Cranky Talk Workshop

I had the absolute privilege of attending the Cranky Talk Workshop for New Speakers on Friday, October 22. The workshop exceeded my expectations and brought in all the elements they preached about good presentations.

I know the faculty — Dan Willis, Adam Polansky, Russ Unger, and Dan Brown — they are a great bunch of guys that are really knowledgeable, approachable and fun. They complemented each other well and made all my fellow workshoppers feel at ease.

The day started with a “stretch” exercise to get the creative and performance juices going. We were all asked to introduce ourselves in a silly and ridiculous way as indicated by a note in a lunchbox tin. The exercise was amazing for getting everyone in a safe and comfortable zone with the room.

We then went on to the learning portion of the program. Each faculty member presented their thoughts and ideas on how to create a great presentation. Following their talk, we were allowed to opportunity to share our feedback with them on how effective we found the material and the performance of the material. This was one of the most helpful portions of the workshop. Each faculty member had a wealth of information for us, they each had their own style of presenting, and they were very candid about their ticks and tendencies and how they overcome them.

My two biggest takeaways from the event were how important it is to 1) have a singular message and that the message can be as simple as “How does [x] work for designers?” and 2) make that singular message speak to your passions. Passion captivates attention and focus aids retention. The difference between a good presentation and a great presentation are these two things — focus and passion!

Learn more about the Cranky Talk Workshop at

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