2011-07-19 19:35:05Advice on creating a winning presentation
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Anyone got some good advice about making a good Powerpoint presentation??

I have an interview on Monday and I have to do a 5 minute presentation about the features of Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer.
The job is at a hospital as a Learning Support Officer (basically a trainer or instructor).

I have decided to do Open Office Writer.

Anyone got some tips?

How many slides can be realistically be shown in 5 minutes or less?

2011-07-19 19:46:20Yeah, keep those tips coming...
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229
I have an interview for a climate communication job at the Uni of Qld on Monday also and I have to do a 10 minute PPT talk on my vision of what I'd do in the job. I have no shortage of ideas that I'd want to talk about but just have to think of a way to shape it into a compelling narrative and also obey any good principles for PPT presentations.

Paul, we'll compare notes after Monday.

2011-07-19 20:46:35
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.249.87

Well I've never given such a presentation, but have been on the receiving end of plenty training lectures. I'd suggest running through your pitch a few times to get it down pat. Nothing worse than someone profusely apologizing because they've put up the wrong slide or image, and comes across as not knowing WTF you're doing.

As for slides in 5 minutes - don't run too many as you'll lose focus. Figure out what you need to cover and how long it'll take for you to expalin it. You'll only know this by having a few 'dry runs'.

Reckon Nealstradamus (if he pops by) might have some sage advice. And good luck to the both of you.

 

2011-07-19 20:52:11
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I think I have decided to come up with a 'scenario' that might come up in a medical report of some sort and show how spell checking Latin, or including as statistical formula would make Open Office Writer features useful.

It would make the features have a context for the organisation I am presenting to. I think that's what would be expected if I got the job and was actually teaching there. At the moment my prsentation doesn't have the context.

2011-07-19 21:00:17
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.249.87

Paul, I thought the presentation was about the features of Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer? What sort of training does the job entail?

2011-07-19 21:05:21
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.249.87

JC, do they have a job description somewhere? Is that a newly created position or already existing? Thought some of us here could provide some tips, however limited in utility, but it helps to know exactly what skill/qualities they are looking for.   

2011-07-19 21:21:42
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

The job is at a local hospital, UK.

It has over 7000 employees ranging from cleaners to medical researchers and professors. The hospital has it's own research department and is linked to a university for teaching.  All staff have to attend training sessions every year. They have a whole department dedicated to training, it even has it's own reception!

2011-07-19 21:23:22Include the audience?
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
109.85.236.255
I'm not sure if this is feasible for the type of "mock-presentation" you have to do, but if you can try to include something to actually get your respective audience involved. This might be as simple as asking a question about their current usage of eg. Open Office Writer or a quiz-question about climate-change. It might be something they don't really expect and your presentation will therefore perhaps be more memorable than others' which just run through one slide after the other. A general rule of thumb for PPTs is that each slide shouldn't have more than three points it addresses.
2011-07-19 21:32:21
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Ha, would you believe it!

There is an addon for Open Office for spell checking medical terms!

Added: Doesn't seem to work in the current version of OO. So will give that a miss.

2011-07-19 21:44:49Presentation hints
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.41.121

5-minute presentation: about 6 slides, including the cover with your name and the title/purpose of the presentation

10-minute presentation: not more than 10, probably about 8 would be right: You don't want the audience to go "eye dead" staring at the same slide, or make them seasick by changing the scene too often.

Don't put too many words on the screen: Should be very easy to read, and not "crowded"

Don't use any jokes/puns on the screen

Identify the key decision-maker(s), and make sure he/she/they are always included among the people you're addressing: Don't keep your back to him/her/them!

JC: include at least a few screenshots of the SkS website, as well as recommendations of SkS. But also make sure you address the issues that UoQ wants done, that are distinct from what SkS is doing already.

Prepare enough to be clear on the material, and to be able to answer questions flexibily; don't over-prepare to the extent that you seem robotic.

A presentation is a PERFORMANCE: So, not too tight, not too loose. Try to enjoy it.

2011-07-19 21:48:00
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Don't use any jokes/puns on the screen

Yeah I made that mistake a few months ago!
Out of the two presentations I have done previously for interview, that was the one that didn't go down well.
The one that was successful (but the interview did not go so well) I enjoyed doing.

2011-07-19 21:52:36
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.41.121

It's OK to use a joke if you're sure it will go down well: But you CAN'T know that before the moment. That's why it definitely must not be incorporated in fixed text on the screen.

