Episode 7: Presentr – Pitch Prfect

We shouldn’t judge a book by the cover. But when we meet someone, that’s exactly what we do. Within the first few minutes, we form a strong impression based on how they speak and carry themselves. And when giving a presentation, the quality of the content won’t matter that much if you can’t present it effectively.

In this episode we talk to Tim Wikstrom, who has spent his entire career coaching people on effective presentation skills. With Presentr, Tim and his co-founder Tammy Palazzo leverage Artificial Intelligence to help you improve your presentation skills: the AI tracks and assesses your tone of voice, the rhythm of your delivery, your most frequently used words—and gives you instant feedback. Accessible on both laptops and mobile devices, Presentr can provide training at scale, and has already been adopted by a number of large organizations.

We discuss with Tim what constitutes an effective presentation style, to what extent it depends on the speaker and on the audience, and how cultural differences come into the equations. We debate how you can judge and measure the impact of Presentr’s training. We also reflect on the risks of being in a world where form can often trump substance, and on whether applications like Presentr will make the situation better or worse.

Watch out for references to A Fish Called Wanda, Michael’s NBC broadcaster impersonation, and Tim’s explanation of Bill Clinton’s “Pointing Thumb Thing”. Stick around for the post-interview segment, where we also discuss whether a bot would stick around for an entire State of the Union address.