PowerPoint Tactics: Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint

There is an age old question that asks, “If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It is a philosophical question that essentially asks whether or not an event can be proven if no one witnesses it. For ideas that engineers come up with, the same is true. If you are unable to communicate an idea, typically via a presentation that involves speaking in front of others and using Microsoft PowerPoint, it might as well not exist.

For many of us in the engineering field, conveying ideas can be a difficult task. As opposed to interacting with people socially, we tend to be introverted people who choose to spend time on creative pursuits in isolation. While this can heighten our problem solving ability, it can hamper our ability to communicate and relate to others. Our ideas are obvious to us, so naturally we think they will be obvious to everybody else, but this is rarely the case. In this chapter, commonly used communication tactics are covered for the three most common forms of business communication: presentations, documentation, and email. Using the tips discussed here will make it easier for your ideas to be heard by the non-technically inclined who usually hold the power over budgets and rewards.

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10 Responses to “PowerPoint Tactics: Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint”

  1. Nerd Guru » Blog Archive » PowerPoint Tactics: Part 2 - Apple anecdote Says:

    […] PowerPoint Tactics: Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint (older) (newer) PowerPoint Tactics: Part 3 – Slide organization […]

  2. Nerd Guru » Blog Archive » PowerPoint Tactics: Part 4 - Text based slides Says:

    […] Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint […]

  3. Nerd Guru » Blog Archive » PowerPoint Tactics: Part 5 - Graphical slides Says:

    […] Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint […]

  4. Nerd Guru » Blog Archive » PowerPoint Tactics: Part 6 - Synchronizing to your agenda and using backup slides Says:

    […] Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint […]

  5. Nerd Guru » Blog Archive » PowerPoint Tactics: Part 7 - Oral delivery tips Says:

    […] Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint […]

  6. Nerd Guru » Blog Archive » PowerPoint Tactics: Part 8 - Final Thoughts Says:

    […] Part 1 – A tree in the woods is like an engineer with PowerPoint […]

  7. Word Tactics | Nerd Guru Says:

    […] to tips on PowerPoint tactics, Word documentation also has to be nicely organized and quickly tell readers why they are investing […]

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    […] Then, there were three notable presentations. The first two were practically a working example of do’s and dont’s of PowerPoint. The third one speculated on how wired and connected we might all be in the future. […]

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  10. Washington Post : Engineers Learning People Skills, Too | Nerd Guru Says:

    […] time and time again that the folks who get ahead are the ones who master the soft skills. They can translate complex and detailed technical topics into language that non-technical senior executives and marketers can understand. They take the time […]

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