Cooking (and Speaking) for Engineers

When I first found the site “Cooking for Engineers” I initially thought that it was a joke, just another person making fun of engineers but after looking at the recipes and the way that it’s laid out, I realised the brilliance of the concept, this was a site that could help us all cook amazing meals.

But not only that! It can also teach us how to be better presenters….

Now, before you roll your eyes to heaven and think that this is a bit of a stretch, look at this recipe for Baked Cinnamon Apple.

Now ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is it clear what you’re going to make?
  2. After reading through the recipe, do you think that you could make baked cinnamon apples?
  3. Can you imagine the taste of freshly baked cinnamon apples?

I’d be willing to bet that you’ve just answered yes to all three questions.

This is because the author takes the time to think about his audience, he considers any possible areas where mistakes could be made and ensures that the instructions are very clear. This is something that you must always be aware of when speaking to an audience, will your message and your words be clear to your audience? And if the answer is no, how can you ensure that your message is clear?

Perhaps the use of props or visuals will help fix your idea in their minds?

Our cooking engineer uses visuals very well in this recipe, you may even think that he went overboard for such a simple recipe but think about it, with such detailed photos he could even reduce the text dramatically and not lose the power and simplicity of the recipe, are your visuals that good?

The use of photos adds a level of confidence to the follower of the recipe, they can check at each stage of the recipe that they are following the right track – does your presentation have checkpoints? Have you got places in your presentation where you can make sure that your audience is following the right track or will your speech leave them lost in the woods?

What can we learn from the Cooking Engineer?

  1. Keep it simple – make it clear to the audience what your message is.
  2. Use visuals to help get your message across.
  3. Baked cinnamon apples taste great!