Explain-a-holic (Communicate Clearly)

15 June 2015 | Comments Off on Explain-a-holic (Communicate Clearly)

But just a couple of days ago, I was talking to someone about managing expectations in the IT world. How do you convince someone else to buy into a project? How do you get them to back your idea, rather than inventing their own? While the question itself is interesting, I’m going to leave my…

Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

18 May 2015 | Comments Off on Eschew Obfuscation (Communicate Clearly)

Many years ago, I worked for a manager who had two signs on his desk. The first was a pencil with the words, “Pencil 2.0” printed above them. The rest of the sign went on to explain how the pencil had undo (the eraser), was renewable (it can be sharpened), etc. The second sign was…

Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 2)

29 December 2014 | Comments Off on Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 2)

Last time, we talked a little about making certain your presentation has a point — or a porpoise, as the case might be. This time I want to talk about a few other common mistakes I see network engineers make when building presentations, and actually presenting them. First, you put too much text on your…

Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 1)

15 December 2014 | Comments Off on Why Your Presentation Stinks (Part 1)

Powerpoint doesn’t stink. Our presentation skills do. So how do we fix it? First, you must decide: what do I want this presentation to be? We’ve all seen the brilliant TED talks about new ideas. We’ve all seen the really cool sample presentations from those online presentation sites about someone’s trip around the world. When…

Powerpoint Doesn’t Stink

7 December 2014 | Comments Off on Powerpoint Doesn’t Stink

“Presentations are just a waste of time.” “Powerpoint stinks.” “Can’t we do something other than another long, boring, presentation?” “We should just ban Powerpoint.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone complain about Powerpoint, or presentations, I’d be rich enough to quit work and stop blogging. 🙂 Isn’t it about time…

Write Like You Mean It (Part 2)

13 October 2014 | 1 Comment

In the first part of this two part series, I talked about why it’s important to learn to write — and to learn to write effectively. But how do you become an effective writer? I started with the importance of reading, particularly difficult and regular reading across a broad array of topics. Is there anything…

Write Like You Mean It (Part 1)

6 October 2014 | 1 Comment

Engineers are supposed to be able to gather information, arrange it in a way that makes sense, and then propose a solution that actually solves the problem at hand — right? So why is it I’m almost constantly astounded at the lack of writing skills in the engineering community? Why don’t engineers know how to…