Being “available”

Annette Clancy joins Lisa Haneberg in bemoaning the practice of taking mobile phone calls in the middle of conversations with real people.

Sometimes our sense of self is reliant on external sources. Being “available” is one way of feeling better about ourselves and in turn convincing ourselves that we really “matter”. The 24/7 thing with phones/blackberries is also a way of saying we are available to everyone all of the time which in turns means – to no one body most of the time. The relentless availability culture is in my opinion a charade that is an avoidance of “intimacy”.

Makes sense to me, and reminds me that I wanted to make a related point about presentation “tools”.

I suppose presentations has the same linguistic roots at the word presence but I wonder if our presentation tools, like Powerpoint, tend to reduce our actual presence. I used Powerpoint this week for the first time in ages and I now wish I hadn’t. The next speaker did without and I think as a result he was much more available to the audience than I was.

5 thoughts on “Being “available”

  1. Chris Pearse

    Me too – having railed against PP for some time, I used it last year and immediately regretted it. My own personal rule (subject to revision) is to use it for relevant pictures only.

  2. annette

    I’ve changed how I use power point – the last presentation (on my blog actually) was primarily pictures and I got great feedback from attendees at the seminar where I followed 4 other speakers. By the time I got to my feet we were already an hour over! so people appreciated it. I’ve been tinkering with the presentation mode in Mind Minager also but am sensing some resistence from clients about using it. It seems clients are so accustomed to thinking in bullet points that I’m going to have to start weaning them off.

    As to your substantive point – having something does make me feel more together on the day – but I think of the presentation as something I can busk with not read religiously and using images instead of words has certainly helped that. I guess underneath all of that is me saying I need to work on my presentation skills and stop using crutches!

  3. Jack Yan

    How true, Johnnie. You know my feelings on cellphones. As to Powerpoint, most of my presentations with the program tend to be flops. It’s only when I use random Powerpoint displays, or not at all, do I feel I have given my all—and the audience detects that. For some reason, even old OHPs seemed more intimate with my audiences.

  4. annette

    I guess it depends on what you are using the power point for? I use it for training sometimes and it’s something I “busk” with or improvise around…(I’m saying that like I actually know what I mean LOL!)…I haven’t quite got the confidence to busk it alone..maybe one day!


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