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Make the microphone rock

Many conferences suffer from boring presentations. Killer presentations are absolutely rare. Higher standards should be set. Those higher standards may be quite different than what you think. Get back to basics, be straight forward and use simplicity! Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Include unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories.

Make the audience look up to you by expressing what you have in your heart and mind rather than making them look at on the screen projected numbers and texts. Tell them about your vision and how you come to conclusions. Tell them how you solve a problem. When the audience notices that you have passion, they will appreciate you. The “ooohs”, “ahas”, and “wows” come from what they didn’t expect, and never heard of before. A superb presentation is when the microphone rocks and the audience gets to the edge of their seats. A killer presentation results in a rush to the stage by the attendees to talk to the speaker once he finished.

Speaking is branding
You are branding yourself when you speak, so make sure you are unique and memorable. Differentiate yourself! If you don’t create a unique style compared to all the other presenters, the audience won’t remember you. Ask yourself some tough questions! Why would anyone care to come and listen to you? Because you think you are important? Oh boy, you may have a problem. Because you are an expert? Isn’t an expert a person who tells a simple thing in a confused way and in such a fashion as to make the listeners think that the confusion is the listener’s own fault? Imagine if one of the attendees would stand up and interrupt you, “Mr. Speaker, look me in the straight in the eyes and say that you are convinced that what you are suggesting is right and if you cannot, may I suggest that you put some discipline in your wording.”

While you are preparing your presentation, just imagine that someone in the audience would interrupt you and say: “Mr. Speaker. This session is called “so-and-so”. You have just wasted a lot of time with introductions and things we really already know. You are supposed to have all the knowledge that we don’t have, so could you please offer us your wisdom and experience.” Would you be fireproof if you were grilled in this manner? Attendees make an effort to come to a conference and they are entitled to a top performance.

I had asked a friend of mine, Prissy, to accompany me to a conference where I had a speaking engagement on future aviation developments. While I went on stage to do my presentation, Prissy was searching for the perfect out-of-sight view and situated herself in front of a fire exit behind the audience. Being in the background is quite unusual for her and it is also difficult to go unnoticed anywhere, even standing behind an audience with all eyes on a presentation. She caught the attention of a security guard who approached her tiptoed. "Excuse me lady, but you cannot stand here; you are blocking the fire exit"

"Don't be ridiculous, young man. I am not blocking anything; I have two legs and know how to use them in case of a fire. I am actually quite aware that I am extremely flammable myself in case of such an emergency, and so, I'll be the first to escape. Besides, if you're anticipating a disaster, don't you think that you are a bit unprepared for a blazing incident? Your uniform will go up in flames just as quickly as my Versace dress. Shouldn't you be dressed in a fireproof rubber suit with a yellow helmet on your head and an ax in your hand?"
"Lady, don't underestimate my authority. Do I have to call in re-enforcements to have you removed?"
"You can call in the complete fire department as far as I'm concerned. It's not me who's igniting a problem here. It's your duty to extinguish fires, not create them. You could have asked me politely and discretely to stand in another place, and I would have fairly considered to comply with your request.”
"Lady, you are challenging my patience!"
The commotion in the back of the room had captured the audience's attention and all eyes were now on Prissy and the fire marshal. To regain the attendees’ interest I cleared my throat, yet, before I could say something, the security guard escorted a resisting Prissy to the other side of the room. Realizing that the entire audience is observing her aggressive escort, Prissy then gives it a toothpaste smile, complies and acts like nothing happened.
As I proceeded with my presentation, the security guard said to Prissy, "See, that wasn't so bad, was it?" Prissy, wanting to slap him for making her look like circus act, replied: "All that was missing was a leash and a whip."

Challenge your audience
I once had to make a presentation to a UNESCO assembly of scientists in Paris. I began by telling them that if was not able to communicate the essentials of what my speech was about in 60 seconds, we might as well all go home right away. I sure had their attention from to start.

Limit your introduction. Don’t try to make the audience look up to you by presenting a checklist of achievements, or by quoting reports and conclusions of what others did. Long introductions may result in the audience thinking “half of his life he seemed successful, how come we’ve to listen to the other half?” Don’t over-prepare when making a presentation. Some of the best presentations are by speakers being spontaneous and dynamic along with their presentation.

