Yesterday, I enjoyed a special treat. My friend and colleague Jason Womack, invited me to sit in, as he presented a one day Getting Things Done seminar for one of his corporate clients, in Ventura, California. I've known Jason for many years, but this was my first time to really see him in action.

20060316 - Jason Womack in-house GTD seminar.JPG

I arrived at the client early and found a good seat at the back of the room.  Since I was a guest, and I was already familiar with the material. I ended up focusing on the presentation itself and watching how the audience responded.  I was amazed.  Jason delivered an awesome presentation; for eight hours, he kept an audience of close to 250 people focused and engaged. Jason's presentation and delivery skills made it evident to me that he has invested thousands of hours in perfecting his delivery.

I ended up taking five pages of notes, mostly on the presentation itself, and I was able to share these with Jason over dinner this evening.  I think the three things about Jason's presentation that stood out to me were:

1. The fact that Jason's spoken presentation occurred independent yet completely synchronized with his PowerPoint presentation. At the first few slide transitions, I turned around to see if somebody was controlling the slide presentation for him.  Slides appeared effortlessly, and I was certain that two people must've been involved.  I was wrong.  Jason had his presentation so well rehearsed that he could speak on the fly, while queuing up his slides to appear at just the right moment to complement his message.  Adding to the effectiveness of this presentation, nothing on his slides was included in what he had to say.  Meaning, he wasn't reading from his slides at his slides weren't repeating what he just said.  Instead, each slide demonstrated key points that reinforce the message.  Combined with Jason's captivating hands and body movement, this presentation, appealed to all three types of learners: auditory, kinestetic, and visual.

2. He made excellent use of the dramatic pause to reinforce learning. Oh, and I did not count a single “um” in 8 hours. Awesome.

3. His familiarity with GTD workbook allowed him to quickly and effortlessly respond to every question with a precise page number, section number and paragraph of where to look.  (At first I thought this was a catchy gimmick, perhaps even an arrogant one.  I quickly realized that Jason is so passionate about what he does, that he cannot help but show it through his every attention to detail in the seminar.)

I have had the wonderful opportunity to sit through many incarnations of the GTD seminar (formerly "Managing Actions and Projects," and now called "RoadMap") many times over the last 14 years. In fact, I had the privilege to help co-produce David Allen's first cassette series, almost 10 years ago. I therefore arrived to the conference center with a high set of expectations, and wondering what another presenter could possibly add to David Allen's already excellent material.  

I was not disappointed.  

The nuts and bolts of the GTD methodology were expertly presented.  The stories were fresh, real and practical and the audience and I remained engaged for the full 8-hours.

I suppose the real testimony is that I came home with pages of notes, some on my tablet, and some in the work book, which I've just dictated into my system.

Thank you, Jason, for an outstanding presentation. No doubt, your clients were impressed, too.

If you have an opportunity to hear Jason speak, go. It’s a real treat.

PS. I'm trying something new with this post: I'm dictating the entire blog entry on my Tablet PC. I've mapped out a few other posts, which I will blog soon.

Discussion/Comments (5):

Well done, Jason. An outstanding GTD seminar!

Jason did do a great job. As someone else in the audience, I can confirm that his presentation was quite exceptional.

As a former teacher, Jason can also tell you that a lecture style presentation is one of the most difficult to do well.

Great job.

Posted at 3/17/2006 8:41:46 AM by Drew Story

Well done, Jason. An outstanding GTD seminar!

Thank you, Eric, for participating. I learned SO much as we talked after the seminar. You gave me some feedback I'm going to implement in Monday morning's seminar in Cleveland!

Thanks again...


Posted at 3/18/2006 8:08:23 AM by Jason Womack

Thanks for the speaking ideas

I was taken away with your enthusiasm and will be looking for a way to hear Jason speak myself.

Posted at 3/20/2006 8:02:09 AM by Beth Dargis

Well done, Jason. An outstanding GTD seminar!

"I have had the wonderful opportunity to sit through many incarnations of the GTD seminar (formerly "Managing Actions and Projects," and now called "RoadMap") many times over the last 14 years. In fact, I had the privilege to help co-produce David Allen's first cassette series, almost 10 years ago."

Ah, MAP. Thanks for reminding me. I have the "16 jam-packed cassettes" sitting on my bookshelf -- Copyright 1998. I've been meaning to listen to them, again, but never seem to get around to it. Probably because they're cassettes. I once thought about converting the tapes to MP3s, but, uh, never got around to it...

Posted at 3/31/2006 6:10:01 AM by Scott

The MAP tapes...

I was introduced to David at a MAP seminar in 1997. A few months later, I got the tape set and went through those tapes over and over again. There's magic in those tapes, if you get a chance to re-listen, I think you'll find a great return on your time investment.

Posted at 4/1/2006 1:30:32 AM by Jason Womack

Discussion for this entry is now closed.