web 2.0 for development

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Ten tips to improve your presentations

Engaging people during a meeting is one of the most difficult tasks a professional can face.

meeting on rural radio

While listening to a recent presentation, I put together some suggestions:

  1. Content is fundamental BUT the way to present it is at least as important as content
  2. VARY THE WAY to present your content to the audience. Do NOT adopt common methods but use a different style. The surprise will “shake” the audience and attract the attention, provoking emotions: this is the reason why, NOWADAYS, my suggestion is NOT to use .ppt presentations. They have been abused and, as a consequence, not able to stimulate reactions any more as the audience is TOO used to them
  3. AVOID the term PRESENTATION: it is always better “to meet people”, “to dialogue with them”, “to discuss about a certain topic” rather than to PRESENT them something, giving a clear one-way direction to the meeting
  4. Your VOICE is fundamental. The TONE and the VOLUME are key elements to engage with people in front of you
  5. Use IMAGES and CARDS as they can help to provoke emotions and reactions in the people listening to your speech
  6. Start speech with the CORE of your message, to capture the attention of the audience, and THEN provide more details and explanation of specific aspects
  7. DO NOT SIT behind you laptop during the presentation. Stand up and walk around the room. You need to add dynamism to the situation. If you have ten people sitting around a table, standing there for 1 hour or more, they need continuous stimulation to maintain their attention vivid and to the point. Otherwise you will loose their attention
  8. KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) Principle has to be always in your mind. Even if you like to talk, try to be as short as possible and keep your talking to the point (be sure with previous assessment and questions about what the exact point is)
  9. PREPARE EVERYTHING WELL IN ADVANCE and be sure that everything works in front of the audience at the right time. Otherwise you will offer a bad idea since the beginning
  10. Make your audience LAUGH. It always works

Note: if you see people yawning or leaving the room in advance, it is a clear sign that you have to go quickly to either the point or the conclusion of the speech!

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FSCA Regional Workshop in Monrovia


Almost ready to the start of the second FSCA Regional Workshop here in Monrovia, Liberia. During the third day I will spend the morning introducing Communication for Development and Knowledge Sharing to the tens of people working in the seven countries (Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau) involved in the projects and the Inter-Country Coordination project.

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Rome group of KM4Dev met yesterday

Yesterday the Rome group of KM4Dev met for the second time since January ’09, when the idea was launched during the ShareFair 09.


As you can see for this picture everybody enjoyed the meeting and the idea of creating a new group. 😉

The main topic debated was: CMS implementation and related training needs. The discussions grew over the present need to give a house on the Web to many different teams inside the organizations we are working for. FAO and IDLO are actually using TYPO3 to produce new websites and online environments but this created some problems both for the final users and the facilitators/trainers/knowledge managers because of the lack of specific skills and appropriate technical knowledge that this tool specific system needs.

As a consequence, awareness has raised in the group that appropriate training, both for users and for facilitators, is absolutely needed. In our case, the intermediaries between technical departments and final users (officers of different departments and their team), it is important to pass the ownership of the sites to the final users and create real capacities. Lately, the perception arose about high costs and difficulties (at least in Rome) that specific training on TYPO3 have.

While discussing these problems, a voice from outside the “chorus” told the assembly: “This choice seems to be particularly inefficient both in terms of cost and time. Why did you choose such a tool that is difficult and cost much in terms of training and knowledge acquisition? Have these parameters been considered at the moment of the choice? ”

This observation led the group to conclude that, while evaluating a tool, the analysis of the final users’ needs and abilities is fundamental (if not the main parameter to consider for the final choice).

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Preparing for the Share Fair ’09

Oh yes, I’m back and I’m very much involved in the preparation activities of the Share Fair 09 that’s going to being held at FAO next week. I’ll blog soon about it.


My schedule foreseen:

  • the facilitation of the session called “Using Radios to support Rural Communication“,
  • the participation to the session on “Mobile telephony in rural areas” strictly connected with the forum on the topic held in November last year,
  • the facilitation of five technical sessions non “blogging and micro-blogging“, podcasting and photosharing between Wednesday and Thursday, and
  • the participation to the session called “Making networks work within institutions” introducing the experience of the bluebar communicators list.

Everyone is welcome, of course!

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Impressions after the KM4DEV 2008 meeting

The meeting is finished and we are back in our offices. Obviously everything changes after 90 people gathered for few days to discuss and share what they do everyday.

Now the network is definitely enlarged, the experience is deeper, the material shared is a ton, the fun was great and, more than everything, the feeling and the trust in the group is deeper and purer than before.

A great bunch of material has been produced and shared during and after the meeting. As it’s clear from the list of impressions collected in the final session, people brought a lot of their own at this meeting.

neoluk - View my 'km4dev 2008 Lisboa' set on Flickriver

…and also on the blog:
…and on You Tube:
…and on Flickr:

I know I’m writing something that is so simple and logic, BUT I felt once again that “saying is something” while “experiencing is something else“, so different. So reminding these ideas can be useful.