Thursday, June 30, 2011

Taking presentations seriously to avoid wasting effort

Many presenters who are hard workers don't care for working on their presentations. That's odd.

Many researchers, data scientists, academics, and other knowledge discoverers are not very good at presenting their work. They argue, somewhat reasonably, that their strength is in formulating questions, collecting and processing data, and interpreting the results. Presentations are an afterthought.

The problem with this is the following:

Why it's worth putting some thought into the presentation of technical material

If the purpose of finding out a true fact is to influence decision-makers, communicating that fact clearly is an essential step of the whole process. In fact, all the work done prior to the presentation will be wasted if the message doesn't get across.

Does it make sense to waste months of work discovering knowledge because one isn't in the mood to spend a few hours crafting a presentation?