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Presenter Impossible: Conversation with Marco Montemagno

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
posted by Geetesh at 9:30 AM IST

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Marco MontemagnoFor more than 10 years, Marco "Monty" Montemagno has dedicated his career to informing people about the opportunities offered by the Internet and technology by incorporating unconventional presentation tactics into his presentations. This includes ping-pong tables brought onto the stage, giving out rings to marry the Internet and handing out tennis balls to the audience to throw onto the stage, among others.

In this conversation, Marco discusses quirky ways of presenting, and his secrets to pulling off a successful presentation.

Geetesh: Tell us about your non-conventional, different, surprising, successful and desperate presentation scenarios -– and how you trumped all of them?

Marco: Well the basic point here is that over the last decade I’ve been touring everywhere to divulge internet opportunities to the public. I was forced to talk with audiences varying from old people to kids, from conferences to squares. So I had to invent my own presentation framework to survive :)

One of my more difficult and challenging experiences were when I had to present a presentation every day, two hours a day in the main centre and main square of Milan. I had to talk to strangers about the Internet, every day for 35 days in a row!

Geetesh: So what is the secret behind your unconventional presentation framework?

Marco: I can answer this question in two parts. Firstly you will need to:

  1. Create your own presentation framework and be thoroughly prepared. I have an holistic view of my presentation, concentrating on when, where, etc. You can read more here.

  2. Make use of the tools that are available to you. Use videos, digital and analogic objects, and even your guests and audience. Use whatever is available to you and adapt them to your audience, as your audience ultimately is your presentation. Most of the time, the first 10 seconds are the most important (also on this point I've prepared a mini guide available for free.

Geetesh: What is the single most important emotion that a presenter should possess to be successful?

Marco: On the one hand you have to act as though it's always day one.

If you present in public you have to keep on learning, start from zero every time. On the other hand you have to be super prepared, but strangely enough, if you start a speech with a strategy it will become your biggest weakness.

It is really a balancing act between pulling off a great presentation and real time adaptation (you need to adapt your presentation according to the audience, and all the factors of the holistic presentation).

Categories: interviews, presentation_skills

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