Vector Network Analyzer
Wisdom from the EMProfessor
Plan to make failure part of your success strategy Failure may be the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal to be successful in our careers, yet very few people know how to wield it. This is especially true of we want to do something that is truly extraordinary. Albert Einstein said, “I think that only daring speculation can lead us further and not accumulation of facts.” Regardless of how smart we are, our intelligence has a limit. Yet, it is possible for us to achieve great things well beyond those limits if we are willing to make wild guesses. The thought of failure is a very uncomfortable one for most people because they are worried about how they will look to their bosses and peers. But this is great news because it limits this competition dramatically. If failure is not managed correctly, it can hurt your reputation and your career. It can make you appear reckless and wasteful. The most successful people admit their limitations and have an honest and a good sense of humor about their guesswork. Plan your work so that if you think an idea is might fail, it fails as soon as possible and with the least amount of investment as possible. Successful people not only learn from their failures, but often discover things that take them in new directions. Learn to “Fail fast and fail forward” The only bad failure is when we fail because we simply did not try or when we refuse to learn from the experience. Make failure a critical part of your career strategy. [...] Read more...
Keep it simple. The second biggest mistake in a presentation is making your slides too busy or too complicated. The best slide is often a single, simple picture with no text at all. If you put text on a slide, you are telling the audience to read instead of listen. Once they miss some of what you were saying because they were reading instead of listening, you are no longer communicating effectively. Study how to make your slides understandable so your audience can invest their mental energy into listening, instead of figuring out your slides. Only include the bare minimum on a slide to back up what you will be saying during the presentation. If you must include a complicated diagram, build that diagram over a sequence of slides that adds details a little bit at a time. If you feel inclined to create a busy slide, ask yourself why. Maybe you are emotionally attached to some less-important information and just “really really” want to include it. Maybe you are afraid to get a question about that less-important information. Get over this and delete that information from your slides. If you must, create an appendix for the less-important information and use the appendix only if a question arises. [...] Read more...
The most important skill you need to find success in science and engineering is — effective communication. I have seen many bad scientists and engineers climb the corporate ladder when they are good communicators, but I have rarely witnessed bad communicators rise the ladder regardless how strong their technical skills are. Perhaps it is unfortunate for the greater good of humanity, but I have to rank communication skills as more important for career success than anything else. Communicating effectively takes practice and much can be learned by observing good communicators. Good communicators put a lot of effort into organizing their information. They invent new ways to explain and visualize complicated concepts. Good communicators use simple language and simple but high-quality graphics. It is common for good communicators to spend more time on their graphics than they do on their words. To become a good communicator, sharpen your computer skills for desktop publishing and generating graphics. Practice public speaking. Strive to make everything you produce professional, polished, and consistent. Make your documents and presentations fun and memorable, while still being professional. [...] Read more...
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