Title: The secrets of spider venom

Presenter: Michel Dugon



  • You had quite a surprising introduction. My advice is give it a little more impact and to not rush so quickly into the "it's all right." I would have appreciated more time spent in your introduction to establish your credentials. You're wearing jeans and a shirt that isn't even tucked in, so you look very unprofessional to me. 
  • I liked your transition into your main point. You were proposing hypothetical benefits, and I was thinking to myself "that's a lot of what ifs," and then you sprung the fact that venom is already in development for these purposes. (This was also where you referred to yourself as a scientist, and it reminded me that you haven't given us your credentials yet -- maybe you're a biochemist.)
  • You have good examples and gave us numbers that really made me sit up in wonder. Here's a very picky thing; I think it would have had more impact if instead of saying that only .01% have been studied, go ahead and say one thousand. Maybe it's just me, but I think that the wide difference between ten million and one thousand is more striking.
  • Your story about how you capture the spiders and then the process to test them was very good. I especially liked how descriptive you were.
  • I liked your conclusion. You wrapped up with a glimpse of what we may see in the future because of these bugs, and you even gave us a way to feel like we were contributing by not killing the spider in the house. I thought that this conclusion was very good. 


  • The organizers didn't do any favors for you by putting those waving balloons behind you as a constant distraction. To me, that was almost as distracting as having the spider crawling over you. On one hand, I thought it was fascinating to have the live spider crawling around. On the other hand, I know that I kept watching the spider and didn't pay as much attention to you.
  • I also noticed that you spent a lot of time looking at your spider instead of us in the audience. I'd be closely watching a spider I was wrangling, too, if I were in your situation. It became another reason I think it would've been more effective to put the spider in a cage after you'd introduced her to us and let you focus on presenting.
  • Another thing that distracted me was the pacing back and forth. I coach people to move with a purpose during their speech and don't just stand in one spot if you can help it. I felt there was too much aimless motion in yours, though, and it was another distraction — often, I encounter that from people who are nervous giving presentations.
  • I heard lots of verbal pauses. That's another sign to me that you're probably nervous (or maybe just not well-practiced). A goal I'd like for you to work on as a speaker is to eliminate those ahs and ums.
  • I think you have an effective personality as a presenter. Between your smile and your casual humor, you're very fun to listen to. You told the story of catching and testing spiders very effectively; I felt that the strongest component of the presentation was how well you tell stories.
  • Overall, you had very good content, and you excel as a story-teller. I felt that with more practice, you can be more comfortable and eliminate the nervous habits.

Chuck Hinkle has been formally evaluating and coaching speakers worldwide for over thirty years.

“Chuck took my story I was giving at a TEDx conference and turned it into a powerful presentation. Then he coached me so that I could deliver it confidently and effectively. It was the most impactful presentation of all the speakers.” Sr. Business Analyst & TEDx Presenter

“Even more than being terrified of public speaking I am more terrified of sharing my personal past with others. That was until I encountered Chuck Hinkle. Chuck listened to my ideas for my first TEDx talk and gently coaxed me to share part of me that was not a part of my work persona. He helped me develop the skills I needed to convey a message that would reach the hearts and minds of folks literally around the globe. My New Years resolution was to overcome my fear of speaking in public by possibly talking to a group of school children or at a senior center as part of a group. By working with Chuck, I gained the confidence and skills to stand on the stage alone and reach out to over 17 different countries and Dare them to make a difference. And what is even more amazing is they took the challenge and told how they did. Chuck used a combination of presentation techniques on how to use PowerPoint and pictures, to what stories to tell and how to paint a visual picture. I grew personally and was able to land an amazing new role professionally thanks to Chuck.” Commercial Contract Manager & TEDx Presenter

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