Rocket Science for Farmers – Communication is About Making Connections

Irish entrepreneur of the year, 2012, Edmond Harty keeps an eye on the latest technologies across all fields and asks the question: ‘Can I apply this to dairy farming?’ Often he can. Edmond had the idea for one of his company’s most successful products, the Moomonitor, on a flight to Canada after reading an article about …

Not So Awful, Not So Common – A Politician Who Can Communicate

After the financial crash, everyone in Ireland is now an expert in economics. Except that nobody is. Phrases like ‘bailout’, ‘Troika’ and ‘burn the bondholders’ have been bandied about but I’m not sure how many people actually understand them. Stephen Donnelly does. Recently elected independent politician in the Irish parliament, Stephen told me, in a …

Urgency and Complacency

52 minutes, 31 slides, some with up to 15 bullet-points, many with 4-5 thumbnail pictures or graphs. OK, so we’ve all sat through a good few of these, but what galled me about this particular presentation was the slide titled, ‘Typical questions AAA Software (not actual name) can help get you an answer for.’ There …

Discriminating Between Apples & Bananas

I got an email last week inviting me to the following talk: ‘Topology Optimization using Barycentric Discretization: Theory and Applications’ I didn’t go. A few weeks earlier, I was asked to: ‘Endogenous Correlated Network Dynamics’ …but I was busy that week, also. And then there was: ‘Group III Nitride Semiconductor Nanostructures for Photonic and Quantum …

Shiny Skyscrapers, Dull Presentations

On the up side, glass skyscrapers let in light. On the down side, they let heat, lots of it – think of greenhouses – which can be a problem in warm countries. So they have developed ‘intelligent glass systems’ to adjust the tint of the windows at different times of the day, blocking the sun’s …

Clicks and More Clicks

Ciaran, an engineer, sent me a presentation from a work trip he had been on as part of an internship programme. It’s not so much an awful presentation as an awful idea for a presentation. It was basically two groups of people who had done the same thing, telling each other what they did for …

Strong Words | Words Are Not As Important As Emotions

I got this email from Colm, a statistician: Barry, I just had a speech from a senior manager who at one point looked down at his sheet of paper to read out the words “I really care about….”  Colm Inspiring stuff! It makes me wonder, again, has a presenter ever read anything that excited anybody? …

Top 5 Presentation Peeves

After my recent request for awful presentations, I received the following note from an engineer named Jeff: Barry, I think you have touched a nerve. I see the first slide in some presentations and want to scream. The things that really grinds my gears are: 1. Text heavy document pasted into slides and read out …