Applying Agile Practices on Presentations

On my last holidays in Brazil, I was invited by a former teacher to visit the school I studied during my teenage and give a presentation to high school students about career, college and, personal and professional development.

However, I wasn’t sure that I’d bring the highest value to them if I covered things that I considered relevant. Therefore, I put them as my customers and tried to find a way that they had to decide what I had to talk about as well as assess the value of that as frequent as possible. By the way, I had around 40 minutes.

Palestra Frei 2

Thanks to Gus and his approach used during a workshop on the Dublin Agile Day, which is also  described on his blog (see here), I easily found what I needed.

I started off providing the context using a timeline where I gave an overview of the main milestones of and decisions on my career since I left high school up to now (it took between 5 to 8 minutes). After that, the students came up with areas that I should explore and voted to set the order we should follow (priority). The agreement was that I’d speak and answer questions of the most voted item during 5 minutes and whenever the timebox was expired we’d decide, using thumbs up or thumbs down, to keep exploring that subject or move to the next one, respectively.

We talked about computer science, IT market and its opportunities, pos-graduation, living and working abroad … It was a such good interaction that due to their engagement firing off so many questions and deciding what topics we should talk, our conversation ended up being extended to 1 hour by their request.

It doesn’t matter where, you can always apply techniques and approaches to mitigate risk and maximise the value that you deliver to your customer. And when I mean customer, I can be referring to your family, friends, work mates, community, clients, organisation you work for and so on … because agility is mindset!

By the way, I had some slides prepared to present to them but due to an unexpected issue, the projector didn’t worked properly. However, the slides were not necessary, most likely it was even better without them because I didn’t have the risk to be dragged by the ppt pitfall and this approach could be applied just using a whiteboard. At the end, this technique fulfilled the main objective: it fostered customer engagement and delivered value.

Thanks a lot for such productive experience, guys !!!

And remember … keep experimenting, learning and improving !!!

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