Tag Archives: education

Presentation Breakdown: Rich Mulholland “Escaping Educational Legacide”

18 Jul

This week’s presentation breakdown features Missing Link CEO and former rock star roadie Rich Mulholland.  After operating lights for bands like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, Mulholland started South Africa’s first presentation company, Missing Link.  He is also an outstanding speaker and education activist.

In this TED talk, Mulholland speaks about his proposition of reinventing the educational system.  He believes that people should never stop learning.  The traditional model of education, one in which we attend school until our early 20s, then rely on this education to fuel our careers and minds for the remainder of our lives, is a flawed system.  Let’s take a look at the structure of this fun, engaging presentation!

0:08-0:20

Mulholland opens up the presentation by greeting the audience, but then he jumps right into a declaration of his personality.  He says that he always wanted to join the circus, but that he never wanted to actually follow them on stage.  This gives us a brief glimpse into his personality, which we will come to recognize as being light and humorous, but with a sincere glow.

0:20-0:50

Now, Mulholland jumps right into a new idea. Notice how directly he addresses the audience and how lively they become when he speaks to them.  He is very unorthodox in his approach at humor, especially for a TED talk.  Within the first minute of his talk, he has made the audience laugh, while truly engaging them in a scenario that he begins to play out.

0:50-2:30

As we dive deeper into this scenario, which is an interesting one I might add, Mulholland is amping us up with suspense about the “catch” of this “gift.”  He is clearly going somewhere with this, but until he finally reveals the punchline, we are clueless, but enjoying the ride.  He delivers the “catch,” and gets the reaction for which he was hoping.  The audience plays right into the joke.  However, it isn’t simply a joke.  We have been taught something through the joke, and we will spend the rest of the TED talk delving deeper into this idea.  He shifts into the topic of how things change.  Now, we will get to the meat of the piece.  He addresses this shift with the mention of education.

2:30-3:04

Once we have made the shift into the “real” topic of the piece, Mulholland is keen to run with it while he has our attention.  He doesn’t drag it out, waiting for us to wonder too much.  We’ve had a little of that already.  People want to get information when they want it, not when someone decides to give it to them.  By using the clothing scenario, Mulholland has opened our minds to this possibility, and now he has given us a token of wisdom concerning innovation.  He says, “Innovation isn’t about doing something new.  Innovation is almost always about stopping doing something old.”

3:04-4:06

Mulholland turns to giving us some visuals that we can use to compare and follow the points he is talking about.  He shows two graphs that differ drastically.  We see his points clearly and he conveys his message in a humorous way.  Then, he gives us some insights into his personal life as well as his father’s.  He backs up what he is saying by addressing his past.  We believe in this idea, we are on the same page because we see a an analysis of his life running parallel to his points.  He is living and working the way he says that most people are living and working.  After he has convinced us of this, and we see his point clearly, he moves on to another point by addressing the idea of Experience vs. Expertise.

4:06-5:23

Now, we’re getting into the heart of the presentation.  Mulholland digs deeper into the current problem of age and salary. While the former system meant that the older you are the more money you make because of the experience you have, the newer model suggests that expertise, not experience, is the more valuable asset for a company to have.  People are retiring earlier because they have been replaced by younger, more specifically talented and trained new employees.  After showing two more graphs that illustrate his point, Mulholland explains the bigger idea in terms of a real, current problem.  He directly tells the audience that they should be afraid of what’s to come.  By doing this, he is preparing a call-to-action and  instilling a tiny initiative into the audience in order to promote action.  We will see the development of this idea later on in the presentation.  As he makes the declaration, “I think every 30-year-old in the room should be crapping themselves,” the audience begins to laugh loudly, to which Mulholland responds with more humor.

5:23-6:07

Mulholland goes on to explain that everyone is plateauing earlier, including himself.  People in their 20s are so excited to learn and update their skill sets.  They eventually become less valuable to their companies due to more and more specialization by other, newer employees.  At this point in the presentation, Mulholland is once again bringing his personal struggle with this issue into play.  We are invested in the idea because we see that our speaker is also personally invested in the subject matter.

6:07-8:50

We are on the backward slope of the issue at this point.  We have come across the main topic, discussed and setup the climax and then revealed the true problem.  Now, Mulholland is explaining the effects of the problem, and how we can begin to come to terms with the issue.  He puts into perspective the central message: all of the rules have changed.  We can’t keep looking at our careers in the same, traditional way.  He is setting the audience up for a solution.  He uses passion and exciting body language to keep us interested in the subject matter, which will be crucial for him to do as he in the next few minutes.

