Presenting empirical results is very often harder than it seems. You have to satisfy those picky about the research method and those who care only about the results. In this presentation, the challenge was to squeeze everything in 15 minutes sharp! This timing constraint forced me to present both the method and the results at the same time. So, after a hand-on introduction to operating system configuration, I used two visual threads throughout the entire presentation. These threads symbolized how the data sources were individually investigated, and how the results were merged, classified and interpreted. This visual aid allowed me to focus on the essential points while leaving the method implicitly imprinted on the slides. The presentation was very well received by the researchers. One sector head working for Credit Swiss wasn’t too enthusiastic about it, though. When I asked him whether he appreciated the presentation, he said after much hesitation and with a very embarrassed look: “The style is too cartoon-like. I prefer more traditional slides”. This reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell’s talk when he said: “You’ve been looking for the perfect Pepsi. You’re wrong. You should be looking for the perfect Pepsis”. This made me realize that knowing the audience only gives a vague frame of reference. The key question you should ask yourself is who do you want to talk to in the audience? Or how do you want to address the different categories of people in it?

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