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Bored of the norm?

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Bored of the norm?

Old 16th Apr 2019, 21:10
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Question Bored of the norm?

No, not Norm from Cheers - in fact his greetings were the BEST!

I wonder if I've been to too many conferences, I've seen too many movies but the expectations of life and events is so boring and predictable, is it because the older you get the more experience you have? Some examples;

1. Conference formats : the beginning of each session the speaker summarises the previous session with some "insights" and says how good everything was. They discuss what's coming up next and then talks away. Boring as hell - mix it up people, and keep us engaged.
2. Movies - all use the same tried and true formula from kids movies (Hero, heroine, funny awkward friend (e.g. Shrek, Madacascar, etc.)) or good guy perseveres against all odds with the expected 1-3 twists during the movie
3. Presentations: Either death by powerpoint or death by funny picture

I dunno what I'm asking, but, the older I get, the more I predict these things which while some things are informative and entertaining, can be somewhat boring.

What would you do differently? A different movie plot (hero dies 3 mins into the action, the movie is 18 mins long?), a different presentation style (not a ted talk?) a different conference setup

Save us (me) from boredom!
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 21:16
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SB, I was informed by a media student that all stories have only one of seven plots.

We had a speech last night. The format is usually the same year on year, summary of previous year's achievements, message from the high comnand, couple of jokes, hearty thanks. This year a complete Magnus Pike idiot. All gestures, laughs, in jokes with host, off message and in short an even bigger waste of time than usual.
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 22:31
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I know what you mean. I'm out of the world of work right now but even in my final days I was very much aware of corporate bullshit. It got me into trouble sometimes.

As for movies well they often follow a particular line. I've grown to enjoy some of the the trashiest movies feeling perhaps that some of the films are a bit pseudo. Strangely I enjoy the Transporter movies with Jason Statham. They are farcical but you just know Statham is enjoying it as much as you do.

I like silly Science Fiction stuff too.

My wife who is highly educated, intelligent and well the boss has several sisters three of whom are Phds. They all love trashy celebrity magazines and trashy, typically ITV shows and movies
Their excuse is the escape from their day to day complex lives.
They have a point.
But I still won't watch the UK's got Talent with her.

It's escapism no more no less.


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Old 16th Apr 2019, 23:19
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What would you do differently?
I'd stop going to conferences.
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 23:28
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
I'd stop going to conferences.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. To true
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 03:42
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My professional association's conference always include a presentation by a true luminary, who talks about his predictions for the coming year (usually accurate), his travels in the previous year (always funny and interesting) and what we should be doing to take advantage of technology to stay ahead of the game (always challenging). He's done this for at least the last 30 years, and I doubt that anyone could do it as well. There isn't any Powerpoint, but usually a few illustrations and perhaps a movie/video or two.
Most of our presentations are technical, and as there is plenty of competition to present, the dross usually gets weeded out. Had one unfortunate case where a student of mine submitted a very good presentation which would have been in the running for a prize as the best student presentation. However, her father, who was on the selection committee, vetoed it as there may have been allegations of nepotism.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 05:35
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One easy way of handling boring meetings is to indulge in the time honoured game of bullshit bingo. In this you fill up a piece paper with squares across and down and fill each square with with all the typical rubbish comments e.g. blue sky thinking/outside the box/run it up the flagpole etc etc. Then every time the speaker uses one of these phrases you put a cross through it and when you have a full line you leap to your feet and shout BINGO. It's guaranteed to have an effect with the dubious side effect of making you listen to everything that's been said..

H
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 05:46
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A.G.M of a certain RAF Gliding club ( not very far, but far enough ! ) from Bicester. As always, at such catalepsy inducing events, some grown ups invited for the evening . Cue the usual stats reports and then the CFI's speech.....said CFI is a poster on here by the way. One of those "memorable " speeches ensues.....

" We've sent two people solo this year....

" This club is noted for its number of eccentrics. ""..(true ,I'm pleased to say )

"And it's NO f%^king good enough ! "

At this point the troops woke up.....there were a few other words, but, we felt this summated matters perfectly. Some of the invited guests seemed strangely agitated ..

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 17th Apr 2019 at 10:06.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 08:39
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It got me into trouble sometimes.
Me too. I'm sure it didn't do my career much good when, as a senior bullshitting director got up to speak, I reached down into my briefcase and pulled out a spray can and placed it prominently in front of me.

The label on the can - "BULLSHIT REPELLENT"
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 08:52
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How about the distractions?

