Quantum Sufficit

Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman taught at Cal Tech. He simplified and clarified very complicated concepts like the behavior of sub-atomic particles. It was his ethos.

Feynman made physics engaging for young students, and useful for established physicists. In the field of quantum mechanics, he came up with Feynman's Diagrams, which provided visualizations of arcane and abstract formulas. Along the way, Feynman won the Nobel Prize.

When you present to an audience, do what Feynman did. Make the complex simple. Too often, we present material as if we were still working it out. This creates slide decks that are exasperatingly long and convoluted, and the audience snoozes.

Instead, present content as though you have already digested it. Connect the dots clearly and with purpose. Feynman wanted his students to absorb and understand the material, but he also wanted them to find physics exciting. Like Feynman, when you prep your next presentation, have your goal squarely in your sights.

2 Comments

  1. Jon Light says:

    totally agree. I used to have a partner whose Powerpoint would literally run off the slide. My philosophy in presenting to human resources directors, my typical audience; “What do they need to get through their day..” I once joined the HR audience to watch a presenter who followed me at the lectern. He started talking about the minority opinion of some relatively obscure case and the HR people at my table kept making fun of him and urging me to yank him off the stage and take over. It’s the KISS method, always.

    • Deborah Shames says:

      You are so spot on. Whenever I see a text rich PowerPoint, I look for the exit. Haven’t presenters learned YET how awful these slides are? Thanks for writing. We always enjoy hearing your perspective.

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