Thursday, October 29, 2009
Job Talks and Presentations on Film
There are many great articles that offer advice for conducting job talks, but there are very few films that come to mind that include presentations to watch for entertaining guidance on what to emulate and what to avoid. Two of the better-known presentations in the movies are found in films featuring Michael Douglas – Wall Street (1987) and Disclosure (1994). In Wall Street, Gordon Gekko delivers the “Greed is Good” speech to shareholders, and Disclosure crescendos with a presentation revealing a few key lies among colleagues. As an interesting bit of trivia, a Wall Street sequel is planned for release next year. So, my questions of the day are as follows: What are some other films and television shows that have featured memorable presentations? What makes a good job talk?
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Conflict is inherent in good drama, and I do think there needs to be some conflict in a good job talk. Along with your proposal/research/insights, you need to identify the objections to your view, and then discuss why the objections are wrong. Obviously, this should be done in a polite, academic fashion. But if you try to make your presentation bland and conflict-free, you're probably either making an obvious point or avoiding some conflict that will likely come up in the questions.
Posted by: Matt Bodie | Oct 29, 2009 11:43:57 AM
I'm not sure if this counts as a presentation, but Alec Baldwin's character in "Glengary Glenn Ross" was pretty interesting. Caution - some rough language: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TROhlThs9qY
Posted by: Jeff Yates | Oct 29, 2009 6:32:56 PM
I still don't understand how anyone can fail to agree with Douglas's presentation. Not to mention that he doesn't say greed is good. He says greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Very different. Most unfairly maligned phrase of the late 80s, even if Oliver Stone more or less wanted it to be maligned.
Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Oct 29, 2009 10:07:52 PM