Tag Archives: communication

How to make a good FAQ page

From the excellent introduction by Karl Fogel to Version Control with Subversion:

No one ever called the tech support line and asked, “How can we maximize productivity?”. Rather, people asked highly specific questions, like, “How can we change the calendaring system to send reminders two days in advance instead of one?” and so on. But it’s a lot easier to make up imaginary Frequently Asked Questions than it is to discover the real ones. Compiling a true FAQ sheet requires a sustained, organized effort: over the lifetime of the software, incoming questions must be tracked, responses monitored, and all gathered into a coherent, searchable whole that reflects the collective experience of users in the wild. It calls for the patient, observant attitude of a field naturalist. No grand hypothesizing, no visionary pronouncements here‚Äîopen eyes and accurate note-taking are what’s needed most.


How to give a memorably bad presentation

  • Have a slide deck that is too long for your allotted time
  • Use bad fonts with drop shadows
  • Use funny voices and occasionally sing
  • Frantically wave your hands around
  • Be sure to never credit your sources
  • Talk a lot about your credentials
  • Use only really obscure examples of whatever you’re talking about
  • Avoid eye contact with the audience
  • Bring up lots of anecdotes about times when you were smarter than other people
  • Be sure to not leave any time for questions at the end
  • Apologize for your presentation

(Recently compiled by me, Mark, Kevin, and Coley at an In-N-Out Burger in Daly City.)