As with most things engineering, an equation always helps to understand life. For the engineer giving presentations, this holds true. Let’s look at how good engineers do as public speakers, by analyzing the equation that explains how good the presentation is:

Q = (0.3*K)*(1/R)*(1/V)*(1/A)*(1/J)


Q = Quality of the presentation by an engineer

K = Knowledge level of the subject

R = Resistance to speaking

V = Volume, or number of people in the audience

A = Deficiency of the visual aids

J = Inability to tell jokes

In this equation, the quality of the presentation is inversely proportional to the resistance to speak, the number of people in the audience, the deficiency of the visual aids, and the inability to tell jokes.  The sad truth for the engineer is that the values of all of these factors are typically quite high, meaning they bring the quality of the presentation WAY down.  To make things worse, the strong suit for engineers in public speaking, their grasp of the subject matter, though proportional to the quality of the presentation, only contributes by a factor of 0.3.  In other words, it doesn’t look good for the engineer as a public speaker.

But at least the engineer now can understand this lack of presentation quality. Equations are good.