Sunday, February 15, 2015

Do the work

My new job requires that I do several presentations a year to groups of people who are 50+ years old and unemployed.

The resources given to me have all the facts, but weaving those facts into words that connect with the people attending has been challenging. 

During past presentations, I said all the words, but they didn't really hit home. 

After the last presentation, I realized that what presented were facts and not telling a story. 

After about 20 minutes of facts, the eyes of the audience glaze over as if they were stoned and they begin checking emails on their cell phones, and start looking off into the distance as if they'd rather be anywhere but sitting in my presentation.

I began doing research on telling stories in presentations, and I looked at tons of presentations on It's a great resource. 

One presentation that blew me away was one based on Steve Job and his approach to presentations. It's entitled Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

One of the messages I've heard Jobs say time and again, was "Do the work."  

I was thinking about that message and how I could weave my presentation around the idea of doing the work. 

Older people have skills that employers want - they show up, they usually have decent communications skills, they can solve problems and they're usually eager to learn. What the need is a chance.

To get a chance, I'm trying to get them to understand, that finding a job at this age requires a lot of work and a little luck.

I plan to use the slide below in my presentation.


  1. Anonymous9:47 PM

    If you did your presentation the same way you write your blog, people would listen--don't be too formal!!

  2. I like the message Rick and it's true that older people are still very much wanted and needed in the workforce...I'm sure you can get that through to people ... Good luck :-)

  3. You are wise to recognize that they weren't enthralled by your presentations. I am sure you will keep them on the edges of their seats from now on.

  4. You are on to something. I was a professional Story teller for years. I loved it. I learned as a military instrutor (LOL).
    We came to this RV park two days ago. I cannot hear of course, but I watched a a man gave a 10 min spech of the do's and don'ts, rules, things available, and just lip reading about put me to sleep.

    You decsribed it well, about the eye's glazing over. YOu are a great story teller your self, I know you will be successful in weaving it in and hold them in your hand, attention wise.
    Good post.

  5. I'm 50+ years old, and I've been unemployed for quite a while. If you want to use me as an example in your presentation, I can send you a certain photo of me that I took for someone special and now the guys at NSA laugh about it. I can also come up with a good unemployment story.


  6. Your slide is pertinent, instructive and attractive to the eye. I'm sure it conveyed your point well. Nicely done!

  7. Sounds like a great idea for presentations, Rick. Steve Jobs is definitely someone who a person would be wise to emulate :)

  8. Yes Rick, you're on to something. As a matter of fact one of my favorite Motto is "JUST DO IT" Just thinking about is is not enough.

    I've found that sometimes a bit of audience participation is another way of keeping them more alert.

    I love your quote picture. It looks professional.

  9. The fact that you became employed after retiring has to be inspiring. Come on, that southern gentleman charm has to be oozing out! Looks like you're doing the work to help your students be successful...good luck to you and them!

  10. It's easier to change a job if you are employed . Older people don't mind long hours, don't get days off for hang overs and yes they are better at organizational skills, writing, spelling, paying attention to details. They can give better advice and learn to do their job better cause they have the time to put into it to do the research. Young people take a lot for granted.
    Why not? They are young lol

  11. Rick, that quote is PERFECT.

  12. That slide is perfect. You are doing a good job motivating older people to work.

  13. Sounds like a great place to start a conversation on just how to do that!

  14. You will do a bloody great job

  15. Great quote, Rick! Ah, you've touched on a subject very near and dear to my heart. Too often, I hear (or see!) viable candidates passed by for a newer, shinier model. Never mind that 3 of the 4 new hires at the Front Desk simply quit w/o notice; and obviously no compunctions. Their sense of entitlement is really infuriating.
    Meanwhile ...
    (Sorry to go off like this.) Your audience members sound pretty discouraged; with good reason. Fingers crossed you can spark their passion!

  16. I think it's a good message, one that's inspiring yet easy to assimilate.


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