By Kim Cardenas
I’ve worked in a corporate environment for 30 years and have spent much of the last 15 of those years mentoring and training others, as well as attending many trainings and presentations myself. I’m always interested in watching how others perform these activities to learn new ways of engaging the audience. I had the pleasure of attending a technical presentation on Side Mount Diving by Jeff Seckendorf at the DEMA trade show in November of 2017. Jeff did an amazing job of not just conveying information, but of facilitating learning. He guided his audience toward understanding until they had that “ah ha” moment. I do not often write reviews but feel that Jeff brings a fresh approach to learning and so wanted to share my thoughts.
In the short time allotted for his presentation, Jeff was able to take a very complex subject and make it meaningful to a wide range of audience expertise. He did a great job of engaging audience participation with strategic, open-ended questions. There was an airline pilot in the audience who had no background in SCUBA diving, yet Jeff was able to get him to see how his experiences actually applied to the techniques used in SCUBA diving. Jeff was able to break down complex concepts and make them meaningful to the audience at large in just a few minutes. He used common ground and experiences from audience members to help them “connect the dots” to the topic he was presenting.
In addition, all of the above was done in such a way that was enjoyable and custom fit to the audience. This way, I feel, the participants, including me, retained more information, since it related to them.
Not only does Jeff cover all the information required to make a presentation complete, but he is able to do it in a way that is memorable and enjoyable to the audience. Jeff is a versatile speaker and would be great at passing along his facilitator techniques to those with minimal or no experience in training as well as those with existing presentation and training skills.