5 Questions with Dr. Daniel Lowenstein

In the previous post, we were introduced to Dr. Daniel Lowenstein and his “Last Lecture” presentation, which was both powerful and inspiring. Shortly after writing the post, Dr. Lowenstein contacted me, and we had an interesting discussion about his experience preparing for, and delivering that presentation.

I have always wanted to incorporate the voices of the instructors, students, and staff at UCSF, who work in the trenches and present or attend presentations on a daily basis. This post marks the beginning of a new series that will feature interviews of those people. I hope you enjoy the first episode of “5 Questions!”

5 Questions with Dr. Lowenstein
Bonus track: The Basement People

The full version of the original presentation has recently been uploaded to the UCSF Public Relations YouTube channel, so please head over there to watch the video, like it, and leave your comments!

last lecture youtube

If you have any ideas about who the next 5 Questions interviewee should be, please contact me or leave your ideas in the comments section below.

Top 5 Lessons Learned from The Last Lecture

Powerful. Inspirational. Emotionally moving.

Those are the words that best describe Dr. Daniel Lowenstein’s “The Last Lecture” presentation, delivered to a packed house in Cole Hall on April 25th. The Last Lecture is an annual lecture series hosted by a UCSF professional school government group (and inspired by the original last lecture), in which the presenter is hand-picked by students and asked to respond to the question, “If you had but one lecture to give, what would you say?” Dr. Daniel Lowenstein, epilepsy specialist and director of the UCSF Epilepsy Center, did not disappoint. In fact, I can say with confidence that he delivered one of the best presentations that I have attended.

Rather than attempt to paraphrase his words, or provide a Cliff Notes version that doesn’t do his presentation justice, I will instead encourage you to watch the video recording of his presentation. The video is an hour in length, and if you have any interest in becoming a better presenter yourself, it is a must-watch. After the jump, we’ll explore my top “top 5 lessons learned” from Dr. Lowenstein’s presentation.

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Last Lecture – Top 5 Lessons Learned: Continue reading

Top 10 Moments from “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer”

I stumbled upon a real gem this week, thanks to the Presentation Zen master himself, Garr Reynolds. The gem is a recorded lecture given by Harvard physicist, Eric Mazur, titled “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer.” He describes the trials and tribulations that he went through while trying to be come the best lecturer, and teacher, that he could be. This is a man who truly cares about student learning. In my opinion, he absolutely crushes this one out of ball park and deep into McCovey Cove.

(Click here to cheat, and access the abridged version.)

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TEDx is coming to UCSF!

TED conferences are held annually in locations all across the globe, bringing together some of the world’s most innovative thinkers. Their collective mission is to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.” Suffice to say, the conferences are a pretty big deal. (See previous posts for more info, here and here.)

I apologize for the late notice, but I have some exciting news to share. With the help of UCSF’s Global Health Sciences division, TEDx is coming to UCSF’s Mission Bay campus this Saturday, November 10th!

This event’s title is “7 Billion Well: Re-imagining Global Health,” and its focus is on the most pressing health issues in the world today.

TEDx events are smaller, regionally-accessible and independently organized off-shoots of the big conference. But don’t be fooled, the speakers are no less inspiring. TEDx San Francisco was the first of its kind, and is rolling along with over 4,000 members and 60 volunteers. And the best part about TEDx, is that normal people can actually afford tickets!

For details and tickets, visit the TEDx San Francisco home page: http://tedxsf.org/

If you want to meet innovative people with great ideas who want to make a difference, Mission Bay is the place to be on Saturday. We hope to see you there!

TEDMED: Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts

TED MED 2012TEDMED 2012 was simulcast to 2000 locations across the country last week, including UCSF. I was able to view a number of sessions, and paid close attention the presenters and their delivery. I was curious to see how these industry leaders would present their innovative ideas to a large audience. Would they use PowerPoint? Would they use the traditional lecture method? Would they use props, humor, or metaphors? Would the audience be given the opportunity to participate?

For the most part, the presentations were examples of good practice, but there were also a few examples of bad practice. I have identified 10 notable Do’s and Don’ts, and present these to you in the list below. We can learn a great deal from observing other presenters, especially during a showcase event like TEDMED. I encourage you to share your own thoughts in the comments section at the end of this post!

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TEDMED @ UCSF

Can’t make it to D.C. next week for TEDMED? Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered! The event is going to be streamed live, at multiple locations across our UCSF campuses, April 10th – 13th. I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity. TEDMED attracts dynamic, cutting-edge thinkers from around the globe.

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TED.com: A Doctor’s Touch

TED.com is a great resource for inspiration. TED (technology, entertainment and design) is a non-profit organization that facilitates a series of global conferences during which the world’s leading minds present their ideas. On TED.com, you can watch hundreds of presentations from the conferences for free. There are number of health and health care presentations to explore.

This one in particular caught my eye: TED.com – A Doctor’s Touch. I challenge you to explore these presentation videos, and then compare/contrast their delivery and design style with “typical PowerPoint” presentations that you are accustomed to. Please provide your thoughts in the comments area below!

Overcoming Stage Fright (part 1)

scared womanYou have spent time planning, created an engaging presentation, and practiced until your delivery was smooth and natural. You are ready to present… that is, until about 2 minutes before you are “on” in front of a live audience. That’s when your heart starts pounding in your chest, your legs feel heavy, and sweat forms on your brow. You are experiencing stage fright! This fear is common, and in many ways, controllable.

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Sample slides from the Zen master

My personal foray into the world of presentation design and support began a few years back, at a community college in Michigan, when the dean of the business school approached me and asked if I would like to co-teach a new workshop with him. Sure, I said, why not? He handed me a book, and said that our presentation would be based on its content. I read it, and was immediately hooked.

The book was Presentation Zen, by Garr Reynolds. After reading it, my perspective on presentations changed forever. If presentation-giving was a religion, Garr would be the healer laying his hands on the people to miraculously cure them of their bullet points and bad clip art!

I just stumbled upon a very practical resource from Garr Reynolds, which will provide inspiration and help you design better slides.

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