Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh dear...

As of this moment, my blog is the top hit for Google searches using:

"how many papers needed for tenure"
"papers needed for tenure"
"papers for tenure"

and number two for:

"how many papers for tenure"

Not that I care that people find my blog that way (I get 4-5 hits a day from people using those searches - and might even get more now with this post). It's more concerning that there are that many people who think they can find the answer on the internet.

Oh, and for those who find this post using such a search, read this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Judging presentation skills scale [UPDATE 2]

It's been a while since DrugMonkey reposted this meme, but the seminar I had to endure today reminded me of it and inspired me to invent my own scale for judging presentation skills. Not the science being presented, but the skill with which it is presented.

Herein I present Odyssey's

Presentation Impact Scale Summing Offending Factors Factor*,

hereafter shortened to PISSOFF.

It's very simple really,

PISSOFF = sum(Offending Factors)/(Total Number of Slides)

where Offending Factors are determined by, but are not limited to:

  • Total number of slides exceeding number of minutes allotted for presentation (Offending Factor = [Total Number of Slides - 0.9*(Minutes Allotted)]2)
  • Number of slides in presentation speaker skips over during presentation
  • Number of figures the speaker does not refer to/explain
  • Number of tables (or other sections) with text too small to read
  • Number of tables with too much text to read
  • Number of times speaker flicks backwards and forwards through slides in order to find the one he wants to talk about
  • Number of slides that have nothing to do with the topic being presented
  • Not addressing the audience (+10 to 20 depending upon severity)
  • Mumbling (+10 to 20 depending upon severity)
  • Assuming everyone in the audience is familiar with the background of the topic (+10 to 20 depending upon severity)
  • Presenting more than one story (+20 for the first additional story, +40 for the second, +1000 for the third and subsequent stories)
  • Speaker waving the laser-pointer around like a madman (+5 to 10 depending upon severity)
  • Use of yellow on a white background (+10 per instance)
  • Use of red text on a blue background (+10 per slide)
  • Using canned Powerpoint backgrounds (+10 for simple backgrounds up to +40 for complex backgrounds)
  • Use of canned Powerpoint background that is animated (+200)
  • Excessive use of animation (+10 to +50 depending upon severity)
  • Speaking with their back to the audience (+20)
  • Number of "in case they ask that question" slides appended to the end of the presentation
  • Running over the allotted time (add 10x[Number of Minutes Over]2/(Minutes Allotted))
  • Speaker appears bored (+100)
  • Use of the phrase "this is really fascinating work, but I don't have time to tell you about it", or anything similar (+20 per instance)
  • Figures/movies that don't work because the speaker didn't bother to try them out beforehand (+10 per instance)

Feel free to suggest more Offending Factors. I know there are many, many more - I'm too brain-dead to think of them right now.

The PISSOFF scale runs from zero for an excellent speaker to greater than one for a speaker who should never, ever be asked to present again.

I estimate yesterday's speaker would have a PISSOFF score of about 0.9...

* Yes, yes, I know it sounds horribly redundant etc.

Monday, February 02, 2009