How to Pick a Brain (Sheila Scarborough)

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A few weeks ago I wrote a contraversial post titled Should You Have To Pay To Have Lunch With ME?

My friend Dawn Bugni sent me a link to a slideshare presentation by Sheila Scarborough about picking a brain, titled No, You May NOT Pick My Brain.


15 thoughts on “How to Pick a Brain (Sheila Scarborough)”

  1. Your repetitions are boring. Your pictures aren’t interesting either. Sorry. It’s a chore to watch it and it need not be.

    SLIDE 1 = Your title is prim

    Other titles wd have more punch:

    Don’t Pick My Brain
    Hands off my brain
    I’m in business. No free advice.
    You want to pick my brain? Pay Me.

    SLIDE 2 = wordy and superfluous

    SLIDE 3 = dull pic and totally superfluous

    SLIDE 4 = poor lay out, not lively

    How about:
    Knowledge makes money so it’s worth money.

    SLIDE 5 = dull pic, superfluous

    This is not a hard idea to understand so it doesn’t warrant repetition.

    SLIDE 6 = banal, dull

    If you want my time, pay for it.

    SLIDE 7 = banal pic, superfluous

    SLIDE 8 = it’s okay

    But these standard pictures of coffee cups are horrendously dull and meaningless. It’s enervating.

    SLIDE 9 – no particular punch

    The internet encourages mooching

    SLIDE 10

    When so much is free we expect
    everything to be free

  2. Thanks very much for your feedback. I’ll seriously consider your suggestions.

    This slide deck was for a webinar (so none of the advantages of delivering it in person) for a professional communications group (so can’t go too wild.)

    I do appreciate you taking the time to go through it so carefully.

  3. @Sheila, when I read through Animal’s comments I was thinking the slides were created for a live presentation, with words to talk through them… big difference between the two (when you walk someone through each slide vs have them go through it on their own).

    Great thoughts, and complementary to my other post… thanks for putting it on slideshare so we could see it 🙂

  4. SLIDE 11

    I worked hard to get this info and you
    want me to give it to you for free?

    SLIDE 12

    If I don’t charge you, who’s going
    to pay my rent?

    SLIDE 13 = superfluous + boring pic

    SLIDE 14 =

    Have to know more to see what you are getting at. I assume that even social media chit chat need not be done for free.

    SLIDE 15 = I like this one

    SLIDE 16 = pic awful. cut the dot dot dot. cut the “why”

    Alt –
    Let’s have lunch = Let me mooch
    Let’s have coffee = I want more

    SLIDE 16 = it’s okay


    If I let you mooch from me today,
    I’m going to hate you in the morning.

    SLIDE 17 = it’s okay. same as 16

    Had enough?

  5. @Animal – of course you don’t agree with me … you usually don’t agree with people :p

    As a professional speaker I like to have slides that explain less, and have people do less thinking about what’s on the slide because I want them to focus on ME.

    If there is too much on a slide, or a thorough explanation, they focus on the slide, digest that, and don’t pay as much attention to me.

    Some of my favorite in-person presentations have slides with one, or NO, words on them.

    However, for someone to go through a slide on their own, each slide needs to make sense and have a transition or flow… kind of like my personal favorite:

    This presentation tells a story in slides without the need of a narrator.

    If I were in front of an audience, though, I would not use that slidedeck…

  6. Jason I agree that a slide show with a talk accompanying it might be better if it is briefer than a slide show w/out a talk.

    However, I don’t think that my modifications make this one less stand alone.

    I think they take the ideas presented (nothing different) and make it more readable / viewable.

    Actually, there is no point to have a stand alone slide show instead of an article unless there are great pictures.

  7. Sorry for being a bit late to the discussion here, but had to share my thoughts on this (from last year) about wanting to start a National No Brain Picking List which includes a fun graphic and links to posts by others on the topic:

    Also, I found that offering an introductory rate, via what I called a 50-4-50 offer, helped weed-out the confused and even turned into lead generation for a few awesome new consulting clients:

    Glad you’re keeping this brain-picking topic alive Jason! Sandy

  8. Enjoyed the post. Let’s turn it around the other way.

    If YOU were the one asking, say, for information about a company, its culture, its challenges, its industry (to determine if you wanted to work there) you would need to take up someone’s valuable time.

    In the interest of true networking, What could the “asker” offer the busy professional that may be of interest and use, in return for her/his time? What types of things would be valuable to the professional that a job searcher could reasonably offer?

  9. Sheila, Thanks for spreading this idea around – I am a true Networker- Love to be in front of others and then meet 1 on 1. This show gives some points to keep in the back of my mind when I am asking for a 1 on 1 and why some people may never say yes.

    I do agree that the slideshow is busy – I think it’s important to keep slides short and sweet. Get to the point and bring the value of that point to the forefront.

    However- I don’t agree with all of the detailed changes that Animal said – I think that he simply has too much time on his hands to critique on that level. I am sure he meant well but their is some tact that needs to be given and a level of assumed respect when you are giving feedback of that nature.

    Have an awesome day!

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