Sunday, June 25, 2006

Culture: A presentation in Ghana

I will add a picture later! Yesterday we had a meeting with GINKS members interested in discussing network membership and sustainability issues. We invited Mr. Boateng, board member from GAPVOD, a Ghanaian umbrella organisation for NGOs to talk about his experiences with networks in Ghana, so that GINKS can benefit from these lessons.

When he came in (in a hurry) without any support materials, saying he doesn't need a beamer or flipchart, I was a little worried. But when he started talking- he talked for 45 minutes with any break, in a loud voice- he had a his audience glued to his lips. His stories were so to the point, recognisable and honest that it got everyone attracted. (I made notes, so can share some of his points later). What's making me think all the time, is how he violates all the 'presentation rules' (at least the ones on visual aids) and still has a great presentation. I think some of the ingredients that contributed to the effect of the presentation were: the fact that he knows his topics by heart from many practical personal experiences with networks and network management, his passion for the topic and the fact that all present had a huge interest in network membership issues (if not, they would not sacrifice their saturday to it) and the use of very practical, recognisable examples.

It has happened to me before in Ghana, that various speakers had nice powerpoints, but the best presentation was by the person who excused himself that he had not had time to prepare a powerpoint, and he scribbled his ideas on the overhead sheet while talking.


Marnix said...

Hi Joitske

I started practicing the same. For a recent presentation, I made no bulletpoints, but I collected stories instead. I used sketches drawn by hand to avoid loosing time in making drawings on a flip chart ... it worked very well.

Wouter Rijneveld said...

Hi Joitske,

My experience (in Nigeria anyway) made me realize that we from a literary oriented society are really backward in oral communication, compared to those from an African setting. If a communication quotient, CQ, would exist, Nigerian average (and I guess Ghanaian) would be way higher than the Dutch average

Joitske Hulsebosch said...

Hi Wouter and Marnix, thanks for your comments; in the meantime I had been wondering whether the presentation would have been better if supported by visual aids, (for people with visual orientation) But it does show that other factors are so much more important than 'the rules' (authenticity of the speaker for instance)