The inimitable and always-excellent Dr R is back, this time at TEDx Change from a few weeks back …
1. Look at how masterful he is at the very outset as he lays out the 8 criteria for success and then his almost poetic summary of that.
Learning point: he has his material down cold. I suspect that if Dr Rosling’s computer exploded in the middle of his presentation, he wouldn’t miss a beat and would start energetically drawing on the walls to illustrate his point. I’d love to know what his rehearsal routine is. I must ask him …
2. See how he takes his time and gives the audience plenty of time to absorb what they are about to see?
Learning point: take your time! If your material/data is important, it’s worth taking some time to ensure that your audience can follow you in your presentation. As always, he sets up and explains the axes, explains the origin of his data and explains why it matters. Almost no other presenter of complex data ever does this. I wonder who his crash test dummy is? His dog? A cynical 11 year old? I must ask him …
3. Watch how he tells a story, with a timeline and characters – the Demographic Health Survey, the UN, Himself and, most importantly, the children of Kenya.
Learning point: 2+2=4, while being accurate, true and inarguable is not particularly interesting. Find the story behind your data. Think about how it will, or should, matter to your audience and then think about how you are going to tell that story. Dr R makes it look easy, conversational even. I wonder how long it takes him to come up with his story? I must ask him …
4. A key observation – Dr R has one big fat hairy point to make and along the way he makes some huge observations. One that really resonated with me was: “Time has come to stop thinking of sub-Saharan Africa as one place. The countries are so different! … We don’t talk about Europe as one place.”
Learning point: distil your thinking. What’s your point? If you only had 30 seconds to say the big fat hairy thing that matters from your presentation, what would you say? I love when Dr R tears a page out of the latest UN report and proclaims it to be “Crap!” With such a bewildering array of data coming at him on a daily basis, I wonder what filtering mechanism to good Doctor uses to distil his message down so effectively? I must ask him …
5. Notice how animated Dr R is – and I don’t mean his all-singing, all-dancing Gapminder animations. I mean him. His voice, his prowling back and forth across the stage, his liberal and effective use of his ginormous pointer.
Learning point: passion is infectious. Monkey see, monkey do. If you have no passion for your subject, you can’t reasonably expect your audience to have any passion for it. Actually, scratch that – if you have no passion for your subject – stay at home! I don’t think I need to ask Dr R where his passion comes from. I do wonder did he always have the courage and lack of inhibition to wear that passion on his sleeve as he does so effectively now? That – I must ask him …
Without further ado – Dr Hans Rosling of the Karolinska Institute. Enjoy.
RSS Readers will need probably to click through to the post – it’s a TED thing, sorry.