Friday, May 20, 2005

Engineering Presentation

Engineers, in general, are horrible at writing presentations. It could be because they have so much information in their heads that they want to get out that they just dump it all into the presentation, relevant or otherwise. Maybe they're afraid to leave something out. Maybe they view putting just two or three bullet points on each slide with less than ten words beside each point as incredibly inefficient. "You can fit lots more words on that page! Even more if you ignore the rules of punctuation! I use 12 point text in documents, why not presentations? What is that? That can so be turned into an acronym. There's no need to spell that out. Ever."

Okay, guys. Here's the rules. Pull the presentation up on your monitor. Stand up and take two very big steps back. If you can't read it, the text is too small. If it takes more than fifteen seconds to read, there's too much information on one slide. If you fall asleep while reading it, bring coffee to the meeting.

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