Southern Chicago Hospital Presents the Art Institute

Patients and visitors to a southern Chicago hospital who are lovers of art are in luck! Chicago’s famous Art Institute is a world-class museum which brings visitors from throughout the world. Founded in 1866 under the name Chicago Academy of Design, it is one of the oldest art schools in the U.S., and it is carrying on the teaching of art and design to this day. Additionally, the Art Institute’s collection presently contains over three hundred thousand works of art distributed among ten departments. The Institute’s objet d’art include paintings, sculpture, photographs, architectural drawings, prints, and textiles from all over the world and thousands of years of history.

The principle building features beaux arts architecture and was constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Over the years other buildings have been constructed, and the museum presently contains over four hundred thousand square feet of space. The collection of European Painting includes 950 paintings from medieaval times to the early twentieth century, with special emphasis on French painting in the nineteenth century. The most famous exhibit at the Art Institute is the Impressionist and Post Impressionist collection, which includes A Sunday Afternoon on La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat, Acrobats at the Circus Fernando by Jean Renoir, and thirty-three of Claude Monet’s landscapes. The Modern and Contemporary Art Department contains over 1500 sculptures and paintings from America and Europe made during the twentieth century. The world-renowned African and Amerindian collection features an exhibit of African masks, wood sculpture, ceramics, textiles, beadwork, and furniture from Central, Western and Southern Africa; and also a collection of Mesoamerican and Andes Mountains ceramics, textiles, sculpture, and metal work. South American Indian figurative art and ceramics are also well represented in this collection.

Another world-famous collection which south Chicago hospital visitors might enjoy is European Decorative Arts with over twenty-five thousand objects including ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, and ivory dating from the year 1100 to modern times; as well as sculpture from the middle ages to the present. The Textile Department includes over thirteen thousand examples (including over sixty-six thousand swatch samples) from 300 BCE to contemporary designs, representing Asia, Africa, Europe, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Indonesia. There are special collections of pre-Colombian textiles, tapestries, European vestments, woven silk, printed fabric, lace and needlework.

Visitors from a south Chicago Illinois hospital should not miss the fabulous Thorne Miniature Rooms which feature 68 doll’s house rooms on a one-to-twelve scale showing a range of architecture from peasant dwellings to palaces. Another famous Art Institute collection is the distinguished Ernest Graham Study Center with over 130,000 architectural drawings and sketches. Families will especially appreciate the Children’s Museum and the many rotating presentations at Goodman Theater and the Institute’s Film Center. Children are also fascinated with the Institute’s extensive Arms and Armor collection, as well as the collections of costumes from all over the world. The Art Institute has several pleasant restaurants including the Garden Restaurant and the Court Cafe. There is also a great gift shop on the main floor.

How To Open Your Presentation With Commanding Attention

You have a few seconds to set the tone for your presentation. A good start paves the road to success while a weak opening can slam shut the door to success.

Your opening must do three things for you. Grab attention, set the direction and establish rapport. Without their attention you have a room of non-listeners. Without knowing your direction your audience will feel lost and confused. Without rapport you might have a room of enemies.

You can grab attention with contrast, relevance and credibility.

You can set the direction by answering the question, “Why are we here?”

You can establish rapport by demonstrating empathy, common interest and confidence.

The Marcel Marceau Opening

Use this powerful technique to open your presentation.

When it’s your turn to speak, walk slowly, proudly and smiling to the front of the room. Take your position. Face the audience. Stand tall. Smile confidently. Say nothing. Glance at one individual, then another, and another. Do this silently for up to eight seconds.

This is how you claim the room. It allows everyone to stop fidgeting and focus their attention on you. They will be amazed at your self confidence to look so good and patiently wait before you speak. They will anticipate listening to a powerful presentation. Choose your first words carefully because they will be listening intently.

5 Presentation Opening Mistakes to Avoid

Speaking on your way to the front of the room

Doing this diminishes your perceived confidence and power because you appear unwilling to wait. In addition many people might not hear what you said while walking to the front of the room.

Telling a joke

This was standard advice to public speakers five decades ago. It was bad advice then and even worse today. Don’t start with a joke. In fact you should never tell jokes in your presentations. Most jokes make fun of somebody else and that’s not the way to establish rapport with your audience. A painful example of this was for the speaker to tell a lawyer joke before opening the speech to a room full of lawyers.

Testing the microphone as you open

Perhaps you’ve witnessed a speaker tapping or blowing into the microphone and saying “Is this thing on?” The time to test the microphone was before the meeting began. Get into the room before the audience arrives to test the audio and video equipment.

