Tuesday, April 15, 2008

how to present yourself

Today, was almost my favorite day of the month. Its not the last day of the semester, but the last day of classes. I have my last presentation at the end of the day and... it went ok.

Now, I'm sitting up: can't sleep. I also cannot talk myself into studying for finals. Instead, I'm watching all the jokes portions of the talk shows. I usually am trying to sleep during Lettermen and Leno, so I catch Conan, then Craig Ferguson (who I think will be fired when his contract expires), and then if its on Jimmy Kimmel.

I usually don't like Kimmel; I was turned off by that Damon/Affleck song-- which I saw last time I couldn't sleep. However, I've got to say Jimmy Kimmel sure does present himself well. Here is a guy who's overweight, less established, and probably benefiting from the make-up artists before he goes on camera.

And despite all the setback he is by far the most calm, cool, and collected. I think his rebuttals to random things are funnier (I assume they don't get that material from writers). And I feel the others have to resort to lots of gimmicks (Conan honked his nose like a clown.) But J. just stands there confident, knowing what he's going to say, and rolling with the punches in a very funny way.

So I'm writing all this because I just gave a presentation for Venture Capital Class. I did ok. Nothing fantastic, but I think if I were to try to learn to be a good speaker, I'd look to Kimmel for inspiration and strategy. And I think it takes practice, the confidence can come naturally, but prep'ing is also necessary.

So we'll see. I'm not sure how I'll learn from Jimmy yet. But Iwill probably watch him sometimes (until the crudeness begins to ramp up) and helpfully I'll get to be a better presenter. But watching him has let me know I can handle the fact that my stomach is more noticeable than I'd like it to be. So its nice. At least I got to be slightly inspired.

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