February 7, 2010

What went worng in the Paper Presentation?

Hi Guys,
Last week, there was an interdepartmental paper presentation in our college. It was named Mosaic, since Mosaic has all the colors in it and this paper presentation event had all the departments participating in it.
I and Bala Kumar sent a paper titled ‘Locomotion Simulator’ and we were selected to present our paper. We were confident of presenting the paper well, but we collapsed there. Personally, it was a very embarrassing situation for me. After the presentation, I thought about the mistakes we committed and learnt a lot from it.
First of all, we were overconfident. We went to a symposium in another college last year and won the 2nd prize. Before that presentation we discussed a lot about how to present and how to answer the questions. This time we didn’t converse at all. We just went and presented the paper.
Another reason was the ‘judge factor’. The main judge was from EEE department. So he was in favor of EEE papers. But thinking about it later, I realized that was a very natural thing. Our paper was also mechatronic in nature since it had to do a lot with microcontroller. So the fact was we didn’t impress him. That was the truth.
In paper presentations we need to finish it within time. The allotted time was 10 minutes, but we finished our paper in 6 minutes, which created an impression that ours was a very short one. There were a lot of things in our paper and we failed to elaborate them.
Finally my friends told that we were affected by ‘bad luck’. When we were presenting our paper, there was a sudden power cut. Though it came back in 5 seconds, it took 10 minutes for the projector to work. Though that is not a very normal thing, sometimes these sorts of things occur. Thinking about it I remembered something that I read in ‘The Last Lecture’ written by Randy Pausch. I present the matter below
Chapter 46: All You Have Is What You Bring With You. Page No: 160
… I’ve admired people who are over-prepared. In college, I had a classmate named Norman Meyrowitz. One day he was giving a presentation on an overhead projector and in the middle of his talk, the light bulb on the projector blew out. There was an audible groan from the audience. We’d have to wait ten minutes until someone found a new projector.
“It’s okay”, Norm announced. “There’s nothing to worry about”.
We watched him walk over to his knapsack and pull something out. He had brought along a spare bulb for the over head projector. Who would even think of that?
Our professor, Andy Van Dam, happened to be sitting next to me. He leaned over and said, “This guy is going places”. He had that right. Norm became top executive at Macromedia Inc., where his efforts have affected almost everyone who uses Internet today.
Another way to be prepared is to think negatively.
Yes, I’m a great optimist. But when trying to make decision, I often think of the worst-case scenario. I call it “The Eaten by Wolves Factor”. If I do something, what’s the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by the wolves? …
So, I decided the next time I’m on to something important I would think about “The Eaten by Wolves Factor”, so that I would be comfortable in those situations.
Apart from us, the paper presentation was good. There were many innovative topics like Micro engines, MEMS, Image Processing, Hybrid Vehicles, AI, etc. Gowthaman and Ganesh suffered a lot. They were the last to present and none of the judges seemed to listen to them. They were interested in winding the section.
Failure is the Stepping Stone of Success!
Happy reading!!!
P.S: To know more about Randy Pausch and his last lecture please visit www.thelastlecture.com

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