Dave Gorman – Googlewhacked!

Dave Gorman 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.

Dave Gorman

His Wikipedia page describes the genesis for his show:

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 and it is hilarious. Below are two 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, besides wanting to give you a good laugh? I want to focus on his use of PowerPoint.

In each clip, Dave Gorman uses PowerPoint 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 well-timed transitions.

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 in which every single point is excruciatingly written out and read by the presenter.

Remember this the next time you are using PowerPoint or other slide presentation software. 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.

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.

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6 Replies to “Dave Gorman – Googlewhacked!”

  1. 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!

    1. 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. 😉

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John delivered a keynote address about the importance of public speaking to 80 senior members of Gore’s Medical Device Europe team at an important sales event. He was informative, engaging and inspirational. Everyone was motivated to improve their public speaking skills. Following his keynote, John has led public speaking workshops for Gore in Barcelona and Munich. He is an outstanding speaker who thinks carefully about the needs of his audience well before he steps on stage.

Karsta Goetze

TA Leader, Gore and Associates

I first got in touch with John while preparing to speak at TED Global about my work on ProtonMail. John helped me to sharpen the presentation and get on point faster, making the talk more focused and impactful. My speech was very well received, has since reached almost 1.8 million people and was successful in explaining a complex subject (email encryption) to a general audience.

Andy Yen

CEO, Proton Technologies

John gave the opening keynote on the second day of our unit’s recent offsite in Geneva, addressing an audience of 100+ attendees with a wealth of tips and techniques to deliver powerful, memorable presentations. I applied some of these techniques the very next week in an internal presentation, and I’ve been asked to give that presentation again to senior management, which has NEVER happened before. John is one of the greatest speakers I know and I can recommend his services without reservation.

David Lindelöf

Senior Data Scientist, Expedia Group

After a morning of team building activities using improvisation as the conduit, John came on stage to close the staff event which was organised in Chamonix, France. His energy and presence were immediately felt by all the members of staff. The work put into the preparation of his speech was evident and by sharing some his own stories, he was able to conduct a closing inspirational speech which was relevant, powerful and impactful for all at IRU. The whole team left feeling engaged and motivated to tackle the 2019 objectives ahead. Thank you, John.

Umberto de Pretto

Secretary General, World Road Transport Organization

I was expecting a few speaking tips and tricks and a few fun exercises, but you went above and beyond – and sideways. You taught me to stand tall. You taught me to anchor myself. You taught me to breathe. You taught me to open up. You taught me to look people in the eye. You taught me to tell the truth. You taught me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I got more than I bargained for in the best possible way.

Thuy Khoc-Bilon

World Cancer Day Campaign Manager, Union for International Cancer Control

John gave a brilliant presentation on public speaking during the UN EMERGE programme in Geneva (a two days workshop on leadership development for a group of female staff members working in the UN organizations in Geneva). His talk was inspirational and practical, thanks to the many techniques and tips he shared with the audience. His teaching can dramatically change our public speaking performance and enable us as presenters to have a real and powerful impact. Thank you, John, for your great contribution!

Sara Canna

HR Specialist, World Health Organization

John is a genuine communication innovator. His seminars on gamification of public speaking learning and his interactive Rhetoric game at our conference set the tone for change and improvement in our organisation. The quality of his input, the impact he made with his audience and his effortlessly engaging style made it easy to get on board with his core messages and won over some delegates who were extremely skeptical as to the efficacy of games for learning. I simply cannot recommend him highly enough.

Thomas Scott

National Education Director, Association of Speakers Clubs UK

John joined our Global Sales Meeting in Segovia, Spain and we all participated in his "Improv(e) your Work!" session. I say “all” because it really was all interactive, participatory, learning and enjoyable. The session surprised everybody and was a fresh-air activity that brought a lot of self-reflection and insights to improve trust and confidence in each other inside our team. It´s all about communication and a good manner of speaking!"

Jon Lopez

General Manager Europe, Hayward Industries

Thank you very much for the excellent presentation skills session. The feedback I received was very positive. Everyone enjoyed the good mix of listening to your speech, co-developing a concrete take-away and the personal learning experience. We all feel more devoted to the task ahead, more able to succeed and an elevated team spirit. Delivering this in a short time, both in session and in preparation, is outstanding!

Henning Dehler

CFO European Dairy Supply Chain & Operations, Danone

Thanks to John’s excellent workshop, I have learned many important tips and techniques to become an effective public speaker. John is a fantastic speaker and teacher, with extensive knowledge of the field. His workshop was a great experience and has proven extremely useful for me in my professional and personal life.

Eric Thuillard

Senior Sales Manager, Sunrise Communications

John’s presentation skills training was a terrific investment of my time. I increased my skills in this important area and feel more comfortable when speaking to an audience. John provided the right mix between theory and practice.

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Director of the Jura Region, BKW Energie AG

Be BOLD. Those two words got stuck in my head and in the heads of all those ADP leaders and associates that had the privilege to see John on stage. He was our keynote speaker at our annual convention in Barcelona, and his message still remains! John puts his heart in every word. Few speakers are so credible, humble and yet super strong with large audiences!

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Senior Director and Talent Partner, ADP International