Re: Useful slide tex (was - Re: English spoken here)

joel jaeggli <> Mon, 03 December 2012 02:27 UTC

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Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2012 12:57:08 -0800
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To: Keith Moore <>
Subject: Re: Useful slide tex (was - Re: English spoken here)
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On 12/2/12 11:15 AM, Keith Moore wrote:
> On 12/02/2012 01:46 PM, joel jaeggli wrote:
>> We have non-native english speakers and remote participants both 
>> working at a disadvantage to follow the discussion in the room. We 
>> should make it harder for them by removing the pretext that the 
>> discussion is structured around material that they can review and 
>> follow along on? I don't think that's even remotely helpful.
> In general, the purpose of those meetings is *discussion*, not 
> presentation.   I'm all for exploring better ways to facilitate 
> *discussion* among the diversity of IETF meeting attendees.  But our 
> experience with use of previously-prepared PowerPoint presentations to 
> facilitate *discussion* shows that use of that tool, in that way and 
> for that purpose, is a miserable failure.
Since you and I attend a significant number of the same working groups 
we should have some shared experience, but I'm going to flat out 
disagree. It's possbile that we had completely different experiences in 
the same meetings, but I do firmly believe that slides are facilitatiing 
both the speakers coverage of the problems they're trying to address, 
and the participants dicussion of the problems enumerated.

As a chair one should be engaged in some editorial oversight of the 
contents of slides.
> Of course I'd encourage speakers to make available for download 
> summaries of the material to be discussed in advance of the meeting, 
> for the benefit of non-native English speakers and others. PowerPoint 
> (or better, PDF of material prepared in PowerPoint) seems like a 
> reasonable format for that.
the reflexive reference to a particular tool isn't a helpful point of 
this discussion imho... It doesn't matter to me what format the slides 
are in so long as these serve to structure the conversation. Powerpoint 
is a tool (and one I don't use), there are plently of others that can 
serve to get the point across.  If a state diagram benefits from 
animation, then you should pick the appropiate tool. whichever tool it 
is the assumption is that the output will be projected and potentially 
displayed remotely. The import conceit, imho is that the material is 
prepared prior to the meeting so that it can be distributed (and this 
may be the point of actual contention for you).
> I also think it would be quite helpful to arrange for the topics 
> discussed and points raised in the discussion to be displayed in the 
> room in real time, as they are typed.   This would provide non-native 
> speakers with visuals similar to what they see now with PowerPoint, 
> but without the undesirable side-effect of coercing discussion time 
> into presentations.   This would also reinforce the need for a 
> minute-taker and help to keep the minute-takers honest.
This is a meeting workflow change, I can think of several ways to 
approach it. as with note taking, jabber scribing and managing remote 
participants it requires someone to do the work (though it may overlap 
with one of the other activities).
> (I doubt that PowerPoint is the best tool for this purpose, since it 
> would be highly desirable to convey the same information, at the same 
> time, to remote participants.)
it would be helpful abstract the tool dicussion away from particular 
applications, at the heart of the problem, is not which text/media 
formatting application is used.
> Keith