Before I begin

Think about that statement. The speaker walked to the front of the run and started with, “Before I begin.” That’s like a runner at the start of a race. The starter pistol sounds and everyone dashes off except one person who says, “I’m not ready yet.” The race started without you. Your presentation started when you were introduced.

Reading your opening

Listening to your reading your speech seldom feels authentic to your audience. Reading your opening will feel cold and distant. You won’t connect because your audience is likely to think, “Are you talking to me or only reading a prepared statement?” The worst case of reading your speech is reading your self introduction, “Hello, my name is George.” I’ve seen speakers read their own name. That’s usually the beginning to a boring speech. When you are reading, you are not making eye contact. You’re not building rapport. You might as well be in another room.

Design the opening to your presentation with the care that you should prepare the curb view of your house when you put it up for sale. If people don’t like the curb view they will drive by. Do you want your audience to drive by – or to eagerly embrace your presentation?

Business Presentations – Are These The Ten Most Irritating Mannerisms?

Being able to give some sort of presentation is almost a given today, whether in business or not and they come in all shapes and sizes.

And there are certain mannerisms of the speaker that really irritate people and turn them off and unfortunately more often than not the speaker is unaware of them.

Some of them seem to be obvious and common sense but in my experience unfortunately common sense is not all that common.

And anyway why does it matter? Well, if you are irritated or switched off in the audience are you more or less likely to do business with them or recommend them to some one else?

It can have a detrimental effect on the business results and I have come across examples of companies losing significant contracts as a result.

I’ve been doing some research with those in procurement to find out their top 10. Interestingly enough many of them refer to PowerPoint. ( Is this because people feel they can’t present without it now?)

They’re shown below, with comments as to why they annoy and a tip as to how to avoid each one.

(They’re not in any particular order)

1. Doing a PowerPoint presentation and then walking backwards and forwards in front of the screen.

I just want to shout “Stand still!” You can’t see them properly because of the light and you can’t read the screen either. It drives me nuts.

Tip: Don’t be a “Wandering star”. Practice standing still when giving your presentation so as not to distract the listeners.

2. Reading out the PowerPoint slides

I find it insulting – I can read them for myself

Tip: If you are using PowerPoint have graphics or diagrams on your slides that stimulate interest that you then explain rather than lots of text which doesn’t require explanation

3. Every slide the same

It’s really boring, especially when they have so much information on that you cannot possibly read them. What’s the point?

Tip: Keep the number of slides to a minimum and restrict how much information you display.

4. Fiddling with coins in their pockets or repeatedly touching hair, face, fiddling with glasses etc.

It is so distracting. I’m wondering when they’re going to do it next rather than what they’re talking about.

Tip: Practice standing to present with your hands in a neutral position, preferably by your sides, until you have stripped away all of the distracting gestures.

5. Turning around and talking to the screen rather than the audience.

It’s as if they don’t know what they are talking about.

Tip: If you need to see the slide why not use the laptop as an autocue in front of you instead?

6. Turning around and pointing to a something on the screen

It’s really annoying when the speaker goes up to the screen and actually points to it. It seems unprofessional.

Tip: Use a laser pointer

7. Bobbing backwards and forwards to the laptop to change the slide.

I find it distracting and it seems amateurish somehow.

Tip: You can get a remote clicker really cheaply and it would get rid of this.

8. Speaking in a monotone or the tone going up at the wrong time.

I find it really irritating when the tone goes up, like Australians do, whether it is really a question or not. I find myself focusing on listening for that rather than what’s being said

Just one tone of voice all the way through makes it difficult for me to concentrate. I find myself drifting off every time.

Tip: Record your presentation and listen to which tonality you predominately use and adjust it where necessary so that it is appropriate to the flow of the presentation.

9. The speaker using their hands and body too much, too many gestures.

It is really distracting when the speaker is too expressive with their hands or moves about a lot. I find it difficult to concentrate on what they are saying.

Tip: To help identify your distracting gestures (and we all have them but we generally are unaware of what we do as they are often unconscious behaviours) it is useful to video yourself presenting.

10. Just giving information that could be on a handout.

I find it really annoying when I feel that it’s been a waste of my time. The speaker just gives information that I could have read on a website or a handout.

Tip: Bring the information alive by telling stories or using real life examples.

This is just a sample. There are many more.

When you are designing and practising your presentation put yourself in the audiences shoes.What would you irritate you about listening to you? because if it irritates you chances are it will annoy someone else too!