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.
每年年关将至,都有数不清的会议。中国人喜欢开会,有总结大会、答谢会还有新年工作启动会。在中国#企里面,通常是领导在讲台上手握麦克风、口沫四溅,底下的观众要么听,要么玩手机。我两者都不是,因为我在后台工作室,仔细听着领导讲话,翻着他们的稿件,然后播放PPT。

我今年差不多做了50多个PPT,实际上,是被迫做的。两年前,一个领导发现我做PPT还可以,就喊我做他演讲用的PPT。然后,一件又一件、数不清的PPT任务纷至沓来。起初,我心里很不情愿,因为会占据我大量的个人时间。但是既然没有办法拒绝,为什么不把PPT做好点呢?现在我发现,我的努力见效了,我做得越多,我就做得越快和越好。

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!

这些吵闹的会议结束后,我回到家会看一会儿书,我喜欢这些安静独处的时光,不被打扰,让我感到心态非常平和。
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