Never believe the comment, "good presentation," part 2.

As I wrote in an earlier post, it's too easy to get compliments on a bad talk. People want to be nice. Make sure you have an honest friend in the audience who can give it to you straight.

My addendum is that even the most experienced and skilled presenter can mess it up. A few years ago I was working with a very senior biomedical researcher and we were preparing a presentation that represented a major "ask" from a very wealthy donor. I suggested he "dry run" the presentation. His response was, "I've given hundreds of presentations so I don't need to do that."

Not surprisingly, it was a disaster.

Every presentation poses problems for audience comprehension. The presenter needs to identify those challenges before presenting and think about the language that will best help the audience. This challenge exists no matter how experienced and expert you may be.

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