Wondering if someone’s worth your time? You can tell an awful lot about a person by their choice of presentation medium. Check my guide to the signs of the presentation zodiac to get the lowdown on their true personality.
You’re a big deal. Smart casual down to your pyjamas, you’ll be sporting Ray Bans whatever the weather. You’re the first one at the bar and the last one out, but somehow you never go beyond jovially tipsy. Eager first-year grad students try to imitate your presentation style, yet fall flat when they forget to change the font to Helvetica—but without a leather satchel, what hope do they have?
That kid using Keynote may be a big deal, but you’re a big cheese. Your bulletpoints run as long as your list of accolades, and you simply don’t have the time to choose a font besides Times New Roman. Or a colour besides black. Or a topic besides your Nature paper from 2002. You’re here for the honorarium, the Hilton, and the glamorous international travel—and to get away from those damn PhD students.
You’re a mathematician or a masochist. That’s an inclusive ‘or’, because masochism definitely doesn’t preclude mathematics—indeed, it follows as a corollary. Your life is one of strict temperance, eschewing animation, pictures and all the other trappings of the softer sciences in favour of such under-appreciated traditional adornments as the table of contents and slide count. Everybody needs an outlet, though, and you aren’t any exception. Go on, admit it: watching your code compile makes you feel like you’re in the Matrix.
Drummed out of British Airways for your unorthodox style of flying, it’s your mission to make everyone experience science right down to the pits of their stomachs. Your RFID implant itches like crazy and your Google Glass keeps sending inappropriate e-mails to your mother, but it’s worth it to be an early adopter. Prezi has never given you any teething problems, though. Quite the opposite: when you speak, mouths are clasped in awe and faces are green with envy.
Nobody would suspect it, but you’re actually a raving pyromaniac. Perhaps this is news to you. Trust me, though. Beneath your befuddled exterior, beneath the endearing scattershot of antique transparencies, lies the beating heart of a true fire-crazed anarchist. Just wait and see what happens at your next talk: with all that dust settled on the aged projector, you may as well go and play with matches in a gunpowder factory. Menace.
It’s tweed o’clock. Hair askew, chalk smears aplenty, you are the very image of an inaccessible and powerful intellectual. Padawans struggle to fit in much content when using this medium, but your medical training has honed your speed-writing skills to perfection. Parenthood, too, has taught you how to exercise discipline over wayward sliding blackboards. It’s all about a good system and a firm hand. Board 1, move up, board 2, board 3, move down, move up, board… 1… wait, who erased that definition? It’s here somewhere…