2011-07-19 23:36:46comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.176.5.231

May I suggest using Prezi?

http://prezi.com/

I think for these kinds of presentations it would be the best because it is very creative and innovative. For presenting science I use powerpoint but more engaging presentations I would move towards prezi. Some people give advice that a slide a minute is a good number and I'm okay with that. The key is not being too memorized and not being too unprepared. You want to be able to flow with the presentation and you are allowed to look at it from time to time. Robotically memorizing doesn't come across engaging.

2011-07-20 00:32:51Above all else...
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

liberally employ the KISS principle!

In addition:

  • Pithy statements on slide (details conveyed orally)
  • Large font size
  • Dark color font
  • Pastel background
  • Fade-out, fade-in transition from one slide to the next
  • Readable graphics
2011-07-20 01:27:13more hints
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.41.121

Further points:

- I haven't had a chance to do more than take a quick look at the Prezi stuff, but my first reaction is: Too cute. I wouldn't go there. Too cute can be annoying. Also, I've seen some PowerPoint presentations that incorporate sounds, etc.: My advice is, Don't.

- As B. said, "pithy." Specifically, DON'T put your whole talk on the screen: Your talk should be guided by the points on the slides, not read out the slides. The slides are the SUPPORT for the TALK: You want them listening to YOU, not reading the slides. The slides are there to keep you on-target, and to remind the audience of what's going on if attention slips for a moment.

2011-07-20 01:46:07
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Late in the game here-- good advice all.

So John and Paul how did things go yesterday?

2011-07-20 02:01:27keep it simple
Tom Smerling

avi@smerling...
216.164.57.97

Lots of great suggestions above.    My 2 cents, just remember:

1) Your goal isn't to show how flashy you can be.     Your goal is to make a personal connection with the key people in the room.    That means talking to them "eye to eye", not having them staring at the screen.   

Surprise them, and shift the focus back to you by turning off the screen when you're not using it.

2)  The deciding factor at the interview stage is not competence (that's a given).

It's "Do I want to see this guy's face every day?"     "WOuld I enjoy working with him?"     "Will he help me be more successful, make me look good?"

3) With powerpoint, less is more -- resist the temptation to add!     Cut brutally to the bare bones!   Minimize words, maximize font size.  

bottom line:

Slideshows are great for sharing info.    They are not great tools for persuasion.   Persuasion relies on making a personal connection.

 Good luck!

2011-07-20 02:03:27
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Don't have time to try Prezi and it looks like it works off the internet ??
Often internet access can't be guarenteed, so a bit risky.

Albatross, it's next Monday.

2011-07-20 03:32:59
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Paul,

Doh! Sorry-- I guess that means that John's presentation is also next week Monday. 

Great, still lots of time to prepare then.  With great help from the informed folks here (I can't really think of anything to add, especially after Tom's excelent suggestions) you'll be fine.

2011-07-20 04:54:13
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.159.108

Could you use some props?

John could try the one Hansen has been using with two dice to show how in the 80's a dice with 2 sides of blue, green and red would show about the same chance of a cold, average or hot year. The second dice would be "loaded" with 4 sides of red and only one of blue and green to actually show how much the chances have increased for a hot year.

When I gave a climate change presentation last year I had many slides with the obvious graphs and graphics but then had one inbetween which just showed two dice and a heading "how the dice fall". When this slide came up, I grabbed two oversized dice and actually rolled them in front of the audience.

2011-07-20 05:06:51
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I found some example medical docs online. I'm thinking of editing one and using it as an example to work on, as a source of narrative.

2011-07-20 09:32:33Great advice, thanx
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229
Here's the job description.

I have no shortage of things I want to say. I could easily include 100 slides outlining what I'd like to do in the job. But as that'd mean 1 slide every 6 seconds, might give them (or myself) whiplash. So the advice to keep it simple, and particularly Tom's advice of making a connection are very helpful. Many thanks!

2011-07-20 09:46:52Looks ideal for you
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.41.121

- You can address the issue of Qualifications & Experience with what has already been done with SkS

- You can address the issue of Duties with the plans we have discussed for SkS

- Briing in the book, do a 2-minute walk-through of the site; or maybe make the walk-through the talk, by structuring it around the themes mentioned above.

