Blog / #insight

How Friday presentations won our hearts over

At Taiste, we’ve held Friday presentations to each other for about a year. This article is about what makes the practice so great – and why we think you should start doing it, too.

Talking about stuff that makes you tick is fun. Likewise, one tends to remember presentations where the speaker was genuinely excited about what they had to say. This simple philosophy is behind our Friday presentations at Taiste.

The idea goes like this: each Friday, one of us gets to speak for the rest of the company about a topic that has sparked their interest lately. Sometimes the Keynotes that people come up with are strictly work-related, sometimes not. After a year of Friday presentations, we’ve had discussions that have ranged from the state of progressive web applications to a tutorial on how to kick ass at Rocket League.

Friday presentations have functioned as quick yet effective crash courses to topics the speakers know and are excited about.

Without a doubt, part of the charm in Friday presentations is that they are simply a fun way to start the weekend. However, they have also proven to be incredibly useful in terms of learning and communication.

At their best, Friday presentations have functioned as quick yet effective crash courses to topics the speakers know and are excited about. Our designers and software engineers work closely together, and sometimes the presentations serve as an effective way for one group to get the other up to speed on a topical issue.

whatyouhavelearned
On his deathbed, Yoda talked about how people at tech companies should share their knowledge with each other.

Then there’s the advantage of tutoring in-house. Due to our curious nature, we’re always in the process of learning new stuff, both within and out of our personal comfort zones. In many cases, there is someone in the company who already knows about the stuff somebody else wants to learn. The topics at the Friday presentations, along with our more comprehensive bootcamps, are often a result from someone requesting a colleague to share their knowledge. In many cases, this is much more convenient and effective than sending people to courses for a day.

whatyouhavelearned
This presentation from Mikko was called “Street Fighting Math for Artists and Engineers”, probably the best title in the history of mankind.

It is also important to realise that in this line of public speaking is a very useful skill that should be practiced every now and then – no one is born a Keynote God. Friday presentations are an easy-going arena to prepare for events, customer meetings and such.

Another, more social benefit is that we get to learn cool things about the colleagues who sit next to us each day. Knowing what the other person feels passionate about and vice versa is great, not only in terms of work but getting to know them better as well. Without the Friday presentations, we would have missed out on many interesting, vital and sometimes hilarious conversations.