Monday, March 15, 2010

Church and State

State is the state of presentations. Presentations are important in engineering -- the more you practice and learn about the art of presenting and communicating -- the better off you will be. In the March 29, 2010 issue of Fortune, Mellody Hobson has the following points:

Focus your talk on no more than three ideas and ideally on one theme. A lot of people feel like they have to put everything they know in a speech to show that they're smart or that they've done a lot of work. Count on the Q&A to allow you to dazzle with other knowledge. Also, reading from the slides is the kiss of death; send the material first.

The best place to see a "presentation" is still Church - - your basic Methodist sermon teaches you more about a presentation than any other source. I say Methodist -- because the Methodist colleges and universities must all teach the same methodology. Any Methodist sermon will focus on three things -- "We are going to talk about three ideas -- these are the three ideas - - and in summary, these are the three ideas I just spoke about." Week in and week out -- you get basically 30-minutes of only three ideas rolled up into a grand theme. God apparently thinks thinking in terms of three is very important. The 30-minutes must also be important -- God or one of his assistants must have looked at the average attention span of mortals. People can just take so much preaching and presenting. Also, image a sermon with PowerPoint slides -- the minister just reading off the slides. You really cannot preach and present while reading off of PowerPoint slides.

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