes as The Time I Made Caipirinhas With Salt In Phuket, not to mention alcoholic drinks in plastic cups at 10 in the freaking morning!

I'll be there gleaning last-minute tips.


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Blair Frodelius

Having given dozens of presentations myself, I can attest to the veracity of this list. Especially not using the word "Phuket" too often.

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