This week at engineeringdaze, we are going to follow the exploits of the first engineer, the caveman named Tork. Tork was so advanced for his era, being an engineer, that he was frequently shunned by other cavemen. But that is another story. Today, we will discuss how Tork influenced the public speaking ability of engineers, or lack thereof.

Tork mass-produced the wheel for caveman consumers.  Actually, Tork was a consultant, making many rocks and skins for his services.  One fateful day, Tork was asked to speak before the caveman business association and unwittingly stood up on one of his wheels to give his speech.  Since a firm understanding of all the rudiments of friction was not yet in the engineers’ learning, the wheel, with Tork on it, began rolling, toppling Tork on his, shall we say, solid waste disposal unit.  After that, Tork and all engineers throughout history, when placed in front of an audience, have felt like they are trying to stand on a wheel, hopelessly teetering back and forth for a long time before finally falling on their – well, you get the picture. This not only explains why engineers are poor at public speaking, but also explains why engineers now often assume that there is a frictionless surface for most engineering problems.  Better safe than sorry.

Engineers have Tork to thank, or blame, for their public speaking woes. Tork did many good things for humankind, as engineers do now. But public speaking is not one of them.