Welcome to Barry Brophy, Presentation Skills

Most people’s response to an afternoon of presentations will be: ‘Do I have to stay for all of them?’ Presentations are often dull and ineffective but they don’t have to be. A presentation and a conversation are essentially the same thing and if you arrange your content properly, you can present as easily as if …

The Coffee Factor – Learning by Doing Nothing

When the recession hit a few years ago, a company I was doing a course for told me that tea and coffee were no longer being provided on training days. It was the first thing to be cut and, in truth, it should have been the last. The point might seem obvious – keep people …

If There’s a Done Thing, Don’t Do It

I caught twenty minutes of the BAFTA’s on BBC1, last week, and took a particular interest in the acceptance speeches. Which weren’t very interesting. Even though the award ceremonies date back to Cecil B. DeMille, the whole thing struck me as really strange. The first winner – best adapted screenplay, I think – said he …

‘Alternative Facts’ – Words Are More Important Than You Think

I guess I had to talk about him at some point. Everyone else is. And when it comes to ‘awful’ presentations, or ‘awful’ presenters at least, they don’t come much more awful than Donald Trump. The particular item that drew my attention, though, was president Trump’s counsellor, Kellyanne Conway, inadvertently coining the term ‘alternative facts’ …

The Curious Incident of the Ping-Pong Ball and the Hairdryer

Have you seen the levitating ping-pong ball on hairdryer trick? It’s not actually a trick, it’s called the Bernoulli effect and is the phenomenon that causes airplanes to lift off the ground and prevents racing cars from doing the same thing. I heard this at a student presentation, recently, where there were pictures of airplanes …

Presentation Without Words

Here is a video of a 4-minute presentation I gave, without words. Sound daft? Well, I was making the point that writing text on slides and then reading it out is crazy, and yet most people do this. The obvious fix is to remove the text and let the presenter speak. But there is another approach: keep the …

Rocket Science for Farmers – Communication is About Making Connections

Irish entrepreneur of the year, 2012, Edmond Harty keeps an eye on the latest technologies across all fields and asks the question: ‘Can I apply this to dairy farming?’ Often he can. Edmond had the idea for one of his company’s most successful products, the Moomonitor, on a flight to Canada after reading an article about …

Not So Awful, Not So Common – A Politician Who Can Communicate

After the financial crash, everyone in Ireland is now an expert in economics. Except that nobody is. Phrases like ‘bailout’, ‘Troika’ and ‘burn the bondholders’ have been bandied about but I’m not sure how many people actually understand them. Stephen Donnelly does. Recently elected independent politician in the Irish parliament, Stephen told me, in a …