Dave Gorman – Googlewhacked!

The speaker that you will see shortly is Dave Gorman. For those of you who do not know him, Dave is a stand-up comedian and presenter from England. He has done many creative things on stage, but the two clips below are from his show entitled Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure. The genesis for his show is best explained in the Wikipedia page on Dave:

In 2003, he toured Britain with a show entitled Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure, and published a book of the same name. It is [a] true story. At 31 Dave decided to give up his stupid ways, grow a beard and write a novel. As a result Dave believes people took him more seriously and a new novel was commissioned. While trying to write a novel for his publisher (Random House), Dave became obsessed with Googlewhacks when someone notified him that his site had one (Francophile Namesakes), and caused him to travel across the world finding people who had authored them … He eventually spent his publisher’s advance on the quest, and had to create the Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure show to pay them back.

The show is about his “Googlewhack” adventures. It is hilarious and I would definitely try to get tickets if he ever came to Geneva. Below are two different clips from that show. Each one starts in the middle of a story, but it is pretty easy to pick up the plot.

So, why am I showing them? To make you laugh? Well, yes, that’s one reason. Sitting back and having a good laugh from time to time is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. But there is another reason as well: his use of PowerPoint.

In each clip, Dave uses PowerPoint – it could be Keynote, I am not sure – to support his stories. And he does so brilliantly. His slides are textbook: big images; few words (on the one slide where there are several words, the key ones are emphasized for the audience); and transitions that are well-timed.

In short, the performance is about Dave and his stories. It is not about the PowerPoint presentation. The slides support and enhance the presentation but they are not the presentation itself.

Once you have watched the performances, go back, turn the sound off and look at the slides again. Would you be able to figure out what Dave was talking about just by looking at the slides? I doubt it. His show is a welcome change from the millions of presentations that are given daily in which every single point is – excruciatingly – written out and read by the presenter.

Remember this the next time you are using PowerPoint or Keynote: The slides are not the presentation. You are. If your audience can get all of the information from your slides, then why do they need you?

And now, sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Fair warning: Dave does use barroom language at times, but it isn’t anything that you haven’t heard before. And it is done in a lighthearted manner.

Clip No. 1 – Airfare and Dictionaries

Clip No. 2 – What Happened in Austin, Texas

If you want to know more about Dave Gorman, you can visit his website or blog.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Humour, Slide Presentation and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Dave Gorman – Googlewhacked!

  1. Fabutastic!! Thanks for spreading it round.

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks, Olivia. Glad you enjoyed it.

      I was going to look up “fabutastic” in the Oxford English Dictionary, but then I figured if you said it, it must be in there somewhere. 😉


  2. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  3. John, I’m so glad I discovered you! I just subscribed to your blog. I frequently write the same sentiments about PowerPoint at my blog (www.andnowpresenting.typepad.com/professionally_speaking). I see a post coming up where I link to this one…too good to be missed!


  4. Faisal says:

    Thanks John 🙂

  5. Osmar Jardim says:

    LOL! Thanks John for blogging this.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.