Endless Year-end Meetings

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Jan 18, 2017 21:45
According to the Chinese calendar, this year will end in ten days. There’s always endless meetings at the end of every year. To summarize “the progress” made this year, to express thanks, or to predict what will happen next year, the Chinese love to hold meetings. In Chinese state-run companies, including mine, typically, leaders talk a blue streak through mics behind lecterns while a captive audience listens or fiddles with their phones. I belong to neither of these two groups because I sit in a backstage studio, listening attentively to what the leaders speak, turning the pages of their drafts, and displaying the slides.

I’ve made over 50 PowerPoint files this year. In fact, I was forced to make them. Two years ago, a superior discovered that my PowerPoint works were well designed, and then asked me to make one for his speech. Thereafter, one after another, tons of slides-making tasks fell on me. At first, I felt resentful because they would consume so much my private time, but since it was no use refusing it, why not tried to do it well? Now, I’m relieved to discover that my hard work has paid off. The more I made, the faster/better I did.

It’s a pity that many Chinese people think that designing slides is petty work. In my opinion, it's quite the opposite - it’s a refined art. In essence, it’s a kind of art about expression and how to get the message across. There’s no stringent criteria. Even though there’s merely a single word or a picture on a single slide, as long as it does the trick of spreading your thoughts successfully, it is a job well done. However, it’s not an easy goal to attain. It’s belittled, perhaps because presentations skills are never stressed in my culture. People practice presentations only in English class at school. We don’t even have an exact Chinese word to refer to presentations! So, when we are talking about presentations, we directly say this word in English!

Back home after these noisy meetings, I love to read books for a while. I love these moments of being alone, undisturbed. It makes me feel peaceful.


很可惜,很多中国人认为设计PPT不过是繁琐、不重要之活。但我认为,恰恰相反,这是一门艺术。本质上,做PPT就是一种表达的艺术- 如何将信息有效地传播出去。做PPT没有严格的标准,即便一张PPT上只有一个词语或者一张图片,只要能够很好地传播你的观点,这就是一份好PPT。但是,这个目标并不容易实现。这些东西之所以被忽略,也许是因为在我们的文化里面,presentation不太被重视,人们只在英语课上有练习过。我们甚至都没有presentation的对应词。所以当我说presentation 这个东西的时候,我们直接说英文词!

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