- MegaCorp likes a ppt for everything; a new design, a senior briefing, or why we should switch to lower cost toilet paper.
- Sometimes they are useful
- It is good to have a visual record of a design or project where drawings and photos are often a key component
- All too often there is way too much text and diagrams jampacked into a presentation
- This results in them wowing you with the visuals but telling you absolutely nothing concrete about the project (Avatar?)
- Some people insist on printing their 100 page presentation for all the people in the meeting
- This is unnecessary
- Usually only one or two slides are actually relevant to the people attending
- Departments attempt to make themselves look more important by pretending the new process is more complicated than it really is
- Some managers get their secretaries to print copies of the drafts in order to finalize, rather than learning how to use the software
- Is that the sound of a tree crying?
- Most professors tend to use powerpoint for what it is best at:
- Equations and definitions are listed, so the professor doesn't need to write them out on the board
- The professor can then focus on a verbal discussion as to the significance of the equations
- Neat photos of the material structure of rhino horns or charts on the hardness of human vs animal teeth make the topic more interesting
- Some professors and some managers haven't learned that you don't need to pack your slides with text and then read every word
- Most people are poor at eliminating unnecessary bullet points, as am I
There's nothing like running a test to isolate the cause of a problem, and finding nothing to even show that problem is occurring, and instead finding a new and totally unrelated problem. So you began your test thinking you'd figure out what was triggering the fault and ended up with two faults, more graphs, more data, and no causes or explanations.
- Thanks to Mind Hacks for the link to this great video: that egotistical neurosurgeon you've all met, and quite funny.
- Pascale writes a great post about women in male dominated fields being...well, womanly. Or, not womanly enough. Or striking a balance between being womanly and not womanly or whatever ridiculous advice-giving authors tell us we must do this week to succeed.
- Engineered discusses high school students' expectations in a NYT blog of students getting rejected to their top choices, or sometimes all their choices and placing far too much emphasis on college being "the best four years of your life." All of us who've graduated and grown a little since college know that not to be the case. Certainly there are things we may remember fondly from college, but many of us would not willingly make the trade, or might prefer another block of time in our lives as being our particular best.
If this advice is hard for you to take now, you're probably suffering from what psychologists refer to as the Impostor Phenomenon, which is like a tape that plays inside people's heads. If you're an engineering student looking around at your classmates, the tape goes something like this: "These people are good—they understand all this stuff. They really belong here…but I don't. Over the years I've somehow managed to fool them all—my family, my friends, my teachers. They all think I'm smart enough to be here, but I know better…and the very next hard test or hard question I get in class will finally reveal me as the impostor I am." And what would happen next is too horrible to contemplate, so at that point you just rewind and replay the tape.
What you don't know is that almost everyone else in the class is playing the same tape, and the student in the front row with the straight A average is playing it louder than anyone else. Furthermore, the tape is usually wrong. If you survived your first year of engineering school, you almost certainly have what it takes to be an engineer. Just remember all your predecessors who had the same self-doubts you have now and did just fine. You do belong here, and you'll get through it just like they did. Try to relax and enjoy the trip.
Good words to read every morning. Every day when I wonder whether I'm really as incompetent as I'm always afraid I am, or if that's just my negative inner voice talking to me. It doesn't help when others doubt my intelligence or my skill and I wonder, are they right about me? So I'll just print this out in bold and reassure myself, Stewart Smalley style, that I am smart, and gosh darnnit people like me. I think this holds for many of us small-ego types. So read these words to yourself, because dammnit, you are good at what you do and who you are, and don't let that negative inner voice or other blowhards convince you otherwise.