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Chapter 6. The Presentation Hand > SUCCESS CARD 27: Keep Current

SUCCESS CARD 27: Keep Current

When you're speaking, it's extremely important to be on the leading edge. Following trends will help you develop a topic that grabs immediate attention (i.e., what the aging Baby Boomers are doing, how people are adapting to the growing Hispanic workforce, how the downturn in the economy is affecting consumers and businesses, or the continual rebirth and renewal of the Internet). When you're in front of a group, you want to have the day's events available to you. The economy, people in the news, and the world scene change so rapidly that twenty-four hours can make a huge difference in how you could approach something. If you're speaking to younger audiences, be especially alert. Today's young people are quick to pick up on dated references; they're children of instant information. High school students create reports in computer-generated formats based on information they've taken the night before from the Internet. If you're in front of them, you need to be in tune.

William's Move William never doubted his ability to be on top of the latest information in his field. After all, he was a recent graduate with honors from a top IT school. All the latest research was fresh in his head; he could discuss the current books in the field with all levels of employees at his new company. So when asked to make a presentation about what project teamwork was like to the new-hire orientation group, he prepared minimally and glanced at the news headlines when he logged on at work. There it was: a huge computer virus outbreak throughout his department. He realized then that he knew nothing about virus management that wasn't at least two years old, and he was going to be facing the brightest college graduates in a few minutes who would be asking him how the company was handling the outbreak. Quickly, he searched the latest manual, but he walked into the presentation wishing he'd kept up to date with his journals in the field.



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