Monday, March 8, 2010

My MGMT Comm Credibility Presentation

These are the slides that I used for the big 6-minute presentation in Management Communications last week.  Unfortunately, the presentation relies heavily on the spoken word for weaving together the story, so the slides may not make complete sense when taken independently.

My thesis was that the minimum driving age should be raised to 25.  I didn't think any of the options on the list of theses was that interesting, so I chose this one because I knew it would be easy to find statistical and anecdotal evidence to make my case.

I received some great feedback from my classmates.  It mainly dealt with the content, and I took that as a positive sign that my presenting style was OK.  Here were some highlights:
  • Percentages aren't useful without a baseline.  For example, 65% cell phone usage may not be as bad if 90% of drivers in other age groups use their phones while driving
  • My 2nd argument, about traffic and pollution, wasn't as applicable to the most opposed audience (people under the age of 25) as the first argument (the high risk associated with this age group on the road)
  • My conclusion could have been stronger
  • My opening attention grabber (that 1 in 5 drivers in fatal collisions is under the age of 25) didn't seem that significant
  • Avoid using "ya'll," since it sounds informal.  Although I wholeheartedly agree with this comment, it will be really hard to address it going forward, especially once I'm back in Texas.  I didn't realize that I used "ya'll" so much until I moved out of Texas.
I have my final presentation in the class tomorrow.  I haven't been able to practice it very much because I've been trying to catch up in my other classes after going out of town a few weekends back. I'm a bit nervous because I know it is isn't as polished as it should be. Gulp.


  1. As a former Congressional and bush administration press secretary. A few things.

    A-1. Engineers think only that their ideas matter. In this case presentation is really the key. A bad presentation can kill your best ideas. This is people not rational.

    1. You're an engineer, you can't spend enough time working on this.

    2. You need to go to cspan archives and look for politicians you like and try to get clips of their stump speeches, people like howard dean in 2004, john edwards, folks that connect so that you can get the feel for what an effective 5 minute presentation looks like. Jokes, lack of stiffness, short sentences, eye contact, charisma, connection.

    3. A statement is not a thesis. A thesis has a because or by in it. You dont have that. You have a bunch of stats in order. That's not a presentation. Thesis, 3 reasons to support it and under each of those you plug the stats into a whats called a narrative/argument.

    4. You need a pithy title. You don't want eyeballs rolling. Watch the politicians, they start with jokes, self deprecating humor-why because it wins the audience over and once you have them, they'll follow you anywhere.

    5. Read roger ailes. He invented modern political communications and made nixon, reagan and hw bush president.

    6. Never use y'all ever. In chicago it sounds hick-no offense, it new york they will laugh at you, in boston, you might as well praise bill buckner.

  2. Great stuff! I should have done a better job of highlighting that these were just the slides I used in my presentation and not the presentation itself.

  3. You should never use y'all. It's just not that classy.

  4. Unless you're in Texas. Then it's acceptable. :)

  5. Those are even the possible views which will almost bring around the valuable consequences for the students which must be followed even.


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