PresentationStuffs puts a whole new spin on how you look at presentations. And this is how they do it.
Go To Sleep
Let me paint you a picture; you sit in class in your sharpest school/college uniform (this could be now or years ago, stay with me) and the teacher takes a pointer and loads up the projector. You know what’s coming; you hate what’s coming. They might call it ‘presentation’ but for you its nap time. Ah those days in kindergarten you don’t remember anymore, harkening those golden sleepy moments in time you drift away to lala-land. You hardly absorb anything anyway. You see bullets of things you will learn a day before the exams or scramble for from friends. That droning voice of your professor is the lullaby you need.
Fast forward, to a corporate boardroom. You sit across from the head of a multi-million (they exist here) conglomerate and wait for your presentation to start. Your agency needs to get this contract, there is competition and in that moment you go through your slides. You see what you’ve learnt so far from your experience. You have your notes prepared. And then you start; bullets galore, all that you have inherited and with a fleeting glance, you see the head honcho yawn. It dawns on you then that this insipid circle of life is complete and you have become what you once detested.
That is what PresentationStuffs is going to change. That is what it seeks to change; perception of how a presentation is supposed to be. How it is so much more than a task. It is in fact, an outlet of expression. It is where you have the ears and eyes of a whole room and you give them knowledge, information, anything that you wish to share and do it in a way that has them spellbound. The method of oration and how to transform your ideas into words and thoughts to language is one of the main goals of this two man ship. At the helm, are Umes Shrestha and Prashanta Manandhar.
Umes Shrestha, better known as the man behind KTMrocks starts us off as he professes:
“I started teaching in a secondary school back in 2007. It was purely out of curiosity and eventually it became an obsessive passion.”
A man has many facets that he wishes to placate in his mortal existence. Just like an artist should not just be known for his debut album, so shouldn’t a visionary who wishes to imbibe a burning desire of his which resides in a class full of young yearning minds.
Enter Prashanta Manandhar, the man who came into prominence as the guitarist for Monkey Temple years ago and slowly transitioned into a teacher. He and Umes Shrestha were independently teaching at Ace Institute of Management and he explains his passion as such:
“I always wanted to teach. I was lucky to get a teaching job immediately after my MBA. I was very happy. From the very first day, I knew that I would go along with this profession. It’s been almost a decade now, and I can still recall that first day. It was interesting. He goes on to explain how both of them decided that it was time for a much needed change”
A Meeting of the Minds
“And then I heard Umes dai coming up with a concept called ‘Battle of Presenters’, an inter-semester presentation competition in the same college. And I thought I should share this concept with him and work collaboratively to come up with something interesting and insightful. And so that’s what happened. We talked about this. He was excited, I was excited. And within a week of our discussion, we came up with #Presentation Stuffs Session 01 on 24th December 2014.”
Quite co-incidentally both of them started presentation clubs separately at ACE and were working on them till December of 2014. That is when they eventually crossed paths-
Umes: “We both teach undergrad students and we found that most of the students hated giving presentations, possibly out of fear of being judged and fear of making embarrassing mistakes. And for a few good presenters, they usually take this skill for granted and generally end up making average presentations. And lastly, students are made to believe that presentation is a soft skill which they can develop when they graduate. For these reasons, we wanted to focus on presentation. We wanted to prove a point that presentation is a core-skill and sadly you can’t learn it by reading books.”
Prashanta: “They are taking presentations very lightly. They do it just for the sake of doing it - for the sake of completing the course. What they do not know is that presentations can make or break their career when they are out there in the professional market. We wanted to instill a fact that people are going to judge you with the kind of presentations you make. We wanted to develop that.
The Decadence of Traditional Education
The folly of academics lies in the dependency and over-emphasis on books. True, the curriculum is important but how many times have we reflected and realized what a waste of space has some bookish knowledge been for us. In retrospect, we hope the coming generation will learn something much more practical and valid in the real world. PresentationStuffs lets you imbibe how presentations can be fun and so very useful in your real life and wherever you are headed.
An anecdote shared by Umes Shrestha illustrates this quite splendidly:
“It’s funny that one of the regular attendees of the session told us that he doesn’t like his teachers anymore because their classroom presentations are as boring as cows. When we heard this, we both exclaimed, “Mission accomplished”. We want to change the way presentations are done and we are gradually feeling that change.”
The concept of Presentations needs a shot in the arm. The whole dichotomy of how it is used and its application in real life needs that overhaul. Every Wednesday in Edushala, there aren’t simple PowerPoint bullets being glorified, there are stories; stories of those who are on their journey to accomplish something. There is nothing more powerful or invigorating than hearing another man/woman’s tale; their struggle, their strife, their smile and success. And there is a very simple reason for that, because that is us. We relate our life, our toils with that of those who present it in front of eager eyes and ears. Those who have had the torrid phobia of public speaking slowly groom themselves and ready themselves for the world out there. And to think, elocution, is a considered an extra-curricular activity in school.
See You at Edushala On Wednesdays
PresentationStuffs brings to the fore those who have something to say, and say it in a way that has everybody’s attention from start to finish. It is interactive, productive and a tool that has practical use that many will later realize. There are though, plans afoot to keep it going and then some; Umes Shrestha gives us their parting words:
“We want to continue the weekly sessions for as long as we can. It will always be an open and free platform for students and professionals to come and deliver their presentations, learn new stuff and share their experience. And at the same time, we are coming up with a series of workshops and courses on delivering effective presentation, giving awesome speechs and developing professionalism. And our workshops are not talkshops.”