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Old 10-20-2007, 09:19 AM   #21
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At my Megacorp, very long conference calls coupled with powerpoints were the norm. Right before my departure, a new practice erupted: people emailed around MP3 files of completed conference calls, in case you missed it or wanted to relive the magic!
For us, it's a recorded WebEx or LiveMeeting session. I was so disappointed about missing that meeting that I can't wait to relive the glory!
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:27 AM   #22
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Excuse me if this has been posted previously, but I think it is priceless:
The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation
I'm really glad to read this, but man I'm even happier I never saw this during my working years. It would've killed my Protestant-work-ethic morale even faster than learning how to surf.

What's especially galling is that (1) Norvig didn't need to add much to the autocontent generator and (2) Microsoft sends shills to heckle Tufte's talks...
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:26 AM   #23
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I thought it was a great idea when Scott McNealy "outlawed" powerpoint presentations at Sun. Seems to have not positively affected the company though.

I remember my first couple of presentations at Powerpoint crazy megacorp. I was scheduled to give a talk to a room full of people and provided 3 slides with 4 bullets on each for a 2-3 hour talk. I was thoroughly assured by the young lady that there was NO WAY that I could speak to 12 bullets for several hours, and she was immediately proven wrong. Then she took me out for drinks, but thats another story.

After another 2 foil, six bullet "presentation" for a meeting I ran the following week, I was told by my boss that I needed to produce at least one foil for each 15 minutes of meeting. And give out the presentations BEFORE the meeting. Taking away the surprise took away half my joy. Having to figure out what I was going to say before the meeting took place took away the other half
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:04 PM   #24
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There was a contest run by Computerworld to add the caption to the cartoon. The cartoon depicted a guy in a suit standing in front of a bored looking male, with his laptop open and speaking in an animated fashion.

My contest-winning caption:
"If you'll buy right now, I promise not to show you the Powerpoint Presentation!"
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What!?! No PP Slides??
Old 10-20-2007, 01:09 PM   #25
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What!?! No PP Slides??

Or, even better . . .

Dismay, disgust, disbelief (Triple-D Effect) when you show up and make that 15 minute presentation without handouts! People really have to listen to what you're saying? How productive is that:confused:
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:21 PM   #26
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kcowan, that is great!

I have been with my company for about 3 years now. I have seen it grow from 70 people to 350. It is like personally experiencing a nimble fun company growing into a megacorp. My calendar has exploded into an entire block of meetings every 2-3 days. I literally get double booked from about 11am to 4pm on Fridays now. Many of these meetings are just referred to as "working groups". Tell me that isn't an oxymoron. It is basically an excuse to have no agenda, and sit around and gab about topic du jour. We generally keep it a technical discussion, but nothing comes out of it except another hour wasted.

And of course it has grown from wasting time of 2-3 people, to now 10-15 people; as well as the amount of meetings doubling to tripling per week as the projects have multiplied.

It is sorta getting out of hand, but at the same time, you feel like you become the odd-person out if you say something like "I will not be attending if you do not have an agenda or a goal." So, the norm continues.

How do you guys deal with this? I believe networking is a big part of the job, and being in IT, with constant worries of outsourcing and layoffs, you have to do your best to grow your "friend base". That way when the proverbial ax falls, you have a support group to bug for opportunities.

So, I feel it is sorta the catch-22. I want to work towards a larger goal, and make these meetings more useful, but if the other participants are unwilling and I throw up my hands (and decline the invite), I look like a jerk.
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Old 10-20-2007, 03:49 PM   #27
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People really have to listen to what you're saying?
That was pretty much my point to my boss. I wanted to talk to people and have an open dialog where people are paying attention. Instead we got people reading stuff and not really paying much attention, and the meeting pretty much would go by how the presentation was written.

Charts and graphs and pretty pictures sure can go a long way to explain something complicated to describe verbally. But too much of it is a problem.
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Old 10-20-2007, 04:48 PM   #28
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Olav, you are stuck unless the highest ranking person in the "working group", or your common boss, gets on an efficient meeting kick. You know, boss issues email stating, no meetings w/o an agenda, time limit, etc. Maybe you have some meddlesome HR people who can be effectively occupied with this project: call it "managing change". Good luck.
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Old 10-20-2007, 07:39 PM   #29
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kcowan, that is great!
How do you guys deal with this?
I retired (on May 1). No more .PPT or "working groups"

- Ron
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:29 PM   #30
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Hope you don't mind me jumping in here. I am about to pull the proverbial plug next month. I am responsible for my co. European ops. Each quarter I do a 30 minute update to the CEO and the other suits... I use one slide:
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Central Europe countries
  • Russia
I get the award for maximum slide re-use .. get to use the same slide every quarter. This way I get to say what I want depending on the mood of the group.