Rhetorical questions encourage the listener to think about what is said. The question is intended as a challenge. Asking questions show self-confidence and that you are in control. Try this in the middle of your presentation: “You don’t believe me, do you?” (break, while looking around in the audience). “Well let me tell you…” and then continue. Or “If it was all up to me, do you know what I would do?” And continue. Rest assured that the audience will listen to the points that you want to get across. You need to show character when presenting. Use sticky, compelling, and memorable messages.

PPT addiction
If you cannot speak without a PowerPoint Presentation, you are like a gourmet chef who cannot cook without a recipe book. A gourmet chef does what he does best: cooking, not reading. PowerPoints can amplify your personality. I admit that if you are a good presenter, a supporting PowerPoint can make things great. Yet, a thing one sees all the time at conferences, that if speakers don’t have much to say for themselves they start using statistics. Worse are the slides with endless texts and then the speaker reads out loud what is seen on the screen. The audience isn’t there to read slides, they are there to listen to what is said. Slides are a primarily visual medium, with very few words. Use text only to label new topics within your discussion or to emphasize a point that you want to make and such in no more than 10 words and combined with an awesome picture.

Last but not least
Pull all registers and give them all you have. The difference between a presentation and chocolate is that chocolate is always good.

by Cdr. Bud Slabbaert

Objection to Dutch European Parliament members elections 2019 – The Netherlands in violation of the EU Treaties and Charter of the United Nations.


With this letter we Foundation We Want Bonaire Back, civil society NGO, established on the island of Bonaire, situated in southern Caribbean, herewith denounces the Netherlands serious breach of the values of the European Union and as such to suspend the Netherlands voting rights in the Council. The Netherlands is in violation of the Treaty of the European Union( Treaty of Lisbon), The Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union, The European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations.

The people, citizens of our island of Bonaire, with a total electorate of about 14thd are invited to vote for the Dutch members of the European Parliament on May 23, 2019. This for us is another democratic trap where for a seat for the Netherlands in the EU parliament is needed over 180thd votes based on last elections of 2014 with a voters turnout of ca 37%. Contrary to EU that was founded on representative democracy, that decisions must be taken as closely as possible to citizens, this election a facade, another mockery to democracy, adds on to our local government , island council representatives, which have no responsibilities or power to decide and govern the Bonerian peoples as the powers are held by the 2nd chamber , the Parliament of the Netherlands consisting of 175 members and the Dutch Senate consisting of 75 members situated in the Hague , Netherlands.

The values on which the EU is founded, Article 2 of the EU Treaty, respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities and banning eugenics are grossly violated:

On October 10, 2010 (10-10-10). with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles the in-defensive smaller islands Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba were annexed , re-colonized, embedded and integrated under unequal rights in the Dutch constitution against the wishes of the peoples and maintained up today the peoples in this imposed colonial status despite legal democratic rejection of the peoples through referenda in 2010, 2014 and 2015.

Our autonomy was reversed on 10-10-10 instead of assisting us enhancing and developing us towards more autonomy. This constitutes of grave violations of the Charter of the United Nations causing a setback in the governing of our islands which has led to a re-colonization that infringes the Charter of the UN especially Article 73 Chapter XI, Article 103 Chapter XVI, and resolutions 742, 747, 945, 1514 and 1541, all of which address the sacred rights of our peoples.

• Abusive undemocratic actions by the Dutch government of their unilateral legislative powers and military and police powers which deposed the legitimate elected government of Sint Eustatius February 2018 and appointed a non-elected colonial ruler to govern and depriving the citizens of St Eustatius of their democratic rights by blocking the scheduled free election last March.

• Open immigration policy: increase as high as 400% in immigration of non-Bonerians mostly European-Dutch settlers with the power to vote within 3 months in our local elections. At the moment our population doubled since these eugenics-policies were enforced and the Bonerians became a minority on our own island, and are on the path of a systematic eradication, ethnic cleansing institutionalized.

• Camouflaged euthanasia and abortion practices in the healthcare sector exploding the crude death rate on the Bonerian population to over 60%.