Had one lecturer that seemed to create a little white blob on his lip. His tongue, lizard like, would swap this from side to side. Mesmerising.

Or the dog and pony show, one talked the other double tapped the electronic board. Interesting the first time, as the talk droned on, tap-tap, tap-tap . . .

No memory of the lecture, again hypnotized by the tap-tap.

OTOH, there are some brilliant lecturers. One, Bob Rosenhorn-Lang, taught astro navigation, his party trick to start was to draw a perfect circle on the black board. Thereafter you were glued to the celestial body as he explained to the theory.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 08:59
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his party trick to start was to draw a perfect circle on the black board.
Had a maths teacher in high school, former WWII nav, who used to do the same thing. We thought he was extremely clever until someone spotted him drawing a circle on the board in pencil, using a blackboard compass, before the lesson.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 09:01
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What a great thread. Got me thinking about Liam Neeson films and how he seems to play the same character in every one.

Divorced with a child.

Ex wife in new relationship.

Ongoing friction about said child.

Usually alcoholic, current or rehab.

Gets in situation where no one believes him.

Has unbelievable fight with at least three (at the same time) with men half his age, but knocks them all out singlehandedly.

Takes control of situation, even though there are experts available far more qualified than him.

Wins.

Walks away with world weary look on face.


Last edited by annakm; 17th Apr 2019 at 09:54.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 09:55
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Originally Posted by Hydromet View Post
Had a maths teacher in high school, former WWII nav, who used to do the same thing. We thought he was extremely clever until someone spotted him drawing a circle on the board in pencil, using a blackboard compass, before the lesson.
No, this was pure technique.

He stood with his back to the board, piece of chalk in hand, and then turned around describing the circle as he turned.

However, like your nav, we had one that would draw the block schematic in the board, rub it out before we came, and then redraw it during the lesson. In theory we were remembering the diagram and telling him what came next. In practise we were reading the board.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 11:01
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Originally Posted by annakm View Post
What a great thread. Got me thinking about Liam Neeson films and how he seems to play the same character in every one.

Divorced with a child.

Ex wife in new relationship.

Ongoing friction about said child.

Usually alcoholic, current or rehab.

Gets in situation where no one believes him.

Has unbelievable fight with at least three (at the same time) with men half his age, but knocks them all out singlehandedly.

Takes control of situation, even though there are experts available far more qualified than him.

Wins.

Walks away with world weary look on face.

Have a look at Schindlers List, no action hero stuff there.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 11:49
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Had a boss for a bit about 10 years ago who was asked to update the assembled company on business development and communications matters at the annual MD's briefing. "Wake up people and smell the coffee" she announced at one point; we, the members of her team, looked at each other incredulously amid the general face-palming and snickers of our colleagues - was she really daft enough to say that? Oh yes... The next speaker was the Director of Engineering whose presentation was concise, bullshit free and extremely funny.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 19:31
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Mrs GtW attends lots of conferences.

But she never goes into the actual sessions, that's not where the real business is done!
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Old 5th May 2019, 09:52
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A senior director of my consulting engineering company came out to Dubai to take a management course.
After the mandatory Powerpoint presentation, he shut down Powerpoint, to be left with his computer "desktop" complete with a folder clearly labelled "Porn".
How we laughed.......
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Old 5th May 2019, 10:30
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What always wound me up was when I was expected to attend a conference, only to watch a PowerPoint presentation, and to find out that on the desk in front of me were duplicate printouts of every screen. I wanted to scream when the presenter proceeded to read out every page from the display. What a bloody waste of time and resources.
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:44
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I found very irritating in conferences all the young presenters trained to 'tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them , tell them what you've told them'. Presentation after presentation after presentation.....

I am retired now, so I don't go to any....
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Old 5th May 2019, 14:25
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I used to work for an American Oil & Gas company who had an interesting technique for ensuring meetings didn't drag on too long.

1. The meeting agenda was circulated and everybody who wanted to contribute put their piece into the agenda including an expected duration of the presentation.
2. Everybody attending the meeting had a notional hourly cost assigned to them.
3. The total duration of the meeting and the hourly cost was aggregated from the assigned durations with an equal time +20% added for answering questions.
4. When the total cost was reached the meeting was closed and the items that didn't make the table were the first ones on the agenda for the next meeting which made the people who had dragged out the items that caused the original meeting to overrun focus on keeping it concise next time!

We also did the Bullsh1t Bingo to great success in highlighting certain people's overuse of acronyms and general balleaux!
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