8:50-9:57

Mulholland has reached a solution.  He has clearly stated the answer to this problem.  We have experienced the build-up of the issue, and now we are about to take action in order to solve it.  Mulholland displays a clear slide with the sentence, “We need to shorten the distance between education and execution.”  The structure thus far has been consistent.  Mulholland has given us examples of how each portion of the problem affects our lives, and now we come to see a possible resolution to the issue.  He proposes that we stop schooling earlier, begin working and then integrate education into the remainder of our lives.  We never need to stop learning.

9:57-12:34

As we wrap up the presentation, we are given a thorough, clear understanding of the necessary steps to change the system.  He gives us an original set of instructions that can be used to change the “business model” of educational institutions.  There are three main points: 1)Sell-by Date for degrees 2)Subscription model for learning 3)Relevance is Key for maintaining functional, efficient employees.  Now, we have a few concrete rules that we could follow in order to fully integrate education into our working adult lives.  Then, Mulholland seals his proposition with a quote.  This is a very good technique for concluding talks because it not only gives the audience a tangible piece of information, but a relevant quotation encompasses the essence of the overall idea.  It reminds and reinforces the goals that the speaker has laid out.  Mulholland closes the presentation in a quick, simple manner, which makes his last words easily digestible for the audience.

So, there you have it!

This piece is rather short, but informative, and most importantly, fun.  Mulholland is a lively, passionate presenter who goes in a clear direction, not stopping or lulling the audience to sleep.  He keeps the energy flowing and the thoughts brewing for his audience, and we are enchanted by his fresh approach to an engaging topic.  Overall, this presentation gives us a chance to experience and learn in a thrilling environment, and we walk away feeling refreshed and informed with a sense of joy at having been a part of it.

Now, the real question is: how do you feel about this presentation?  Are there any key points that we have missed or that you would like to discuss?  As always, subscribe to our YouTube channel, leave us some feedback below or on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @BigFishPresCo!

INNOV8

25 Apr

Here at Big Fish, we stick by our belief that it takes studying great work in order to create great work.  Without analyzing the masters of an art, it is impossible to produce work of the same caliber.  So, in order to give you all a sense of work that we admire and perceive as some of the greatest, we have broken down two presentations, providing commentary and insights.  Enjoy!

Ken Robinson – “Schools Kill Creativity”

 

0:36 – Begins with a joke

Starting the presentation with humor warms up the audience to Robinson’s presence and gets us acquainted with his style.  We are slightly emotionally invested in Robinson because we can appreciate his insights as being relative to our own in some sense.

 

0:43 – Jumps into the three themes of the conference thus far, explaining each and providing commentary.

We have established an outline of the presentation, which has given us direction in terms of the two major concepts that we are about to explore: Education and Creativity.

 

3:32 – Makes another joke

A pattern has emerged that illuminates Robinson’s personality.  He is lighthearted and witty. He has already captivated the audience, keeping them intrigued and laughing.

3:45 – Tells two humorous stories

Robinson’s stories are both funny and useful to the purpose of the presentation.  Robinson explains that despite being wrong, the fundamental sense of confidence that children possess, which often leads to creative solutions.

 

6:01 – Applies this concept to the current state of education and subsequent workplace of today’s children.

Robinson has given us useful, memorable examples and applied them to a concept.  This tactic of storytelling combined with humor makes the concept stick more effectively in the audience’s mind.  We remember those children and the reinforcement of the concept makes the message resonate thoroughly.

 

6:57 – Proposes the idea of a young Shakespeare

Robinson uses this seemingly irrelevant rant to subtly keep the audience’s mind engaged with the concept.  At this point, Robinson is nursing the concept, drawing the crowd in with stories and questions about various scenarios.  He has expertly blended humor, concept and story into the audience’s mind, and we are truly enjoying the learning process.

 

7:53 – Segways into a short, personal anecdote about his son’s girlfriend

This is really the first time that Robinson strays from the central message of the presentation.  Thus far, his stories have added value to his concepts, but in this section he is simply giving the audience a glimpse into his past, his experiences.  By letting the audience see and hear of Robinson’s past, we are becoming increasingly invested emotionally.  We can sympathize with his feelings through his commentary.  We relate to him as a human being, and therefore trust his judgment as he prepares to delve into the heart of the concept.

8:43 – Shifts into an explanation of educational hierarchy  

            At this point, Robinson has shifted from small stories to explaining the structure of education in modern society.  He is getting to the meat, so to speak, of the problem and addressing it head-on. 

 

11:27 – Addresses the reason for the current system of education (i.e. history, thought process, etc.)

