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  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

Ace Up the Sleeve

As is typical of most undergraduate experiences, mine involved giving a lot of PowerPoint presentations. In my second year as a finance student, a friend introduced me to what I'll call "ace slides" (She had a different name, but this is the PG version). Here's how it worked:

You would create your slide deck like normal. Then, you would think of questions that might be asked by your professor or fellow students in the Q&A afterwards. In fact, if possible, giving your presentation to a friend as practice can really help with this step.

Once you had a handful of potential questions, you created slides that answered them. These were the "ace slides." They would be placed after your conclusion slide, out of sight from the audience. However, when you were done presenting, if someone fell into the trap of asking one of those anticipated questions, you'd have an "ace" up your sleeve to go to.

No joke, this is how you get an A on a presentation. You know it when you see the surprise on your professor's face. They thought the slides they saw were all you had.

And they were wrong.

In the world of distance running, I feel like a race mimics the Q&A section of a presentation. Instead of an audience asking questions, the competition is making moves. But in both cases, it comes down to how well you can respond.

And those who prepared will have an ace up their sleeve.

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