Cheers,

Sidney
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:13 PM   #31
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sidney -what a riot!

This is precious: our tax dollars at work..
http://www.newfluwiki2.com/upload/CDC_Op-plan_bigW.jpg

I love the upside-down bird and the "Where's Waldo?" guys!
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:48 AM   #32
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My son told me he recently attended a conference in which Power Point slides were forbidden. He said it was the best conference he had ever attended, people were actually attentive and listened to the speakers.
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:52 AM   #33
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I am having trouble taking all of this in... could someone create a powerpoint and give me an overview of the evils of powerpoint.
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:58 AM   #34
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I am having trouble taking all of this in... could someone create a powerpoint and give me an overview of the evils of powerpoint.
Here's a Power Point presentation on how to do bad Power Point.
www.sckls.info/sysserv/tutorials/powerpt/BadPowerPt.ppt
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:37 AM   #35
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Olav, you are stuck unless the highest ranking person in the "working group", or your common boss, gets on an efficient meeting kick. You know, boss issues email stating, no meetings w/o an agenda, time limit, etc. Maybe you have some meddlesome HR people who can be effectively occupied with this project: call it "managing change". Good luck.
We had a similar problem, and I would just show up for the last 15 minutes and ask politely for a summary. They eventally accepted it because I said I was double-booked but did not want to miss the meeting entirely.

It was interesting to ask different people to summarize the same meeting! Eventually they appointed a chairman who would summarize for the group.
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:04 AM   #36
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And of course it has grown from wasting time of 2-3 people, to now 10-15 people; as well as the amount of meetings doubling to tripling per week as the projects have multiplied.
Use to attend (by force) our morning module meetings, where, in a nutshell, 20-40 people explained the causes for down tools and on-hold material to a dimwit without a clue! (instead of actually repairing tools and getting material off hold...)

Just guessing, but I'd bet that meeting cost $10k/day in labor charges alone...
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:26 PM   #37
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I once had a boss who called a Monday morning (8:30) staff meeting every week...attendance mandatory. 15 people, each of whom had to give a summary of the previous week's business and a DETAILED prospectus of the current week's activities (i.e., "I have a meeting scheduled with XXX on Tuesday at 2 pm to discuss YYY"; "On Thursday, I'm flying to Washington to meet with ZZZ on ___.") The meetings would last a minimum of 2 hours -- sometimes 3 -- and a few of the older guys would actually fall asleep during the meeting. (15 people x 3 hours x 52 weeks = 2,340 hours a year listening to others reading from their day planners!)

When PowerPoint was introduced, boss thought it would be a great idea to have everyone do their presentations on screen. That made it soooo much more interesting...and allowed the staff to spend part of Friday afternoon preparing for the #*%& meetings!

This went on for months...until one of us had the brilliant idea of suggesting that boss invite his new boss to attend one of these meetings. New boss walked in, sat thru the first PP presentation (with handouts, of course) -- turned to our boss and asked him to come to new boss' office after the meeting. Never heard what they discussed -- we certainly guessed -- but effective immediately, no more Monday morning staff meetings!! (And boss was gone within six months....oh happy day!)
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:52 PM   #38
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Once upon a time, I had a boss who decided we had too many committees. So he set up a committee to decide what to do with them: the Committee on Committees!
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:59 PM   #39
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...I remember my first couple of presentations at Powerpoint crazy megacorp. I was scheduled to give a talk to a room full of people and provided 3 slides with 4 bullets on each for a 2-3 hour talk. I was thoroughly assured by the young lady that there was NO WAY that I could speak to 12 bullets for several hours, and she was immediately proven wrong. Then she took me out for drinks, but thats another story.
Wow! That's bad-ass, Bunny. You're like the James Bond of Powerpoint.

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Old 10-21-2007, 03:18 PM   #40
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I remember reading that Brian Eno (Talking Heads) was using PP for some of his artistic outlets, but the details escape me at the moment
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