• Imposing of cultural imperialism through amoral and abusive tax-legislation's on the humble Bonerian peoples

• Imposing of all possible policies practices that sub-duct the economic strength and aspiration and self-reliance of indigenous Bonerians. Our land and natural resources has been repossessed by the colonizing administrative power.

• Dutch-i-fication and reversal by deprivation of education in mother native language demoting and segregating the native Bonerian children to the lower levels

Our sister islands of Curacao, Aruba and St Maarten are on the same path to be recolonized administratively by the Hague, that meanwhile remain ultimate powers over them, and has taken over their internal matters and appointing a non-democratic supervisory financial board deciding over the islands budget, parliaments and governments. Same is the case with the judiciary system which is under control of the Hague deciding who will be politically targeted and prosecuted if not collaborating with the Dutch agenda. Contrary to developing good peaceful relationships with neighboring countries the Netherlands forced the Curacao government into provocation with neighboring Venezuela with high risk of escalation towards an armed conflict of global catastrophic consequences that will drag also the European Union member countries into it.

We are urging the European Union to action to condemn and reject continuation of Dutch colonialism in the Caribbean region as it will implicate all other EU members as accomplice towards these crimes against humanity.

Sincerely Yours,
James Finies, President Foundation We Want Bonaire Back


C.c The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Rutte
The Minister of Kingdom Relations, Mrs Ollongren
The Parliament of the Netherlands
Parliament of Aruba
Parliament of Curacao
Parliament of Sint Maarten



Autonomy or self-governance is not a choice- it is the most fundamental inalienable right of the peoples

knopsbonaire14052019Honorable Mr Knops,

We took note of your recent press media communications that you don't see the BES-islands, Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius in the future as autonomous self-governing islands. Reason given that they are too small. I would like to remind you that Bonaire is a nation and according to UN General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of December 14, 1960; - “that inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as pretext for delaying our fundamental inalienable right to self-governance”

Further on you declared that your undemocratic intervention, coup d'etat, overthrowing the legitimate democratic elected government in Sint Eustatius in February 2018, had a disciplinary effect on the Bonaire government, as your recent visit to Bonaire, the government spoke much more friendly. This is evident as the leaders of government of Bonaire, both commissioners Mr Tjin-Asjoe and Mrs Den Heijer, with their subservient vision, publicly voiced, that “we cannot eat bread with autonomy”.

Firstly we recognize and respect your right of expression so you may have an personal opinion on our current illegal state-structure. However we herewith want to bring to your attention that neither you nor your government and your Bonaire friendly local government possess no legal rights nor power to deny the peoples of Bonaire and the other BES-islands, principally Sint Eustatius right to self-determination and self-governance. Both islands in their respective referendum of 2014 and 2015 rejected this illegal imposed colonial status and both island parliaments as representation of their peoples ratified these as legal democratic decisions of the peoples.

Instead of assisting our islands in enhancing their autonomy, your government, a member of the UN Security Council, has limited the development towards more autonomy and now declares that we will never regain back our autonomy. This constitutes a grave violation of the Charter of the Kingdom based on the agreements signed with the United Nations Organization in 1954. Your government continued irresponsible and undemocratic decisions and actions have caused a setback in the governing of the islands which has led to a re-colonization that violates the Charter of the United Nations especially article 73 chapter XI and article 103 chapter XVI, and resolutions 742, 747, 945, 1514 and 1541, all which address the sacred rights of the Peoples of Bonaire and Sint Eustatius.

Our mutual colonial history, which you voiced to me personally that you don't know and don't care off, is a very dark one, with your government legalizing crimes and inhumanity, your laws to piracy, smuggling(drugs), slave-trading, making you the worlds history cruelest colonizers. We may have expected you with time to have grown out of this horrific barbaric culture, to civilize, but your recent declarations exposed your truth again, that nothing changed throughout the centuries, and you have put a suit over the plunderer of the defenseless Bonaire peoples.

Our response is by quoting Ghandi: “ that throughout history the way of truth has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible, but in the end , they always fall”.
We the peoples of Bonaire maintain our hopes high that “we shall overcome” and you shall respect, protect and comply with our inherited and acquired rights. We possess the same rights as you, to be as free and as equal and as human as yourself and all European-Dutch citizens of the Kingdom. We urge the international community to be awarw of this illegal colonial status where our peoples find themselves in.


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