The only thing that may take some careful thought is the question of how the SkS work and the UQ work will be related: Could they be combined, or be a partnership, or should they be completely separate? It might be worthwhile to get a feel for how they might look at this issue ahead of time.

2011-07-20 10:07:10
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi John,

As others have said, for a 10-min talk you can only effectively speak to 8-12 slides, preferably 8-10.  Doing more than that will be counterproduictive IMHO and in my experience.  Yes, keep it simple, text is only a guide and to highlight salient points.  Avoid text only slides, supplement slides with a graphic that compliments the text and/or adds to it-- that is it should not detract form what you are trying to say.  Some people do a 50% split, half slide graphic, other half text bullets. Avoid crazy busy graphics.

Lat but not least. Practice, pratcice, practice....sorry Wendy ;)  Don't leave it to the last minute, as you often identify issues or areas to improve the talk (content, flow, logical progression etc.) when practicing. I usually do so in private, but others prefer to speak to a test audience or individual.

We can chat by Skype sometime if you want and I'm happy to peruse the PPT if you like once you are happy with a final draft.  Got to go, girls are fighting over Wii dance...

2011-07-20 10:24:12
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.41.121

I would differ with Alby on one point: I don't think you should practice the talk to death:

- The point of practice is to become familiar and comfortable with the talk, so you can give it in a confident and reasonably relaxed manner.

- If you over-do it, you will become bored and weary of the material, and you won't have the enthusiasm when you give the talk: That would be fatal.

Also: I'm not a big fan of graphics. However, if you use SkS screenshots, there are some graphics already.

 

The main thing to watch for: If the talk is going well, there will be a natural tendency to go into "just a little more detail", so you will be only halfway through the talk when you suddenly realize that only 1 minute remains; then you will have to scramble ungracefully to wrap it up.

Solutions:

- Announce at the beginning that you would like to defer any questions until you finish the slides;

- Keep an awareness of the time.

2011-07-20 10:34:20
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

OK, one less battle to fight ;)

Yes Neal I agree, John should not appear to be a robot when talking, just practiced enough that he is confident and the talk flows nicely.

2011-07-20 11:50:47
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.74.116

JC, Neal's suggestions at 9.46am seem the way to go. Is that what you had planned for your presentation? The job description looks like it was tailor-made for you (not that that is any guarantee). You really have to sell yourself, it's a hard thing if you're not used to it.

2011-07-20 13:41:45
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
184.48.151.42

Same as most others have chipped in:  KISS, 8-10 slides (NO MORE), avoid complex graphics like the plague, 7-10 words per slide optimal.  Use of color a plus.  Motion can be OK (powerpoint can do nifty animations if not overdone).  Sound is OK if using quality speakers.

You're telling a story: YOUR story.  Make sure you tell it well.  Pause occasionally for impact.  Varying your rhythm, tempo and volume will cause the audience to sit up perceptibly - THAT is the time for a dramatic pause.  Show your humanity and SMILE at least once.

2011-07-20 13:48:10
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

And wear a black turtleneck, jeans and use adjectives like "revolutionary" and "magical" and "beautiful."  ;-)

2011-07-20 14:37:04Not planning to discuss qualifications
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

The email I got said:

As part of the interview process, candidates are asked to prepare a 10 minute presentation on:
  • What you see as the key challenges in communicating climate change science
  • Ideas on how to overcome these challenges 
  • A brief outline on your initial thoughts as to what you would like to do or achieve under the Fellowship if successful

So I wasn't planning to talk about qualifications that much - 3 of the 4 people at the interview already know all about SkS. So I was just going to focus on what I'd do at the job. I'll try to get a PPT file done before the weekend (having been jotting down talking points on the iPad whenever something comes to me).

2011-07-20 15:42:18
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.74.116

JC, I'd make sure that the 4th person on the panel knows about what you've done at SkS too. As for the gist of your presentation - well given the brief, I'm sure you have that in hand. 

2011-07-21 00:57:23
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Geez. I have just spent at least half an hour trying to find out what the acronym of the 'department' the job I am applying for is in!

It's called IDEAL and every document I found on the hospital web site just mentioned IDEAL!
I thought it would be a good idea to know what it meant and eventually on the very first document produced about it (dating back to 2006), I found the full name. And it is.... Integrated Directorate of Education and Learning.

My initial guess was Indepedent Development, Education and Learning. I think my first guess sounded less beaurocratic.

