RE: Trip Reports re: presentations

Subject: RE: Trip Reports re: presentations
From: Chuck Martin <CMartin -at- SERENA -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 16:57:54 -0700

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Posada [mailto:jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com]
> Sent: Friday, June 09, 2000 1:29 PM
> Subject: Re: Trip Reports re: presentations
>
> > I like to take my meeting notes on the handout. That way I
> don't repeat
> > information and it's all there in one spot.

> This is going to come off as somewhat callous, but to be
> honest, what a
> person may LIKE to do and what makes a presentation more
> effective might
> be two different things.
>
> I may like to eat lunch during a presenation and can put forth a
> justifyable reason, but that doesn't make the presentation
> experience for
> the others any better.

I've eaten at presentations, and I've seen others do it as well. Sometimes
conferences keep people so busy that it's the only time available to get
nourishment. As long as the speaker's microphone is capable enough, and as
long as I can see the slides, and as long as the room is still well lit
enough to be able to take notes, I can easily tune out most all extraneous
human noises and focus on the presentation, and that includes the activities
of others eating and drinking (the latter *most* common at conferences,
especially caffeinated beverages).

And then, how would you handle presentations that are designed to go with
meals, whether they be served by waiter or box lunches?

>
> I guarantee that if you didn't have the presenation in front of you on
> paper, you'd listen more intently.

By writing taking notes of the salient points of the speaker, I not only
have to pay more attention, but the act of writing helps commit the
information to memory better.

Did you ever take notes in college classes?

>
> What I'm proposing isn't my preference...focus groups have proven the
> effectiveness of not passing out the handouts until afterwards.
>
I place little stock in the effectiveness of focus groups, based on what I
know about their usefulness to software development. People in focus groups
are more likely to agree with others in the group (herd mentality), as well
as say things that they think the people running the focus groups want to
hear.

To get good data on the best time to provide presentation handouts, you'd
have to do real usability studies.

Are we straying too far from the list topic?

--
"I don't entirely understand it but it is true: Highly skilled carpenters
don't get insulted when told they are not architects, but highly skilled
programmers do get insulted when they are told they are not UI designers."
- anonymous programmer quoted in "GUI Bloopers"
by Jeff Johnson

Chuck Martin, Sr. Technical Writer
cmartin -at- serena -dot- com


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