Friday, August 26, 2005

Wow them with your next PowerPoint presentation! --PART 2--

So I lied. I said I’d have this out BEFORE Friday conference, but, as you can see, this is published decidedly AFTER Friday conference. I give half-hearted apologies to the residents who read Part 1 and had only backgrounds, animations and sounds for their slideshow today. The good news, though, is that I picked up a few more tips to add to my sixth element of MSPP. Rejoice!

4. Image THIS
Before ‘pixels hit the paper’, as they say, pick out which of MSPP’s limited clipart pictures you want to use. Then, later, add the clipart and conform the title to the picture.
Come up with your own bright ideas!
(These just come to me. A special gift, I know.)

Don’t forget that your audience is in the medical field and therefore must be constantly ‘softened up’ with smarmy images. Good image breaks include comic strips (preferably the Far Side or a Rube Goldberg contraption) or pictures of your children in adult clothing or covered in spaghettios.
Feel the magic

5. Content Schmontent
Text: the icing of the PowerPoint cake. This is where the proverbial men are separated from the proverbial boys, proverbially. The factor that separates the two is this: pure unaltered volume of text and information. A medical textbook is best likened to, and best read as, an epic novel with recurring themes of suffering, illness and dysdiadochokinesia. We, as medical practitioners, are not expected to slice into the text, tease out the pertinent items and dissect extraneous or harmful text. In fact, I cannot think of a single physician with any experience or qualifications in such practice.

Some hacks who present themselves as ‘professional speakers’ would mangle this following paragraph:
Traditionally, inflammation of the liver capsule has been attributed to direct bacterial infection. Organisms were thought to travel from the genital area via the fallopian tubes and the paracolic gutters to the liver capsule. Some evidence supports this: Holm-Nielsen et al1 demonstrated that peritoneal fluid is propelled from the pelvis to the diaphragm, where it is preferentially absorbed on the right side. The association between recent insertion of an IUD and Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome also supports the hypothesis of intraperitoneal spread of organisms. While direct spread may occur in some cases, several factors suggest an alternate etiology. Bacteria have only rarely been isolated from the liver surface or surrounding ascites in patients with Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome.

into this:
One hypothesis for FHC is direct spread from the pelvis

Do you feel as dissatisfied as I do? Where is the heart? The meat?! I’m starving for character arc and drama. That molestation of the text is like removing the scene where Juliet stabs Romeo from Shakespeare’s play - the name of which escapes me at the moment.

6. Present 'till it hurts. Bad.
Presentation time. You’ve been waiting for this all morning, since you probably finished around three or four in the AM. You’ve got your most comfortable shoes on for nervously shifting weight from foot to foot. You did your lat and triceps stretching preparing to clasp the remote with both hands in front of your stomach like a Dell-branded infrared emitting umbilical cord. All you need is a few last reminders to make your presentation top-notch.
  • Let the laser be your sheepdog – Without a laser point constantly moving under each word you read aloud who knows where your audience’s attention is!? Don’t trust in medical professionals’ ability to follow what you are reading by sheer linguistic acumen. Lead them through the information with the comforting guiding-hand of trillions of photons. Remember to circle madly each diagram you are referring to.

  • Dump the red laser– Through the miracle of applied physics and filling needs that never existed, manufacturing has made available a new brighter green laser for use with your presentations. These babies are a cheap $119 apiece since the US military stopped using them for guiding laser missiles for the reason: “too strong for military use”. Not only can these sweet pointers be seen from 1.2 miles, 80% of their luminosity is returned to the viewing audience off of the semi reflective projection screen. Your audience is certain to remember the points you made, as a mish-mash of purple trails will be left in their vision for thirty minutes afterward. Their retina’s inability to restore visual pigments to their receptive state after a photo optic assault is to your benefit.

  • Read directly from the slides – Since you have gone through the trouble of cutting and pasting large amounts of unformatted text haphazardly, do your audience the favor of reading directly from the slides. They didn’t come to hear summaries, opinions, or new corroborating information that is not on the slide – they got enough of that crap in college.

You now have the tools that will fill in the holes in your personal communication skills. Be assured that people will be talking about your presentation for days.


Anonymous Diddy said...

I, for one, have been waiting on pins and needles for your latest MSPP advice.

I can't wait to try out my new-found knowledge on my students.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and mystical greatness.

4:48 PM, August 27, 2005

Blogger Dr. Charles said...

informative and entertaining, i wish i could go back to residency and prepare a power-point presentation all over again.

2:11 AM, August 28, 2005


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