Monday, October 27, 2008

#868 John From New Zealand, Massive Obama, Presentation Pet Peeves

Show 868 Monday 27 October
Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s guest is John from New Zealand. I met John in Sapporo. He gave a presentation at the JALT conference.
It was the last presentation I saw actually and it was about giving presentations. He was introducing these new books, because he works for this publisher, Cambridge University Press, who also happen to publish one of my favourite books – which I’ve talked about many times before – English Grammar In Use.

Anyway, I’d watched many presentations that weekend and several of them I was somewhat unimpressed with – for various reasons – so I really enjoyed John’s presentation because we talked about what makes a good and bad presentation and it was really interesting. And these books look like they’d be useful if you’re going to teach giving presentations in your class - which is definitely a useful thing to learn I think.

There are some interesting topics in here, like, how to fold a T-shirt - you’ve probably seen videos on YouTube like this. And John impressed everyone with his T-shirt folding presentation.

The first thing I asked John was: How long have you been in Japan?

I’ve been in Japan for three and a half years. Um, ah, I came over in, ah, March 2005 with my wife, who’s Japanese and our two daughters. Ah, they were both born in New Zealand.


Kia Ora in Stick News today an artist is planning to create a massive portrait of Barack Obama in Spain.

The artist is a 42-year-old man who was born in Cuba, grew up in the US and now lives in Spain. He plans to create the gigantic portrait from gravel and sand. Obama’s face will be almost 140 by 83 meters. The artist said the size of the work was intrinsic to its value. "Obama's personality - his youth, personal history and message of a new politics - has fused with the historical moment to create someone larger than life," he says. The huge size also alludes "to the global impact of this election." The artist will use 500 tons of material and plans to finish the work by the 3rd of November.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 27th of October.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#538 What was your speech about?

Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to John.

Sarah Why did you come to this conference?

John I work for Cambridge University Press and I’m an ELT sales representative - English language teaching materials sales representative - and I’ve come to, ah, have a display, to show teachers our materials. And also to give a presentation on our new course, called Present Yourself.

Sarah How did the presentation go?

John I think it went quite well. The, um … I had a couple of mini presentations, ah, within the presentation that, ah, ah, were … seemed to be, ah, getting good interest from, from, ah, my audience and, ah, it seemed to go quite well.

Sarah Being a bit of a presentation expert, do you watch other presentations critically?

John Yes, I am quite critical of presentations, the presentations that I go to watch. I don’t mean to be I’m there to, obviously to get information like everybody else. But if there are, um, some things that you might consider bad presentation practice or bad presenting skills, I do notice it.

Sarah What’s your pet peeve with presentations?

John Probably in the age of PowerPoint it is far too much text, ah, in a slide, so, and having … and the presenter is actually reading a slide. Perhaps reading quotes, um, from academics or, or from a book. And jumping through slides – oh we don’t need that one, oh jump over this one, we’ll skip over that - it’s very distracting if people have taken the time to come and listen to what you’ve got to say and it seems as though you’re just, it’s just an ad hoc thing, that you’ve ah, you haven’t catered to this particular, ah, audience with.

Sarah Did you used to be a teacher?

John No, I don’t come from a teaching background. Ah, ah, I used to work for a, ah, trade promotion agency, a government trade promotion agency. And, ah, so I don’t come from a teaching background but I started learning Japanese when I was at high school and I’ve always had a very strong interest in language acquisition. And, ah, I think being now a salesman for English textbooks, um, my experience as a Japanese language learner and all of the things that I did to learn Japanese, ah, put me in good stead to be able to relate to teachers and relate to the issues their students have.

Sarah I read in the program you won a speech contest …

John Yes, yes, that’s quite a few years ago now. Ahh, 1988 Auckland regional speech competition. Ah, I, I won that one.

Sarah What was your speech about?

John The speech was about interesting dialects in Japanese, um, and how I found it difficult to understand, um, some peculiar dialects in Japanese. Yeah.

Sarah What advice do you have for people who are studying English?

John One of the key things is to get as much exposure to the language as you possibly can. And of course that’s very difficult, um, when you’re learning the language, um, from your own culture. So it’s the situation of all the Japanese students learning English. Their only real expose, um, that they have may be in their class with their teacher, um, and during the activities that they’re doing in class. But if they’re really serious about wanting to learn the language they need to try and make friends with native speakers, to travel as much as possible and expose themselves to the language as much as possible. There’s no shortcuts in learning language and, ah, it’s a lifelong process, I think.


ad hoc adj. adv. arranged or happening when necessary and not planned in advance

stand someone in good stead idiom be advantageous to someone over time or in the future


today's news
today's STICK NEWS pictures

blog posts about presentation pet peeves:
Presentation pet peeves
Presentation Pet Peeves
And Now, a Powerpoint Presentation


show start
artist: Boom Tschak
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: More Chocolate, Please
from: Former Yugoslavia

cws start
artist: Wolfgang S.
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: Dynamite
from: Belgrade, Serbia, Former Yugoslavia
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: Zeropage
album: Ambient Pills Update
track: Is It Real
from: Switzerland
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

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Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,
me and my friend we decided to create a Polish version of TDES which is available on What do you think about it?
Kind regards,

tdes said...

This is so awesome! Thank you Jarek - and friend - I'm so excited. Thank you ... it looks great :)

I've added links to it - is this how you write Polish (in Polish) "Poleski"?


Anonymous said...

Hi Sara. Thanks for a warm reception. Regarding to the way of signing a polish language, it is correct now in your links. We try to do our best with my friend in a matter of project. It could appear some delays from time to time - it is always more work at the beginning. It seems interesting to translate some recipes from the Sunday Kitchen cycle, but only these ones which could be prepared using products available in Poland. If you have some ideas or requests I am open to any suggestions.

Kind regards, Jarek.