Robinson diagnoses the problem of education by attributing its misdirection to the direct need for jobs or positions in companies.  Robinson is slowly etching away at the core issue, breaking it down into segments with stories and/or ideas in between points. 

 

11:55 – “The whole world is engulfed in a revolution.”

 We have now reached a slight turning point in the presentation.  Robinson is not introducing concepts for a base any longer.  Instead, he is using the foundation that he has created to push forward with a larger idea, a real-world application that involves speculation and requires action.

 

13:02 – Introduces the idea of “academic inflation” and the need to “radically re-think our view of intelligence.”

This term has risen as a result of Robinson’s theory of a revolution in education.  He has explained the problems by illustrating examples.  He has addressed the structure of the system.  Now, he is defining a set of new ideas that are aimed specifically at said problems and structure.

 

13:10 – Explains the three qualities of intelligence: diverse, dynamic and distinct

Although late in the presentation, Robinson’s 3 D’s of intelligence is perfectly timed.  After laying out concepts, providing anecdotes and proposing solutions, Robinson’s tactic of introducing elements of intelligence so late only reinforces, not weakens, the foundation thus far.  By re-hashing, so to speak, the ideas he has presented, Robinson is able to keep the concept fresh in the audience’s mind. 

            *A common mistake in presentations is to push the points out up front.  This leaves the audience with nothing to look forward to, but it also leaves room for the audience to forget the points.  Save your most valuable information for the latter stages of your presentation to ensure it resonates.

 

17:54 – Wraps up the presentation with a final series of statements about reforming education for the future by using and exploring creativity in our children.

Here is the call to action, the final request by Robinson of the audience to change the way we perceive education.  He has provided us with examples of students who have done remarkable things with their talents.  He has given us statistics, quotes and case studies.  However, the most important section of this presentation, and most all presentations, is its call to action.  Without it, this would just be meaningless musings on a topic.  The call to action gives meaning and strength to the message being presented, while challenging the audience to participate independent of Robinson or TED.

 

Message:

            The structure and practices of public education are in dire need of redirection.  Creativity is being stifled to make way for practical solutions to industry.  This pattern cannot continue.  The human mind needs imagination in order to provide solutions to world problems.  Without creativity, we will be stagnant, and our practical solutions today will be irrelevant tomorrow.

            Sir Ken Robinson charms the audience with short stories, inspiring concepts and bits of humor.  However, he ties all of these elements together with an overarching theme of education reform through embracing creativity.

 

 

Steve Jobs – “Stanford Commencement”

:34 – :50: Jobs introduces himself as a college dropout and establishes a way to relate w/ the audience.

:50 -:54:  Jobs sets a “thought roadmap” for audience by saying presentation will consist of 3 stories (Rule of 3)

:57-1:00: Explains Story Theme is “Connecting the Dots.”

1:01-2:08: Tells background of his birth to set the stage of Steve attending college.

2:09-2:11: Steve tells the audience how he dropped out of college and was looking for purpose. This is the changing point in the story and a way he can relate to college students looking to find their way.

3:30-4:41: Leads into story of how Jobs dropped into calligraphy classes. Explains how those classes affected the typography of the Mac.  (Basically the purpose of the story is how college can impact your life.)

5:00-5:37: Explains meaning of story

5:39-5:42: Announces Story Theme Two is “Love & Loss”

5:43 –7:16: Explains how he loved building Apple into a 4000 employee company. But then he lost everything when Apple kicked him out. This set the stage of him coming back and how him getting kicked out of Apple was the best thing to ever happen.

7:17-8:54: Explains meaning of Story

9:06-9:08: Announces Story Theme Three is “Death”

9:10-9:18: Use quote on death to set basis of story and how it impacts Job’s view on life.

10:11-11:33: Explains how he had pancreatic cancer and came close to dying. Managed to beat cancer and see life in a different way. This sets the stage of Jobs reflecting on how he should live his life.

11:45-12:51: Explains meaning of story

13:08-13:22 – Closes speech with a conclusion story that tells you the point of the stories. “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish.” Strong close with a quote.

Why this presentation succeeds:

  • Used Rule of Three to give audience a “thought roadmap”
  • Had a consistent structure for three main points of speech.
    • State Theme of Story=> Tell Story => Explain Meaning of Story
    • Detailed how going to college was integral to a Fortune 100 company’s success (creates a way to relate with the audience and they can do it too!).

So, as you can see this can be a long process, but it’s worth it in the end.  After studying this, you can see how much work goes into mapping out the structure, choosing the right wording, etc. in a presentation.  It takes planning and timing, as well as many other small, crucial elements to present effectively.

What do you think about these presentations?  Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page or Tweet us!