18 January, 2015
January 18th, 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Garr Reynolds’ blog Presentation Zen turns, and this is something that should be celebrated by the millions of people who have enjoyed the radical transformation many presenters have undergone thanks to this approach.
I can proudly say that I’m part of this transformation; and in my case this transformation goes beyond presentations and public speaking, an into a deeper level.
When I discovered Presentation Zen blog 8 years ago, I was married but had no children, I had an executive job in a telco thanks to my engineering degree and my main worry was achieving the annual business goals of my company. To make it worse, I was an accomplice in the killing of people with PowerPoint.
Eight years later my life has changed radically: I have two wonderful daughters; I’m a full-time independent professional focused on helping others improve their communication skills and finding their voice through my company envozbaja and together with Ideas on Stage. It’s a meaningful job which is deeply connected to my deepest values. This virtuous circle is closed with the flexibility to organize my schedule so I can balance my personal and professional life.
In this life transformation,the birth of my daughters, or the need of working in something meaningful to me and connected to my values were both determinant. But the role Presentation played on it was so important, that I’m sure I wouldn’t be were I am today without it. In that phase of change, the principles of simplicity, constraint and naturalness guided my decisions beyond the professional scope. In my opinion, one of the keys for the success of Presentation Zen is that it is an approach, not a method. People with very different backgrounds have embraced this approach in a very open, non-dogmatic way, with a lot of room to explore. The results are in plain view: a community of followers where an incredibly rich exchange of ideas and practices takes place, and where ‘sharing’ is at the root of every interaction.
My life has also changed profoundly thanks to the wonderful and fantastic people I’ve met during this trip gravitating around Presentation Zen: the wonderful team at Ideas on Stage, who took me in with incredible warmth and whom I owe a big part of what I’m today as a professional; or the growing group of friends and professionals I’ve met in the Presentation Zen Studios and seminars these years, with whom I’ve shared much more than ideas about presentations.
Ten years have gone by, and still there’s a lot of work to do. Although there appear to be some indications of change, communication in the business world still needs to change a lot. The day has to come when I meet someone who declares with joy “Presentations in my company are awesome!”, or “I love meetings in my company!”. That’s our job and our commitment to Presentation Zen approach. Coincidentally, a few months ago, I was about to start reading the latest and fantastic book from Dr. Nick Morgan, ‘Power Cues’ when I bumped into a quote from Garr Reynolds, praising the book. It said: ‘Wow! I wish I’d had this book ten years ago.’ Well Garr, I’m probably not the only one who thinks you’ve done a great job these past ten years. And I’m really glad I’ve had Presentation Zen by my side all this time.
Thanks a lot sensei.