Presenting the Ego

At the Northern Voice 2010 conference on blogging and social media, I was struck by the difference ego makes in the way that people make presentations and, at least from my perspective, the affect an ego discordance can have on the audience. I was fascinated to watch how the different presenters put their ideas forth, particularly the presenters who worked on panels.

I found one panel excruciating to watch. It was a two-person panel made up of a male professor and a female lawyer. The professor began the presentation, introducing himself and the co-presenter. The understanding was that he would give the first half of the presentation and the woman would give the second half. He began, and the woman interrupted and corrected him on a point. The man thanked her and began again. She interrupted, again, and again, and again. He was left with three minutes at the end of the half-hour presentation to put forth all of his ideas. You can imagine how effective he was.

There were many other interesting sessions, but my far-and-away favourite was “Turning Your Blog into a Book,” given by three women who call themselves the Book Broads. They gave an amazingly informative presentation and passed the microphone back and forth to each other gracefully and appropriately, and seemed to be having fun doing it. That presentation was most inspiring of all, for me—not only because of the content, but also because the ego factor seemed, thankfully, missing.