2011-07-22 01:12:19
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Don't know how John is doing with his presentation, but I'm feeling a bit happier with what I'm attempting.

I think using a sample medical report to show some features of open office has focused my mind and is giving it context. It is helping to come up with a story for my talking bit. Probably won't make any difference though, I usually stumble in the interview (just covering myself there so as to not raise expectations).

2011-07-22 08:23:31
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.250.231

Paul, you gotta shed that self-defeatist attitude.

2011-07-22 08:38:50
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I don't need opinions about my personality. There is far to much of that these days especially in the work place, which results in a lot of moronic robots in many places afraid to be themselves.

2011-07-22 09:20:13
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.250.231

Dude, you were making excuses - look at your previous comment. How are you going to convince other people of your capabilities with such an attitude?

As for your "moronic robot" comment, I don't know how you arrive at that from my comment about your attitude. You don't have to tell me about moronic robots and the 'Emperor's new clothes syndrome', I've experienced that many atime, but I now accept that that is just a consequence of evolution and group dynamics. 

2011-07-22 16:24:26
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I don't have time to waste here.

Added: Removed rest of comment, this is getting silly.

2011-07-22 17:53:37
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.208.133

I agree, your overreaction is somewhat silly. 

2011-07-23 03:30:43
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

John:

Remember, for job interviews, somewhat different rules apply than for conventional presentations. For one thing, you are selling yourself, not an idea. 

From my experience of sitting on both sides of the table, what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate is somebody who will fit in and add value to the organization.  What interviewers fear above all is hiring someone who is going to be a pain, A bad hire who will suck up management time and who will sow discord among the staff is the worst mistake anyone is likely to make in an organization, Interviewers all know that. 

One of your "weaknesses", John, is that you have been self-employed for a while and there are likely few people who can offer a reference about what kind of team player you are. I would recommend that you stress the success you have had in building and managing the SkS team: that's something that won't be obvious to outsiders. You should not be afraid of expressing your sense of humour because it shows that your passion is not fanaticism.

I would not mention your religious convictions unless asked. (And I doubt that they will be allowed to ask; in Canada interviewers are prohibited by law from asking any question that could lead to unfair discrimination, even age, gender or place of birth are taboo questions.) 

You generously give credit to others. You maintain a high quality of content and tone in SkS posts, while not being at all domineering. You acknowledge and respect expertise. All of these characteristics are important for success in a University environment where a passion for excellence and a need for recognition are important drivers and sometimes in conflict.

Show them, don't tell them, that you'll be an asset to UQ and that hiring you will be the best thing your interviewers ever did.

2011-07-23 04:46:14
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.185

JC:

Although the interview is more about plans than experience, I would still build it partially around the SkS website: By showing what you (with a team of recruited volunteers) have done, you can springboard to what remains to be done.

The issues of key challenges we have discussed at length here: How to present things scientifically without being "too much of a scientist". In your phrase, "how to make the message 'sticky'."

(I actually hate the word "sticky" in this context, but maybe that's just me. Check it out with other people. I would prefer something like "making the message easy to relate to; by-passing the burglar alarms.")

2011-07-23 05:00:12
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

"What interviewers fear above all is hiring someone who is going to be a pain, A bad hire who will suck up management time and who will sow discord among the staff is the worst mistake anyone is likely to make in an organization, Interviewers all know that. "

 

Someone who was a pain:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/2361900/Niwa-sacks-Jim-Salinger

 

Interviews are a pretty bad way of judging whether someone is suitable or not. I think there is a lot of prejudice involved and tastes in personality.
A job I went for an interview for a few months ago, was recently re-advertised internally in the organisation (I know someone that works there). The person they originally chose was allegedly 'perfect' for the job and I came second place. Obviously it didn't work out and because the contract was only twelve months, it wasn't worth them re-advertising externally.

I have heard a lot of crazy ideas about interviewing which are not based on any research. Trying to judge whether someone is going to be a pain is practically impossible in such a short time and of course, people can become a pain like Jim Salinger because of change in management, whilst the person who you thought might be a pain in the interview, might fit in well with a new regime, that might come about literally weeks or months after the interview!

Time is the only good judge.

It also works both ways, when it comes to interviews and job offers. Many years ago, a company offered me a job, then before I could formally accept, they took the offer away. Then about a year later, they phoned up again and offered it! I told them where to stick it. Sometimes the organisation is a pain, and that doesn't always come across in a short interview.

