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May 23, 2006

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Here are two things you might add to the spreadsheets page. First, test your results! Make sure your spreadsheet is giving correct answers.

Second, never, ever, no matter how tempting it is, change the formula in the middle of a range of cells to another formula or a constant "just to see what the effect might be." That's bitten organizations I've been in, and it's apparently bitten others, too (http://www.facilitatedsystems.com/weblog/2006/03/more-on-spreadsheets.html , http://facilitatedsystems.com/weblog/2006/02/when-easier-is-harder.html, and http://facilitatedsystems.com/weblog/2005/12/spreadsheets-dangerous-to-your.html).

Hi Bill,

Thanks! Good point; "trust but verify."

And just because you have a golden hammer, everything ain't a nail. (I.e. spreadsheets are powerful but not for everything, as you mention in one of your posts.)

Solveig

For presentations, can I add some tips :
* 3 V rule (in French, it works fine) : Visual (eyes), Vocal (ears), Verbal (brain)

* have some slides of back pocket : hide the slides, but link them. If you have too much time, you can click on links and expand your presentation.

* print your presentation with annotations : you will not have to rewind, if someone asks on N-2 slide, and create a summary page, with links

* use different types of bullets to insist on your opinion, or conclusions (green checks, red crosses, blue arrows, ...)

Hope this helps !
--
Excuse my bad english, I need more practice !

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the tips, those are great. I do use the summary page thing but had forgotten to put it in the book; thanks for the reminder.

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