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…

The Degree or the Certification: Answering the Question

24 November 2014 | Comments Off on The Degree or the Certification: Answering the Question

Okay, finally, I’m going to answer the question. For some value of the word “answer,” anyway. I’ve spent three weeks thinking through various question you should be asking, along the way making three specific points: Stop asking “should I get a degree or a certification,” and start asking “what do I want to learn next.”…

The Degree or the Certification: You are Not a Widget

17 November 2014 | Comments Off on The Degree or the Certification: You are Not a Widget

One of the things that bothers me the most about the Internet of Things (IOT) is how blithely we slip from talking about objects as things to people as things. Among all the things I do not want to be, a “thing,” attached to the “Internet of Things,” is not one of them. What does…

The Degree or the Certification: Learn to See

10 November 2014 | Comments Off on The Degree or the Certification: Learn to See

This week I was reading through various RSS feeds, and ran across a couple that fell within the scope of last week’s topic. So, rather than moving on to more practical concerns, as I had planned to do — well, I thought I should respond to some common lines of thinking. First of all, the…

The Degree or the Certification

3 November 2014 |

Having just come off doing a presentation on “being a great engineer,” I can tell you what the number one question people asked was: Should I get a degree, or a certification? In fact, several people were irritated that Denise and I were even talking about anything else, because it’s the only question that counts.…

The Inner Ring

27 October 2014 |

An avid reader of C.S. Lewis, I often find his thoughts and statements applicable far outside his original intent. For instance, in 1944 (at least a few years before I was born I feel safe to say), he gave an amazing lecture at the Memorial Lecture of King’s College, University of London. The entire speech…

Write Like You Mean It (Part 2)

13 October 2014 |

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 |

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…