2011-07-23 05:16:02
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

BTW. My previous post which apparently seemed self-defeatist was not intended to be so. Although I can see how it could be read like that. I was a bit shocked by Robs reply, it's a pretty hard thing preparing for an interview, especially these days with all these 'techniques' and 'panels'.

The reason why I don't want to get to excited and optimistic is:

1. I'm British, For goodness sake, Churchill won WWII with the old 'black dog' bringing him down! I'm entitled to be self-defeatist, that's how we British win. It fools the enemy :-)
2. If it doesn't work out, it will be a massive let down if I get to high. It's a difficult thing to judge.

2011-07-23 05:35:36
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.185

Paul,

Interviews may not be accurate, but they are the only way that people have of evaluating the "working chemistry" of potential colleagues. Yet they have to do that.

Rob has a point, in that if you give off the vibes of not thinking it will work out, that's what people pick up on. In an interview process, there's no enemy to be fooled.

There is definitely a middle way between being wildly optimistic and being convinced that you're going to stumble. What about just being cheerful?

2011-07-23 06:54:05
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Paul, I agree that performance over time has the last word in any hiring process. However, we can learn a lot from meeting people in the flesh. We are all good (or think we are good) at reading people's body language and seeing how they react to certain questions. But, yes, it's very subjective and imprecise.

I always hated the trendy interview techniques. But it's a good idea to think through some answers, in advance, to those standard BS questions, "What is your greatest weakness?" or "Impress me".

Most HR departments follow up any hiring recommendations by phoning around to HR contacts at places where people have previously worked, not relying just on the interviewers' impressions or even the opinions of the interviewee's references. I and some others once recommended hiring somone who interviewed well and had great references. Our HR deprtment phoned around and discovered that she was a big trouble-maker at a couple of her previous companies and vetoed our recommendation, probably saving me from having to live with a bad decision.

I flunked my first job interview when I was looking for a gap year job between school and uni. It was as a lab technician at a biochemistry lab at the University of Oxford (my home town). They were good enough to provide me with the feedback that I appeared unenthusiastic, whereas it was really just me being shy and trying to appear nonchalant in my British way. Still, I learned from the experience and aced my next interview a week later.

2011-07-23 22:25:07
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I have loads of stories about interviews Andy.
BTW, I spent the last 10 years or so teaching part time and even trying to judge characters after some 8 or more hours of teaching can be difficult. Sometimes you don't hit it off with one student in the first 2 or 3 hour session, then by the end of the course, you are friends.

My point about Churchill, is that if he was interviewed with the idea of selecting someone that was unlikely to be a pain, he would have failed at the interview stage and Neville Chambelain would have been chosen.

Another point is that organisations can collapse in a big heap if a variety of types of people are not selected. Sometimes being a pain is important to make sure an organisation does well. There are no magic systems that will guarentee a bright future.

2011-07-23 23:04:06
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.176.146.78

There are two universal techniques of presentation that are tried and tested : SAS and 1-2-1

SAS = Short And Sweet.  No padding allowed.

1-2-1 is the sequence: tell them what you are going to say - say it - tell them what you said.

 

As for the 'black dog' - I am a sufferer.  I am aware that I also come over as a bit of an eccentric.  Accordingly, I would tell interviewers about synergy, and just how important it is to have the widest variety of people in the mix - just like here at SkS.

2011-07-25 17:01:39
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.52.98

So JC, how did it go?

2011-07-25 23:35:13How the interview went...
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229
Was waiting outside the GCI boardroom, the door opened, Ove came out and said, trying to lighten the mood, "come in for your execution". Uh, thanks, Ove! So I started my PPT explaining what I hoped to do in the role. Was surprisingly relaxed (but still quite psyched about it all). I quoted a CSIRO scientist who at a communication workshop said "to get the climate message across, we need to make climate science cool... Like what skeptical science is doing". This got a good reaction. Then to show an example of what I'd like to do, I handed out my iPad with The Elements app (with carbon as the selected element). You should've seen their eyes light up. Ove asked the name of the app and scribbled down the name in his notes. Then at one point, I also handed out my iPod with the SkS app (joking about all my props). I mentioned that Malcolm Turnbull had the SkS app (thanks James) which also lit up their eyes.

