Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

It's All in the Way You Present the Thing

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

It's All in the Way You Present the Thing

Article excerpt

I was flying off to Somewhere to present on Something to Somepeople and found myself at an airport with more time than I could humanely kill. It was on that same day that I invented the word, "chronoanasia," or time-killing. While foraging for something to fill both my gut and intellect, I popped for a roll of Necco candy wafers and a small paperback called, Making Presentations. The latter, a 70-page quick-read on tips to improve your presentation skills by improving on rehearsing, research, planning, preparation, performing, and visuals, seemed an appropriate selection since, if you started this story from the beginning, you will recall that I was flying off to Somewhere to present on Something to Somepeople.

By the time I had hit the third yellow wafer (which, by the way, does not necessarily relate to any naturally occurring flavor that is yellow in nature), I also hit upon this pearl on "Selecting Key Points."

Well, I thought that alone was worth the seven dollars (for the book, not counting the Necco wafers). And like all bits of information, I immediately thought how I could best share that pearl with those of you whose lifeblood is making presentations, proposals, and pleas--all you readers of Exceptional Parent magazine.

The life cycle of parents of children with special needs is embedded with presenting: presenting your child, your case, your situation, your needs, your fears ... your world. Each time the exceptional parent encounters a new horizon, a new milestone, or a new transition, it's "show time." It starts with "presenting" to physicians and invariably to other physicians. Then you "present" to family members, to therapists, to school officials, to teachers, to insurance administrators, not to mention, "presenting" to the person who cuts your hair, the person who delivers the mail, and the person who approaches you in the mall. Of course, the nature, context, and stakes of these presentations all vary.

Based on the advice by Tim Hindle, the author of Making Presentations, it almost appears to be a lost cause. Given the short attention span, the small degree of absorption, and the limited amount of deliverable points (and that's in a formal setting where the audience has made an effort to attend, presumably, because it's in their best interests, i. …

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