Top 5 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes: #5 Using PowerPoint in the First Place

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When the going gets tough, shoot the messenger. Don’t laugh. According to the New York Times (“We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint,” April 26, 783414_92347913_no_projector_royalty_free-stock-xchng_3002010), we can blame the ubiquitous PowerPoint for stultifying creativity, a false sense of security, and thousands of hours of lost productivity. (Disclosure: I drafted the bulk of this article – the first of a five-part series – the weekend before the Times published their story.) How could something that feels so right be so wrong?

Let’s start with something a mentor told me before the Trash-80 even made it to the shelves of your neighborhood RadioShack® store. I had to give a presentation to the board of directors of the radio station I so happily spun disks for. These various music directors had no idea what I intended to spring on them – I wanted to add sports broadcasting! I felt a handout might ease their concerns.

“Good idea,” said the mentor, “but don’t pass it out until you’re done with your Continue Reading “Top 5 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes: #5 Using PowerPoint in the First Place”

My Greatest Sale

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I had worked the graveyard shift on the AM dial for more than two years when the idea struck me – Why don’t we have a sports department? I knew from first-hand experience the Yale hockey team had a fan base well beyond the campus borders. New 1041448_77704542_Green_Money_royalty_free-stock_xchng_300Haven, back then at least, thrived on the skates of its minor league hockey team. Yalies and townies alike delighted in the drama provided by the Yale icemen and their young new head coach – but only during home games. When the team went on the road, it left the fans high and dry, yearning for a shred of news. Until I had my idea…

The AM dial – my home – had a limited audience due to FCC restrictions on its signal. The FM side, however, reached halfway into the Long Island Sound. This fact, given few people actually lived on the Long Island Sound, was less impressive than it seemed. More impressive, however, lay in the detail that radio signals swept a circular area, meaning two-thirds of the signal strength seeped into homes along the southern Connecticut shore and into the very heart of the state. Within these homes lived tens of thousands of hockey fans. It was the call of these people that brought me to the Continue Reading “My Greatest Sale”

The Secret of How to Overcome a Sore Throat When Speaking on Solar Neutrinos (or Anything Else)

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Sometimes physics advances too fast. Haste often creates problems. For example, when physicists developed the idea of the neutrino – a theoretically massless waste product from the thermonuclear furnaces powering stars – they calmly set up several underground experiments to detect these little critters as the sun spit them out. Trouble was, scientists couldn’t see enough of them to satisfy their hypothesis. “The data didn’t fit the theory,” claimed the academic elite, “so there must be something wrong with the data.” For forty years, our leading brains winced at the dilemma of the under counted neutrinos – an apparently unsolvable problem.

Your throat's getting worse. You've got to speak in two hours. How can you do it?

Your throat's getting worse. You've got to speak to the Rotary in just two hours. How can you do it?

But, I’m sure not many of you have visited here to learn how to solve the unsolvable problem of missing solar neutrinos. Here’s a more practical quandary: You’re scheduled to speak in a few hours and you’ve just come down with a cold. Your manager says you can take some over-the-counter thingamajig to solve the runny nose and fever, but that sore throat has you on the edge of laryngitis. What’s a great speaker to do?

Continue Reading “The Secret of How to Overcome a Sore Throat When Speaking on Solar Neutrinos (or Anything Else)”