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In this episode of The Engineering Commons, the gang discusses tailoring a presentation to meet the needs and interests of your intended audience.
- Adam’s favorite form of communication is an old-fashioned face-to-face conversation.
- The data throughput of smoke signals is a bit too slow for Carmen’s needs.
- Jeff suggests flag semaphore as an alternative means of communication.
- When Carmen suggests that engineering involves “blowing stuff up in the lab,” Jeff and Adam insist on additional details.
- The group sarcastically agrees that PowerPoint is the answer for solving all communication problems.
- Brian notes the difficulties of trying to dig into technical issues when the audience is a mixture of technical experts and non-technical stakeholders.
- A discussion ensues concerning why engineers end up in meetings, and the communication objective of various meeting types.
- Adam pounces when Carmen utters the phrase “controlling the narrative.”
- “Dwight’s Speech” (YouTube) from the US television show “The Office” is referenced by Brian.
- Brian points out that, in an effort to be honest and transparent, engineers tend to highlight the limits of their knowledge when dealing with non-engineering colleagues.
- An article titled “Consider Your Audience” is mentioned by Carmen.
- Carmen also references an article with presentation tips for engineers.
- It’s important to present information in a manner that is easy for the audience to follow, rather in rigid chronological order, notes Jeff.
- An intentionally bad PowerPoint presentation (from the University of Wisconsin) is mentioned by Carmen.
- A possible middle ground between minimalist presentations and fully-detailed reports are the concept of Slidedocs.
Thanks to Forgemind ArchiMedia for providing the photo titled “2013-0703 北科大建築營建築講座 – 楊恩達主講 21.” Opening music by John Trimble, and concluding theme by Paul Stevenson.