So the talk went well. Then they asked questions. One question was how I'd handle interdisciplinary matters with experts from different fields disagreeing about issues, how I'd resolve differences. I tried to think of examples in the SkS community where there were disputes but I couldn't think of anything substantial. You lot just get on together too well!

They asked what would I consider successful in my job after 3 years. I said if Australia still had a price on carbon in 3 years, I'd consider that a success (that would require a major turning of public opinion about carbon pricing in this country, which will probably be my main purpose for the next year or two).

Ove also asked what my career plans were, where I hoped to be in 10 years. I had expected this kind of question but to be honest, I have no career plans - probably a huge faux pas in a job interview but I have no ambition other than making a difference. So maybe that was a bad answer (a bit sappy really, something you'd say in a Disney movie).

Anyway, they said they'd be deciding the position at the end of the day and I went home, pretty satisfied that I got through it without walking into any furniture or drooling down my chin.

At the end of the day, I got a phone call from GCI. They said they had 3 interviews. The other two applicants "were quite strong". Then they offered me the job.

2011-07-25 23:41:48High-5 !
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.122.216

Great news!

2011-07-25 23:42:36
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.211.145

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2011-07-26 01:22:07
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Congratulations John.

I just got a phone call and I just missed getting the job. Apparently the job had been advertised two months ago and they got 20 people applying, none of which were suitable. So they advertised again and they got more people applying and of higher quality (including me).
I got the impression from the feedback that I did well in about 2/3s of the interview, but someone else did better on one of the questions that I didn't answer so well.

I think if I had been in the first batch, I probably would have got the job. I just wish I had spotted the first advert!
Would have been nice working 4 days a week and sometimes at home. The presentation went well enough, they didn't comment on that.

Added: Actually I mentioned I had collaborated with someone in Australia on a project mainly by email and that was seen as positive by the interviewers, yet at a previous interview for a similar job, it was seen as negative.

2011-07-26 01:32:25
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Fantastic John, way to go!!  Congrats.

2011-07-26 01:34:22
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Paul,

Sorry to hear that.  This is all good experience though and you obviously did a lot of things right in the interview in order to be a top contender, so focus on that.  Keep your chin up and keep looking somethign is bound to turn up.

2011-07-26 01:40:02
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.122.216

Paul,

I second Alby's thoughts.

2011-07-26 01:55:52
Anne-Marie Blackburn
Anne-Marie Blackburn
bioluminescence@hotmail.co...
212.139.89.151

Congratulations John!

 

Paul, I can only echo Albatross's post - fingers crossed that something better comes along soon and use your experience to nail it.

2011-07-26 03:09:21
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

John: Brilliant! And very well deserved.

Paul: Sorry to hear that.

2011-07-26 03:34:38
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

My presentation was 7 slides, which was basically a 'micro' lesson showing how to add a comment and date to a document. I used a sample medical document, and changed a medical word so that it was mis-spelt, then created a scenario whereby a comment was added to suggest the spelling needs to be checked and a medical dictionary should be installed. It took about 3 or 4 minutes to present.
I don't think I could have done anymore preparation that would have helped. I spent quite a bit of time reading about the place and asked some good questions at the end. They were particularly impressed by my voluntary activities - tree wardens and other stuff.

I felt I had a chance, but not sure it was quite good enough when I came away.

2011-07-26 04:14:05Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.17.242

Congrats John, That is great news. You of all people earned it!

2011-07-26 07:02:02So, the next question is:
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.122.216

How do you plan to relate the UQ work to SkS work? What organizational structures should be set up to develop real synergy and complementarity?

2011-07-26 08:11:41Synergy
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229
Paul, very sorry to hear that. Would've been great if we both could've reported good news.

Neal, not exactly sure how it'll work. I finished my talk saying "my goals at SkS have been a subset of GCI's goals - to effect social change to address climate change". Now I've got the job, I've been thinking about what to concentrate on. I'm thinking it will probably be on helping science communicators most effectively counter misinformation but I'll need to have a long talk with them to get the lay of the land. We're applying for a grant to build an ambitious iPad/iPhone app on carbon pricing/clean energy. A souped up version of SkS (in the grant application, I included all the things I've daydreamed about for an SkS iPad app plus a few features I'd never even dared to dream). If it's successful, that will be taking up much/all of my time over the next year or so.

2011-07-26 08:21:14
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.122.216

We will have to consider some organization in order to maximize the resources and capabilities of SkS team and UQ.