Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is your presentation rgaonzdie? (organized)

I was not a great student when I was an adolescent. I had reached an age at which I was coming to grips with how clever I was, how a single witty remark would get me all sorts of attention and "laffs." Further, in my arrogance, I reckoned I was probably smarter than the people teaching me and therefore I hardly listened to what anyone had to say.

That said, when I was a 5th grader I did learn something valuable. We were trained, when confronted with a raft of information we had to soak in, to take notes. And we were trained in how to create a classic Roman numeral outline.

You were forced to categorize things in major groups with supporting ideas or topics beneath them.

In other words, you were trained to bring order to what could otherwise be a mess of information.

Preparing for a big meeting today. An outline surfaced a bit late. But maybe in time to keep the presentation shorter than "War and Peace." Maybe.

Very few people know how to write an outline. And follow it.
To order points in a sequential and logical manner.
Even fewer know how to get rid of extraneous ideas.

1 comment:

Kelly said...


Whoa. I think you have just captured my kid's problems at school perfectly.

I've been trying to teach her outlining this year, because apparently the world has moved on since we were in 5th grade: from research to outlining to how to write a bibliography, every time she comes home with a new project this year she's given no instruction on how it's done and the parent is expected to teach it.

She loves outlining (when she has to do it for a project). But still doesn't see what you figured out, that it's useful almost everywhere you turn.

I'm reading this to her. Nagging's better if someone else says it. ;)