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Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to Get Better at Everything

Whenever I'm asked for advice on cooking, especially by younger cooks getting started, I say that you have to make bad food to make good food. I love making bread, but in learning how to make amazing bread I've made some inedible loaves. I learned from those experiences and applied that to future bread. The same is true with everything in the kitchen. I won't know what I should avoid if I don't make any mistakes. Every time I cook something (even when it's delicious) I'm always thinking about what I would do differently the next time.

When you're presenting, you need to have the same attitude. Make mistakes. Make them big and bold. I know how to put together a good PowerPoint presentation now because I've created some truly awful ones in the past. We're talking bullet points filling the screen and animations on every page and then, the coup de grace was when I didn't embed the font for the Greek words I put into the presentation. They just looked like misspelled English and made the presentation look even worse. I learned a lot from that experience. It was bad.

You can see it here:

But that was four years ago and I've learned a lot since then. So much so that I won the Microsoft PowerPoint competition in the best use of graphics category. You can improve in your use of PowerPoint, or anything that you're working on. But only by trying and making mistakes do you learn to improve.

What have you learned from your mistakes?

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